Wok-Cooked Caraway & Kölsch Mussels

If you don’t have a wok for this recipe, use a wide skillet or sauté pan instead, says Indianapolis-based chef Neal Brown, founder of Pizzology and Ukiyo. Enjoy the mussels with cold kölsch or a crisp German-style pilsner.

Wok-Cooked Caraway & Kölsch Mussels

Yields: 2 servings

  • ½ cup cold butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
  • 8 oz German-style sausage (such as smoked kielbasa), cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces
  • ¼ cup very thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots
  • ½ cup kölsch, pilsner or lager beer
  • ¼ cup canned Italian-style crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp toasted caraway seeds
  • 1½ to 2 lbs farmed or wild mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • sliced green onions, optional
  • toasted crusty bread

Preheat wok, large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 cube butter and sausage and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sausage browns, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic and shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, making sure vegetables do not brown. Add beer, tomatoes, stock, crushed red pepper flakes and caraway seeds; cook 3 to 5 minutes to reduce liquid, stirring occasionally.

Add mussels and remaining cold butter and simmer until the mussels begin to open and butter thickens into a sauce, stirring frequently Transfer mussels with their sauce to bowls; sprinkle with parsley and green onions, and serve with bread for dipping into sauce.