Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick Spicy Mussels with Salad Greens and Avocado

I love dazzling people with dishes that look amazing, and sound sexy, but are ridiculously cheap and easy to make. I learned that trick from my Mother. I grew up extremely poor. There were times when it was touch and go if we were going to be evicted from our home, and for most of my life my Mom worked two jobs, usually two minimum wage jobs.

My Mother was a hero, period, but she was a goddess in the kitchen. One thing that she did was turn mundane, everyday food, into miracle treats. My little brother Jason and I were convinced that buttered egg noodles were a delicacy, when in fact it was nothing more than sauteed noodles in butter, salt, and garlic. But, my mother would only make the dish rarely, and she made a big deal out of it when she did. Presentation and flair when serving a dish can turn anything into a fancy treat.

Last night, I made my favorite mussel recipe. Other than the brown rice, the entire dish takes roughly 15 minutes to make INCLUDING cooking and prep time. The reaction, however, when I posted a picture of my plate to Facebook was astounding.

So here is the recipe for my dinner last night. Enjoy!

Spicy Mussels with Salad Greens and Avocado

2lb Prince Edward Island or Blue Mussels
3 garlic cloves minced
2 jalapenos sliced
3 Thai chili peppers sliced
1/2 red onion diced
3 cups white wine
1 to 2 ripe avocados
1 bag of mixed garden greens

Mussels are wonderful because you don't have to clean them first. They generally come in 2lb bags at your local grocer in the fresh seafood section. The first thing that you want to do when you get home is go through the mussels and toss out any broken mussels. Next, in a large pot, add the wine, peppers, onion, and garlic. Next add the mussels. Cover the mussels and cook over high heat for 8-10 minutes until the mussels are opened. After 10 minutes (MAX!) remove from heat. Do not cook longer or the mussels will start to get chewy. Do NOT eat any mussels that haven't opened. Throw those away as well.

To dish up the mussels, lay down a bed of salad greens on a plate, next add white or brown rice to the top of the salad greens. You can then add the mussels (in the shell or out of the shell) to the top of the rice, and add slices of fresh avocado to the plate as well. Salt to taste and ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!

You can also serve the mussels as an appetizer. Just place the mussels, in the shell, in a large bowl, and provide a separate bowl for shells. Folks can just dig in and eat 'em up.

This dish will serve 2 people well and the total cost, depending on the price of mussels, will run from $8 to $11.


  1. This sounds fantastic! I don't think I would have ever thought to pair avacado with the mussels, but you're right up my alley. I was going to direct you to a kick-ass cafe in the West Village that serves the best mussels on the planet, but it appears that they have closed. (YAY RECESSION!!!) Nevertheless, look at the reviews as the one titled "Belgian Tragedy" is such a funking laugh riot that I almost fell out of my chair!


  2. Oooooh my favorite spot for mussels is on 9th and 1st...Itzocan. I am willing to blow the chef for the recipe.