MUSSELS IN RED CHILE PESTO BROTH
Best of the Best Vol. 11
from the editors of Food & Wine
Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook
Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas & Sally Jackson
Mussels take no time at all to cook and this red chile pesto comes together quickly as well. This fast and easy dish becomes a full meal with the addition of a salad and some bread to soak up the fruity, spicy, briny red chile-mussel sauce.
• 2 ancho chiles, soaked
• 2 New Mexico red chiles, soaked
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 tablespoons pine nuts
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups dry white wine
• 2 pounds cultivated mussels, scrubbed
• 2 teaspoons honey
• Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Remove both kinds of chiles from their soaking liquid, reserving the liquid, and seed and coarsely chop. Put the chiles in the bowl of a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid, the 1/4 cup cilantro, the garlic, and pine nuts and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified; season with salt and pepper. This can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
2. Bring the wine to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the mussels, and cover and steam until opened, 3 to 5 minutes, discarding any that do not open. Transfer the mussels to 4 large bowls with a slotted spoon.
3. Return the cooking liquid to a boil and let reduce by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the red chile pesto and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the 2 tablespoons cilantro. Pour the mixture over the mussels and serve immediately, topped with cilantro leaves, if desired.
To soak dried chiles, place them in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the chiles stand until they are soft and pliable (typically 20 to 30 minutes).