Mussels with smoked chilli cream

Thomasina Miers adds a spicy Mexican touch to fresh mussels for only £2.24 per person
By Thomasina Miers
Mussels with smoked chilli cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg mussels
  • 25 g butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4-5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp pureed chipotle chillies, in adobo (see Cooks note below)
  • 200 ml dry white wine
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 400 ml chicken, fish or vegetable stock, plus a little extra
  • small pinch caster sugar

To serve

  • small handful coriander, finely chopped
  • fresh, crusty bread

Tips and Suggestions

Cooks note:
Chipotles in adobo are smoked jalapeno chillies that are canned in a sauce of tomato puree, paprika, salt, onions, oil, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and oregano. Look for them in large supermarkets or in markets that sell Mexican ingredients.


1. Clean the mussels under a running tap, pulling off the beard (the bit of tough fibre at the hinge) between finger and thumb or with a knife. Discard any mussels that do not close when tapped sharply against the work surface.

2. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and, when the butter is foaming, add the shallots.

3. Turn the heat down to medium so that the shallots do not colour. Sweat them for at least 5 minutes until they have softened and turned translucent. Add the garlic, thyme leaves and pureed chipotles and cook for a further few minutes.

4. Add the wine, followed by the cream and stock. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the pinch of sugar and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce. While the sauce is reducing, cook the mussels.

5. In a large pan big enough to hold the mussels, heat the remaining oil until it is smoking hot. Tip in the cleaned mussels and cover, shaking the pan over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of stock if needed, cover the pan again and shake for another 3-4 minutes until all the mussels are open.

6. Pour in the hot chipotle cream.

7. Serve in deep bowls, scattered with fresh coriander and accompanied by crusty bread for mopping up the delicious sauce.

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