Mussels with chipotle cream and fresh coriander

Thomasina Miers uses smoky dried peppers to transform moules à la crème into a Mexican fiesta of flavours
By Thomasina Miers
Mussels with chipotle cream and fresh coriander
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg mussels
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, left whole and bashed with the back of a knife
  • 4-5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chillies, in adobo (see Cooks note)
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 1 handfuls chopped coriander


1. Rinse the mussels thoroughly to remove any grit and pull off the stringy beards. Discard any mussels with broken shells, or that do not shut when firmly tapped (if they remain open despite tapping it means theyre dead and should not be eaten).

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and sweat for at least 5 minutes, until softened and translucent but not browned.

3. Meanwhile, heat the wine in a small pan.

4. Add the garlic, thyme, chipotles and cream to the shallot. Season with sea salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, until the volume of sauce has reduced by half.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over a high heat. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, giving the pot a few good shakes. Add the hot wine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.

6. Transfer the mussels to serving bowls, discarding any that have not opened. Spoon over the cream sauce, garnish with coriander and serve immediately.

Cooks note: chipotles are smoked, dried jalapeno peppers with a wonderful flavour. When sold 'in adobo' they are combined with a rich tomato sauce. They're normally sold in tins or jars and can be bought from online suppliers and in the speciality section of some large supermarkets. They're hard to substitute, but if you can't find any, use a pinch of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to hint at the smokiness and spiciness of chipotles.

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