Saturday, October 3, 2009

Big News, an Award, and Chorizo and White Ale Mussels

It seems life has been conspiring against me and this blog lately. First of all, I greatly underestimated how challenging it would be to return to school! I am also working part-time Monday to Thursday mornings before class, which means I have to go to bed early - that's not in my nature. The result is that I have way less time to get things done than I thought I would. While I'm still eating (of course), my backlog of awesome recipes to share with you is getting bigger and bigger.

But it's not all bad.

I have some amazing personal news. I'm engaged! My boyfriend proposed to me last Friday. We're looking to get married next fall (or late-summer) and are in the process of finalizing our dates and venue. I can't wait!

And one more thing, before I move on to today's recipe. Waaaay back in July, I was generously given a blog award by one of my favourite bloggers, Eliana of A Chica Bakes. Thank you, Eliana!

I'm supposed to pass this on to some lovely bloggers that I read. Consider it done. Sorry, Eliana, for taking so long to get around to this!

Here are some blogs that I'm loving lately:

1. Ginger Rose
2. Hot Oven, Warm Heart
3. Bubie's Little Baker
4. Katiecakes
5. Effort to Deliciousness

Ladies, please feel free to pass on this award.

Now, on with the show. Chorizo and White Ale Mussels. These mussels are a take on a Curtis Stone recipe, kicked up with more of a pub-grub feel. We used dried chorizo, which lent an intense smoky flavour and a gorgeous orange hue to the broth. The flavour of the white ale complemented the chorizo perfectly. And the butter added at the end created a wonderful richness that made us want to drink the broth from a mug. Thank you, Curtis Stone, for your inspiration!

Chorizo and White Ale Mussels
Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as an appetizer
½ lb chorizo sausage (I used a smaller amount of smoked as it had a more intense flavor; I recommend the amount mentioned here if you’re using fresh sausage)
1 small onion, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 lb. mussels, scrubbed & debearded
1 cup white ale (I used Rickard’s White)
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1.5 tbsp butter
1 baguette, sliced
Hot sauce (optional)

1. Place a large pot (one which has a matching lid) over medium heat. Add the chorizo and sauté for about 8 minutes or until golden brown if using fresh chorizo; til slightly crispy if using dried. Add onions and cook for 3-4, until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn it.
2. Add beer, add the mussels and toss to coat, and cover pot. Cook over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the mussels begin to open. Discard any mussels that don’t open.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
4. Boil the remaining juices in the pot for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the butter. Taste broth and season accordingly with salt and pepper, and hot sauce if using. Pour the finished sauce over the mussels and sprinkle parsley over top. Serve with a sliced baguette for dipping.


Steph October 4, 2009 at 7:53:00 PM EDT  

Congrats Kait! It must be so exciting. I can't wait to hear all about your wedding plans. I hope we get to see pics of your dress!

I haven't been keeping up with the commenting, but am always reading your blog. The mussels look really delicious.

matty October 4, 2009 at 7:58:00 PM EDT  

Great mussels!

Tracey October 4, 2009 at 10:32:00 PM EDT  

Congrats on your engagement! How exciting!

This dish looks so good - I am bookmarking it for sure.

Jen T. October 4, 2009 at 11:38:00 PM EDT  

Those mussels look amazing! And congratulations on the engagement!

Eliana October 5, 2009 at 9:39:00 AM EDT  

I luuuuuuuv mussels. I especially love when they are cooked in a broth that I can soak up with some crusty bread.

Congrats on the engagement!

margot October 5, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM EDT  

Congratulations on your engagement, that's wonderful news! The mussels look delicious, it really looks like restaurant dish. Thanks for passing on the award to me.

Fitness Foodie October 9, 2009 at 1:59:00 PM EDT  

Congratulations! It is so exciting to start planning. Best of luck.

The mussels look great... such a nice simple yet elegant meal.

The Bahens October 13, 2009 at 1:53:00 AM EDT  

Congrats on your engagement! I highly recommend a fall wedding; we just celebrated our 5th anniversary on Thursday!

Lynnylu October 25, 2009 at 7:14:00 AM EDT  

Congratulations on your engagement! The mussels look fantastic! I really like the chorizo and ale ingredients to flavor the mussels. I've never seen white ale-will have to check it out.

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