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Recipe

Bloody Mary Mussels

Chef Charles Imbelli

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce

28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes
1 ounce Worcestershire sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 ounces prepared horseradish
Pinch black pepper
Pinch salt

For the Mussels

1 stalk celery, peeled and finely sliced
½ head fennel split lengthwise and finely sliced
1 shallot, very finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
¼ cup castelvetrano olives, sliced
4 ounces vodka
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds Salt Spring Island (or another Mediterranean variety) mussels, rinsed and de-bearded
½ cup Celery Leaves, picked
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
8 thick slices of Crusty Bread, lightly toasted

Equipment needed:

Large Heavy Bottomed Pot w/ Lid
Microplane (for zesting)
Blender

Instructions:

Place the canned tomatoes in a blender along with the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and zest, and sriracha. Puree until smooth, then add the horseradish and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Next, prepare all of the vegetables, as well as the bacon.

Place the pot over medium heat, along with the olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the celery, fennel, garlic, shallots, bacon, and olives, along with a pinch of salt. Stir the vegetables as they cook. As the base begins to come together, and the onions become soft, add the mussels, along with another pinch of salt and black pepper.
Continue stirring for about a minute or two, before adding the vodka. Do this carefully, and stand back from the pan, as the vodka may flair up. Allow the alcohol to cook down, about one minute.

Next, add the tomato sauce and cover the pot, until the mussels open, approximately five minutes. Remove the lid and add the butter. Continue cooking uncovered about two minutes.
Remove the mussels to bowls, and distribute the sauce equally among them. Garnish with picked celery leaves and Aleppo pepper flakes, and serve with your favorite crusty bread, to sop up the sauce.

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