What’s For Dinner?
Mussels With Guajillo Sauce - from Agave
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of ... Agave
242 Boulevard S.E., Atlanta
Q: I hope you can help! We recently had a wonderful meal with friends at Agave. Our favorite part of the meal was definitely the mussels appetizer. The broth had just the right amount of spice — perfect for soaking up with bread. We are desperate for the recipe.
-- Laurie Campbell, Atlanta
A: Executive chef Richard Silvey says his mussels cover the basics with “a little flair” — “white wine, butter and garlic, but to spice it up, we use the Guajillo Sauce.” Guajillos, which are sold dried, offer more smoky warmth than actual heat. “It’s got a nice burn at the back of the throat, but it doesn’t overpower the mussels.”
-- Deborah Geering, for the Journal-Constitution
Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
FOR THE MUSSELS:
4 dozen Prince Edward Island mussels
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/4 cups Guajillo Sauce, see recipe below
1/2 cup clam juice
1/2 cup lime juice
4 basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
4 lime wedges
4 flour tortillas
FOR GUAJILLO SAUCE:
Makes 2 cups
Hands on: 10 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
1 ounce dried guajillo chiles (about 4), stemmed and seeded
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large pan over high heat, add the oil. Add the garlic and then the mussels. Add the wine, the Guajillo Sauce, clam juice, lime juice and basil. Cover and cook until the shells open, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mussels and sauce among 4 bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkling of parsley and a lime wedge. Serve each bowl with a tortilla on the side.
For the sauce:
Heat a heavy sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the chiles to the dry pan and toast, turning occasionally, until the chiles are very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water, onion, garlic and tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the chiles are soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool a few minutes, then puree in a blender, taking care with the hot liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For sauce, per 2-tablespoons: 6 calories (percent of calories from fat, 17), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.