In my house we have started a sort of tradition.  Whenever my Grandma comes over for Christmas we make mussels.  This year we added the jalapeno pepper which gave it a spicier taste.DSCN2940

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato- peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, lightly crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 Andouille sausage, thinly sliced and halved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Albariño
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 bottled clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Crusty bread, for serving

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil.DSCN2900 Add the onion garlic and jalapeño and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.DSCN2903 Add the tomato, oregano and paprika and cook for 1 minute, stirring.DSCN2907 Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir it in. Add the sausages and continue stirring.DSCN2908 Add the wine and mussels, cover the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the clam juice, parsley and lemon juice and cook over high heat, stirring, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Transfer the mussels and their sauce to a deep bowls serve at once with bread to soak up the sauce.

Everyone loved the mussels, though my grandma thought it was a little spicy, but I thought that made it better.  Mussels are a pretty bland shellfish so it’s best to have it spicier.