Steamed Mussels with Chorizo and Fennel
Fresh mussels and Spanish chorizo are essential to this smoky, Spanish dish. Buy mussels from a reliable fishmonger and store them on ice. You may need to remove the “beard” from the mussels if they aren't cleaned already. Be sure to discard any mussels that are partially opened or broken. Larger black mussels will take a bit longer to cook than blue mussels. Unlike ground Mexican chorizo, Spanish chorizo is cured and smoked; our favorite brand is Palacios, which is available at many grocers or online. A large kitchen spider was best for fishing the cooked mussels out of the pot. If you don't have any slow-roasted tomatoes, substitute a 14½-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juice. We liked these with crusty bread and extra-virgin olive oil.
ounces Spanish chorizo, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½-inch pieces
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
01In a large pot over medium, cook the chorizo in the olive oil until the chorizo begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, fennel, garlic, bay leaves and fennel seed. Cover and cook until the onion and fennel soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vermouth and water, then bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, about 7 minutes.
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