Every now and then I want something tasty, spicy, seafoody and EASY. This cooking guide (I’ve given up on the term recipe for the moment) meets all of those requirements.
In a covered skillet saute garlic (as many cloves as you can stand although I usually use two) and onion (diced very fine only if you want) in a small amount of olive oil or butter.
Once the garlic is soft but not brown add very dry sherry (or whatever white wine you cook with) to deglaze the pan. (I probably add about a quarter to a half cup)
Add one small can of tomato sauce. (The best tasting brand you can afford.)
Add a dash (or two or three) of red pepper flakes. (Make is as spicy as you want. Use whatever heat source you want. I prefer the red pepper flakes from a local Italian grocery because I like to pretend that this is an Italian dish.)
If you are a make-ahead kind of person you can stop here. Let it simmer on the stove or cool and store it.
Just before you are ready to serve heat the sauce in the skillet (which has a lid). Add the mussels. (J use frozen mussels because I don’t like having to debeard them. Tragic, I know, but then I live far far away from any coast. Fresh seafood is a joke this far inland. Using the frozen version allows me to pretend that I am having a treat.)
Cover and simmer for six to ten minutes. (Talk to your fish monger, or go read all about preparing seafood on an extension service website. Make sure that you follow safe handling practices and don’t just rely on some goofball on the web to insure your good health!) You can add other seafood if you like but pay attention to proper cooking times for whatever you add.
Throw away any mussels that do not open.
Throw away any mussels that do not open. Did I Say that already? It is important.
These can be served as is with a great crusty bread to soak up the cooking liquid. Or it can be served over pasta.