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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.
Serves 4


• 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)

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.

Editor's Note:
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).


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