French Fridays with Dorie: Mussels and Chorizo

Mussels with Chorizo Without Pasta

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!  Predictably enough, I saved this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selection, Mussels and Chorizo, to celebrate the manufactured holiday and a successful presentation at the office.   Other than the tedious process of sorting, rinsing, and debearding five pounds of mussels, this was an easy, tasty meal.  We love our bivalves with pork and tomato during this time of the year!

We took our overflowing bowl of mussels, parked it in a table in front of the couch, and sat side by side.  Loaf of bread – check.  Remaining bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – check.

“This is Dorie’s recipe, right?”
“Did you change anything?”
“These are awesome”
“Yeah… ”

And they were.  Despite my fears, the mussels were wonderfully tender.  I could barely fit all five pounds, plus the other ingredients, on the five-quart Dutch oven and was paranoid about overcooking them.  The flavors were amazing – sweet, salty, smoky.  Eating mostly with your hands within inches of your partner is pretty sexy too.

Because we were obviously not going to eat five pounds of mussels by ourselves, the next day we had the mussels and chorizo with pasta.

Mussels and Chorizo with Pasta

I was especially worried about overcooking the mussels while reheating the pasta, so I strained all of the sauce and set the vegetables, mussels and chorizo aside and reheated the liquid by itself.  I also added about half a cup of heavy cream.  The sauce didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked, but it was still very tasty.  While the pasta boiled, I stirred back all the solids into the sauce until they were warmed through.  To punch up the recipe’s Spanish flair, I shredded some Manchego on top.  Delicioso!

Both incarnations of the recipe are keepers.  I can’t wait to make the mussels next time we have friends or family over!

Marie-Hélene’s Apple Cake

One down, twenty-three to go! After weeks of admiring the recently posted versions of this recipe, and inspired by my FFwD anniversary challenge to catch up, I finally baked Marie-Hélene’s Apple Cake.  Since I didn’t break a sweat reheating the mussels and chorizo with pasta, and the cake recipe did not involve any major cleanup,  I just went for it.  It is no wonder Mme. Brunet-Lhoste can make this beauty without a recipe.

The comments on Epicurious – where the recipe is conveniently posted – were spot on.  The texture was more reminiscent of a bread pudding, it was extremely simple to make, and well deserving of the four fork ratings.  As suggested, I used four different kinds of apple: a Red Delicious, a Gala, a Golden Delicious, and a Granny Smith.  Dorie was right about the cake being better the next day.  The cake’s taste was the biggest surprise:  I did not expect was the spiciness of the rum to complement the apples so well.  The rum flavor is very prominent.

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking club where on a weekly basis, home cooks all over the world post their interpretations of a selected recipe from Around My French TableDorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

39 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Mussels and Chorizo”

  1. February 17, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Oh, yeah! Your idea for leftovers is brilliant! 3 gorgeous, delicious dishes this week!

  2. February 17, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    What a lovely Valentine’s meal 🙂 And whoah – FIVE POUNDS of mussels?? Holy moly! Good for you for catching up on all those recipes – it’s great though because you are reminding me of all the fab ones from the first few weeks!

    • February 17, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      I usually buy mussels and clams at Costco. The good fishmongers are usually closed by the time I get off work. I’m really excited about formalizing my catch-up efforts. 🙂

  3. February 17, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Wow! What a great double Dorie post! Both dishes look fantastic.

  4. February 17, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    i ran into an issue with my four pounds fitting into my 5.5 quart Dutch oven – I totally wish I had broken out the 9 quart…
    I love seeing everyone’s seafood deliciousness.
    (We had the apple cake for dessert to go along with our mussels too)

    • February 17, 2012 at 9:27 am #

      I wish I had a 9 quart. I’ll make sure to browse in the Presidents’ Day sales for one. It is time.

  5. February 17, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Those bivalves do look lovely! I bought mine that were quick-frozen on their half-shells so they didn’t look as beautiful when served up. I can just imagine you and husband enjoying eating these side by side on the couch! That apple cake’s gorgeous, it’s my favorite too and I’m glad you tried making it 🙂

    • February 17, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Usually if we are sharing off a platter, we will sit in the couch. It’s so funny, we went to a restaurant while in Miami for the holidays and we were seated in a couch in front of a coffee table. It was just like home!

  6. February 17, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I love eating with my hands. Your mussels, with and without the pasta, look great! I cut nthe recipe down to 2 pounds, because I’m pretty sure that if I plunked 4 pounds of and shellfish in front of my husband, he’d eat them all in one sitting. The man is a seafood machine.

    The apple cake is one of my all-time favorite Dorie recipes. So, so good, and so easy. And there is so little batter, that I erroneously convince myself that it’s just like eating an apple. haha

  7. Wow, that does look fantastic. I love how you used what was leftover too; very creative. I also love that your hubby (?) knew where the recipe came from and to ask if you had changed anything. Very cool.

