A New Way to Cook Mussels
Some restaurants never fail you and that’s how I feel about Huertas. The Spanish spot has both classics and creative twists but they are always perfectly executed flavor bombs. So I could not have been more excited to learn that the duo behind the restaurant - Jonah Miller and Adler - were writing a book.
The New Spanish is as delightful and creative as Huertas. The book is illustrated with drawings on photos that give you enough whimsy to make you want to take a stab at Spanish cooking. And it has recipes that run the gamut from simple to complex.
Jonah came over to showcase one of the easiest classic recipes, a take on marinated mussels. At Huertas they celebrate conservas - or canned food. While we might balk at it in the US, in Spain this preservation method is beloved and we wanted Jonah to come make the case for it. His recipe for these mussels is the kind of thing you’ll make over and over again, perfect for parties or snacks or just topping a bit of bread.
So watch the video below or follow the recipe and decide for yourself!
Mejillones en Escabeche
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 tablespoon sweet pimenton
2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
1/2 cup mild white wine vinegar like Moscatel
In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 of the garlic cloves and toast for 1 minute. Add the wine and mussels, cover tightly and steam for 3 minutes or until they are all open.
When they are open remove them from the heat and dump the contents of the pot into a colander placed over a bowl to catch the broth. Discard unopened mussels and set the rest aside to cool. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
Make the escabeche: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup remaining olive oil and remaining 2 cloves garlic. Turn the burner to medium and toast the garlic until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pimenton and bay leaf. After a minute add the vinegar and whisk to combine.
When the mussels have cooled shuck them and combine with the escabeche in a bowl.Add the mussel broth. If the mussels are not completely covered in liquid add more oil and vinegar as needed. The mussels are ready within a few hours or can be refrigerated and covered for up to 1 week (although they are best in the first 2 days).