Cook Mussels And Clams In A Spicy Broth For A More Craveable Kick

A pot full of steamed mussels and clams is commonly cooked in a broth made with white wine or tomato sauce and red wine. Any fan of eating shellfish is aware that those traditional recipes are delicious, especially when the seafood is fresh and paired with crusty bread or fries. But sometimes classic recipes need a twist, and that's why you might want to consider cooking your next batch of mussels and clams in a spicy broth. This recipe variation will add heat to the dish for fans of spicy foods or if you simply want a more flavorful way to serve the mollusks.

Mussels and clams work well in any sort of broth because the shellfish will pass on flavor, sort of like when making a fish stock. Both of the shellfish varieties easily absorb the flavors from the other ingredients in the pot and can have just as much spice as the broth itself. To try this spicy broth, we find inspiration from Tasting Table's steamed mussels and clams in chorizo broth by recipe developer Michelle McGlinn. For this recipe, McGlinn spices up mussels and clams with a chorizo broth made with bell peppers and tomatoes.

Kick the broth's heat up a notch with chili flakes or spicy sausage

Before you work on the spicy broth, clean the shellfish well and brush away dirt, debris, or sand. And if you aren't too familiar with cooking shellfish, brush up on the essential tips you should follow when cooking with mussels so you don't ruin the dish with grainy bites. Next, you'll make the base of the broth with aromatics like onions, garlic, and tomato paste. This is when you can start to kick up the heat of the dish with spices like chili flakes, Aleppo pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, or paprika.

You can also elevate the heat levels with other ingredients depending on your spice tolerance. Chorizo, like McGlinn uses, often packs thanks to ingredients like crushed peppers and chili powder, but that doesn't mean it's spicy enough for your liking. Consider swapping in spicy Italian sausage for potentially more heat. Another technique for an even spicier broth is to use other peppers like poblano, jalapeño, or Serranos. When ready, serve with toasted bread slices or fries to soak up all of that spicy broth left at the bottom of the bowl.