  8. Platanos Mangoes & Me!
    February 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Hi dropping by to say hello. It’s ben a while. Don’t you just love this combination. Wish I had been in PR to share them with you. Say hi to the hubby and hope all is well. Un beso!

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      Norma! I hope you are doing well. These mussels were so good – I know you would have loved them!

  9. February 17, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    I love that you made the cake too! I still have that on my to-do list. We loved these mussels but only made one pound since we made oysters to go with them as well and we didnt have any leftovers so we will have to make this again with pasta, but I see that as a great excuse to make them again. soon. 🙂 great job!

  10. February 17, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Yay, the apple cake is one of my favorite recipes and I can’t even say how many times I have now made it. It’s just darn easy and tasty. I too am still working on catching up with the recipes which were completed before I started and I am happy to say that I am nearly done. I hope to be finished by the end of March.

  11. February 17, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    What a great way to eat the mussels – straight from the bowl. This was so good! Marie Helene’s cake is a favorite of mine and I make it often now. Both of your dishes look terrific.

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      I know it will be a favorite, especially once apples are in ‘real’ season! I’d love to try it with pears as well.

  12. February 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Loved what you did with the leftovers…unfortunately my sous chef was also my after dinner cleaner-upper and before I could step in, he dumped the sauce. There will be a next time! Your dinner looks amazing and your next day pasta looks wonderful, too!
    Adriana, We are not far from Destin…we’re staying in a town called Seaside. Have a great weekend!

  13. Candy (dulce)
    February 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Your dishes look lovely! I didn’t get to the pasta, but it looks terrific. Good work on getting all of those mussels perfectly cooked, and then re-heated beautifully. Great ideas.

  14. February 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed these! We did too and the only change I made was fewer mussels. Your choice of wine sounds like a good fit. We finished off the pinot grigio I cooked with and opened a pinot noir. Both were excellent with the food!

  15. February 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I think we ate ours exactly the same way. Big bowl, wine, bread. Just perfect. But what does it say that we had NO leftovers? lol.

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      You had one more person and one pound less of mussels than what I had… no leftovers works out to just right portions in my book. 😉

  16. February 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Wow! Nice to share with your special Valentine! Sounds perfect. And that apple cake looks fabulous too…I’m making that one again this weekend.

  17. February 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Love your photos. We had no leftovers, bummer, but your pasta leftovers look great.

  18. February 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Dear lady! You made my day and earned a place in my heart for the unsolicited haiku! Many thanks!

  19. February 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Looks delicious as always! I loved the apple cake – it was almost too easy to make. How fun to be able to have the mussels two different ways two different days.

  20. February 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    It looks so good! I will have to make this recipe when you all make moules marinieres.

  21. February 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    What a romantic feast! We had leftovers with pasta too, but I like that you used shell pasta for an extra ocean connection. And heavy cream. Yum! Have a great weekend!

  22. February 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Yum!! Looks delicious! I definitely have to make that cake soon!

  23. February 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Beautiful! We had no leftovers this time, but I’m going to keep your reheating suggestions in mind for next time (and there will be a next time for this recipe).

    Your apple cake looks fantastic, too. It’s one of my favourite recipes from the book.

  24. February 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    If your first dish wasn’t mouth-watering (as well as other things!!!!) enough, your pasta version looked (and, sounded) delicious. Loved the fingers, eat-from-the-same-bowl idea. Good decision as well as romantic. And, you worked overtime on your Dorie-recipes-catch-up Program. Have you caught-up and made them all the FFWD recipes? I started later in the Project but am peddling fast. I love Heart Day and loved your Post as well.

  25. February 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Now I’m feeling like I should have made the apple cake for dessert! That’s one that my sister made, so I haven’t tried it yet, but the way everyone is talking, I think I’m missing out! Sounds like you had a wonderful evening!

  26. February 19, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    I take my hat off to you for cleaning 5 pounds of mussels. I bet the sauce was good with cream. I just made that MH apple cake for the first time a few weeks ago and it was really good. Congratulations on your anniversary with French Fridays!

  27. February 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    That is the most delicioius bowl of “leftovers” I’ve ever seen! I just counted all the “catch-up” recipes I have to do: 27! I wish I hadn’t counted. I’m trying to look at it as a chance to try 27 new recipes instead of 27 chores.

  28. February 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Looks absolutely delicious! I’m loving these Fridays with Dories 🙂

  29. February 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    PS…thanks for letting me know you made the one bowl brownies!!! You picked a good one 🙂

  30. February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I admire your effort to catch up on past recipes! And you’re absolutely correct about the mussel dish being perfect to share with a partner. Too bad my SO cannot be convinced to try mussels. LOL Great idea to add cream for some body to the sauce. It’s a pretty thin sauce but amazingly clings to the pasta well. Though the richness ought to be a welcomed change.

  31. February 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    I loved that cake too! So glad you enjoyed the mussels…

  32. February 27, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    Both versions look fabulous! I wish I had thought to remove the mussels to put them in the pasta.


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