Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mussels Ole

Here's a preparation for mussels from south of the border.

The Five Diamond Mexican resort La Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos is on most of the world's best-of lists. Since its opening in 1997 it has hosted the rich, famous and infamous, satisfying their every whim and valiantly guarding their privacy against paparazzi.

Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset, a native of France, fell in love with Mexico or, to be more precise, the senorita he married. For 13 years Chef Fabrice has turned his classical skills to Mexico's native bounty, thus this recipe that simmers mussels in tequila rather than wine. Fortunately, we don't need Ventanas' wood-burning oven to recreate one of his most popular dishes.

 Clay Pot Oven Cooked Black Mussels with Aged Tequila and Herbs

Serves 4

4.4 lbs. fresh black mussels
1 bunch flat parsley, well chopped
1 bunch cilantro, well chopped
1 bunch chives, well chopped
14 oz. cherry tomatoes
8 serrano chili peppers
1 cup Reposado Tequila (aged up to 12 months)

Preheat oven to 525 degrees.
Thoroughly clean the mussels and place inside a large clay pot with lid (any oven-proof pot with a lid will do). Pour the tequila over the mussels and add the cherry tomatoes and the chilies. cover the pot and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove, top with chopped herbs and mix in well. Discard any mussels that have not opened and serve immediately in clay bowls.

As Chef says, Buen provecho.