Thursday, September 24, 2009

#9: Mussels with Shrimp and Salsa Verde

I should have learned my lesson after the SuperFresh debacle, but I did not. I thought that I could trust Whole Foods a little more than SuperFresh, as least where mussels are concerned. I suppose I was correct, in that Whole Foods sold me a bag of mussels that were only 82% dead, as opposed to SuperFresh's perfect score. Fortunately, I also purchased a pound of shrimp to round out the meal. Only ending up with 9 live mussels, I had to stage the photograph shown above to show the proportions I had intended (and to make the mussels feel like they were still the star of the show). I find it very disappointing that businesses are willing to sell spoiled shellfish like this, particularly in that it shows a lack of concern for their customer's health. But I didn't take on this project to bitch about big grocery store chains.
Sometimes I like to make dishes with a ton of green ingredients, and this turned out to be one of those. Tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos, limes and peas all ended up on my plate. Along with the pink shrimp and black mussels, it made for a nice presentation. While the jalapeno that I included in the salsa did not end up being particularly spicy, I went with a relatively sweet beverage to help with the heat. Terrapin Beer Company's Gamma Ray wheat wine was a pretty good pairing. Gamma Ray is a very big beer at 11% abv. However, it's as smooth as the large amount of honey that it's made with, and one of the best wheat wines I've had. I was only introduced to Terrapin's beers recently, but they're quite good. I served the mussels and shrimp over saffron rice with peas (the saffron did not seem to provide the same amount of color and flavor that it usually does, so I'm not going to bother to post the recipe for the rice).

2 lbs. Mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 lb. Large shrimp
2 cups Salsa verde
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

1) Heat salsa in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. When salsa begins to simmer, add mussels and shrimp and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

2) Stir in chopped cilantro.

Serve over saffron rice with peas.

For Salsa Verde:

2 lbs. Tomatillos (husk removed)
2 Poblanos
1 Jalapeno
1 small White onion, peeled
5 cloves Garlic, peeled
1/2 cup Cilantro
Juice of one lime

1) Preheat broiler.

2) Place tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeno on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast under broiler for 4-5 minutes. Turn fruit over with tongs, and broil for another 3-4 minutes or until desired degree of roasting is achieved.

3) Place fruit in a bowl full of cold water. After a few minutes, remove the skin and stems.

4) Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Add salt to taste.

I really liked this dish, and I will be using this salsa recipe again in the near future. I'll also try to post a new recipe soon, as I seem to be lagging a little behind schedule. So check back frequently. Cheers!


  1. You know, Whole Foods will take back your dead mussels no questions asked. If you have a receipt, they will give you your money back, and if you don't have a receipt, they will give you a store credit for the amount of cost.

    I am very well versed in Whole Foods' return policy, as a) my boyfriend was sold a bag of 100% dead clams last week and b) my mother works there and has quite a few fascinating stories of how they are essentially required to fellate every last one of their yuppie customers.

    I'm loving on this blog, mussels are one of my favorite things. Can't wait to try one of yuor recipes.

  2. Hi...
    Thank you for sharing such a nice recipe. I would love this item. I am giving a party to my friends this weekend at my farmhouse. I was wondering about some new item to treat my friends with. I will surely try this and let you know.