Steamed Mussels And Clams In Chorizo Broth Recipe

Shellfish are always elegant to serve and oftentimes less expensive than you'd think. With the exception of things like lobster, scallops, and good oysters, shellfish can become a restaurant-worthy meal at home for a fraction of the cost of a steak. In the case of mussels and clams, you can stretch your dollar even further by pairing the shellfishes' small amount of meat with filling carbs like pasta, fries, and bread, soaked up with a flavorful broth.

One example? Mussels and fries, or moules-frites, a popular dish served in France and Belgium where mussels are steamed in a fragrant white wine sauce and served with fries, as well as bread, for sopping. This recipe from Michelle McGlinn is a Spanish-inspired version of moules-frites, featuring a spicy, tomato-based broth made with bell peppers and chorizo. The dish stars both mussels and clams and takes under 45 minutes to whip up, making it the perfect quick and easy (and foolproof) dinner for a romantic evening in.

Gather the ingredients for steamed mussels and clams in chorizo broth

Most importantly for this dish, you will need clams, mussels, and chorizo. You can buy any ratio of clams and mussels you prefer — McGlinn recommends buying 2 pounds total plus a few extra, just in case any shells open before you make it home. For chorizo, seek out the soft, uncooked links as opposed to cured chorizo, which is ready-to-eat and used for charcuterie. Besides the proteins, you'll just need olive oil, onion, garlic, red and yellow bell peppers, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Step 1: Prepare the pot

Add oil to a large, deep pot or skillet and place over medium heat.

Step 2: Soften the vegetables

Add onion and bell peppers and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Step 3: Add garlic

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 4: Stir in the tomato paste

Stir tomato paste into the skillet, using the back of a spoon to combine it with the other ingredients. Cook until caramelized, about 4-5 minutes.

Step 5: Brown the chorizo

Crumble in the chorizo and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Add tomatoes and broth

Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 7: Steam the shellfish

Add the cleaned mussels and clams to the pot and cover with a lid. Steam for 5-10 minutes, or until all the shells have opened. If any shells remain closed, remove them from the skillet and discard.

Step 8: Garnish and serve

Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top, if using, and serve right away.

How do I prep mussels and clams before steaming?

Even when bought from the best fishmonger, shellfish like clams and mussels need a little bit of prep before they're ready to be added to your dish. It's best to buy your shellfish the day you plan to cook it, ideally just hours before. It may not look like it, but clams and mussels are sold live and must be used before they die (we know, this sounds like the opposite of what you'd typically do). When purchased, the shells should be closed and smell fresh, just faintly like the ocean. If the smell is overwhelming or the shells are wide open — and do not close when tapped — toss them away. 

Once you have a bowl of healthy shellfish, store them in the back of your refrigerator in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use. To prep, work with the shellfish one at a time, using a rough scrubber sponge to firmly brush each shell under cold running water. Brush away any sand, dirt, or debris, and pull the beard toward the hinge until it snaps cleanly away. Once you have clean clams and debearded mussels, the shellfish are ready to add to the broth. If you skip these steps, your broth may turn out gritty.

How can I keep leftover steamed mussels and clams in chorizo broth?

The best way to store and reheat mussels and clams is to remove them from their shells and simply microwave or simmer them in the broth to reheat. Of course, this means individually removing the meat from each shell, which can be tedious after a nice meal. 

Instead, if you have the fridge space, you can keep the shells intact and store them in an extra-large airtight container, but then the dish must be reheated on the stovetop instead of the microwave. Simply add the leftovers to a pot, cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. The meat inside the shells should cook gently in the broth until just warmed through. If you are saving leftovers, plan to consume them within 1-2 days. And sorry, but no freezing this one — it's a dish you'll want to enjoy right away.

Steamed Mussels And Clams In Chorizo Broth Recipe
4.7 from 7 ratings
Perfect for an easy and romantic dinner in, this Spanish-inspired, one-pot dish features shellfish cooked in a tomato broth with chorizo and bell peppers.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
4
servings
mussels and clams cooked in tomato broth with cilantro and bread
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 12 ounces chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 1 pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh cilantro, for topping
  • Crusty Italian bread, for serving
Directions
  1. Add oil to a large, deep pot or skillet and place over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and bell peppers and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir tomato paste into the skillet, using the back of a spoon to combine it with the other ingredients. Cook until caramelized, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Crumble in the chorizo and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the cleaned mussels and clams to the pot and cover with a lid. Steam for 5-10 minutes, or until all the shells have opened. If any shells remain closed, remove them from the skillet and discard.
  8. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top, if using, and serve right away.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 585
Total Fat 30.1 g
Saturated Fat 8.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 122.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Total Sugars 11.9 g
Sodium 2,154.2 mg
Protein 47.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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