Naughty mussels
Inspired by a recipe in Steven Raichlen's Big Flavor Cookbook (Black Dog & Leventhal), these mussels are deliciously cheeky, with tequila and spicy chipotle!

Nutrients per serving
17.7 g protein
28.8 g fat
12.2 g carbohydrates
1.2 g fibre
5.8 mg iron
79 mg calcium
433 calories
867 mg sodium
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 7 minutes
Makes 2 servings

2 lb (1 kg) bag fresh mussels
2 shallots
1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, drained and seeded (see Choosing chipotles, below)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
⅓ cup (75 mL) each tequila and whipping cream
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1 tomato
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh coriander for garnish

1. Scrub mussels. Pinch any thread clusters at sides of mussels and pull to remove. Discard any open mussels. Finely chop shallots. Remove chipotle from sauce and finely chop ½ tsp (2 mL). (Refrigerate or freeze remaining.) Mince garlic. Melt butter in a large wide saucepan set over medium heat. Add shallots, chipotle and garlic. Stir often until soft, 2 minutes. Add tequila, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop tomato. Stir mussels and tomato into cream. Cover and continue cooking on high, stirring halfway through, until mussels open, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard any unopened mussels. Taste and stir in more chipotle, if you wish. Spoon into bowls. Pour sauce overtop. Sprinkle with coriander. Wonderful with crusty bread for dipping.
• Choosing chipotles Chipotle peppers add a seductive smokiness to dishes. They're sold in cans (often in adobo sauce) in the Mexican section of supermarkets, as purée (near bottled garlic) and as chipotle Tabasco. Instead of 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chopped chipotle in adobo sauce, use 1 tsp (5 mL) purée or 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) chipotle Tabasco.
• Cleaning mussels To clean mussels, scrub them under cold running water. Then pull or snip off the dark, stringy "beards" that stick out of some of the shells.

First published in Chatelaine's 02/2006 issue. © Rogers Media Publishing Inc.