Chile-Steamed Mussels

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties. You can now get jalapenos with various heat level and sizes. These can be used in salsas, stuffed, or eaten straight with cheeseburgers (my personal favorite).

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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
1 habanero, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 pounds black mussels, scrubbed and debearded
4 scallions, thinly sliced


In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos and habanero. Cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pot a few times until the mussels open, about 5 minutes; discard any that dont open. Divide the mussels and broth among 8 bowls and sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Recipe by Mario Batali, from the July 2004 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.