Ric Orlando's Mardi Gras Mussels

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Mardi Gras Mussels are an easy celebration dish, with classic flavors. These take no longer than 20 minutes to make! Nice, right? This makes a tasty little pasta dish as well, if you are thinking linguine!

Serves 4

2-3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 each red, green, and yellow peppers, neatly diced
1 bunch scallions, chopped end to end
2 large fresh tomatoes, cored and diced
Cajun seasoning to taste
½ cup Pernod or Herbsaint liqueur
12 oz clam juice
½ stick (or less) of butter, diced small
splash of heavy cream, optional

Do a nice job dicing the peppers. (A great opportunity to learn the world brunoise.)
Use a heavy pan or Dutch oven with a tight filling lid...This is quick restaurant style sauté stuff here!

Put pan on high heat. In quick sequence, add the mussels, toss, add the peppers, toss, add the tomatoes, toss, add half of the scallions, toss. Shake the pan well to mix. Now sprinkle with some Cajun seasoning and toss some more. Pour the Pernod into the pan until it flares up and cook that alcohol down. When the flame subsides add the clam juice, butter and cream. Cover the pan and let cook 3 minutes or until the mussels are all open.

Serve right away, in bowls with plenty of the cooking liquid. Garnish with the remaining scallions and a little sprinkling of Cajun seasoning!

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