You know when you eat a tasty, spicy, hot broth in the winter that just makes your sinuses go WOAH – in a good way? THIS fennel Thai chili broth with mussels is that recipe!
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Yeah, hi. Hello! Over here. I know that bowl up there looks so amazingly delicious that it’s hard to read the words around it. And it IS delicious, believe me! I’ve been holding on to the end of a cold mixed with seasonal allergies these past couple of weeks, and it’s slightly miserable but not miserable enough to justify a sick day, unfortunately. And so a recipe like these mussels with fennel Thai chili broth is just perfect!
Mussels are my jam, and I thought: wouldn’t an Asian-style mussel dish be just delightful? And voila! This fennel Thai chili broth is seriously killer. I paired salty delicious pancetta with thinly sliced fennel and shallots. Let ’em caramelize nice and good before throwing in the rest: Thai chili paste, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, white wine and some stock. Meanwhile, in the oven I toasted up a whole head of garlic that I then used to make garlic toasts. Because if there is one thing that is better than a spicy hot broth, it’s something crunchy to dip in it, amiright?
Garlic toasts are one of the secret weapons in my kitchen arsenal. After I roast the garlic heads whole in the oven, I remove the skins (those suckers just pop right out, it’s so simple!) and mash it with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Spreading this beautiful concoction on toasts before crisping them under the broiler is a simple way to elevate the bread you serve with any meal!
Now it’s your turn: what is your favorite winter time soup? Share with me by commenting below, or take a photo and post it on Instagram, tagging #thecharmingdetroiter!
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- 1 head garlic
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 6 slices crusty bread
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ lb. pancetta, finely diced
- ½ fennel, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 2 tsp. Thai chili paste
- 1 tsp. ginger, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cup seafood stock
- ½ tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 lbs. mussels
- Cilantro, minced (for garnish)
- Green onions, finely sliced (for garnish)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top of the head of garlic and wrap in tin foil. Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until cloves are softened. Prepare broth while garlic is roasting.
- To prepare broth, heat butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add fennel and shallot slices and sauté until they start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add thai chili paste and minced ginger, stirring until vegetables and pancetta is evenly coated, about 30 seconds. Deglaze pan with white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add seafood stock and fish stock and cook until reduced, about 18-20 minutes.
- When garlic is finished roasting, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing cloves from the head. Crush the garlic in a small bowl and add olive oil and salt, whisking until emulsified. Smear a spoonful of garlic oil on each piece of crusty bread and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Turn broiler on to high and toast bread until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning!
- When broth has reduced, add lime juice and mussels and cover pot. Allow to steam for 5-6 minutes. Discard any mussels that have not opened. To serve, distribute mussels among bowls and top with broth. Garnish with cilantro and green onions. Serve with garlic toasts on the side for dipping. Enjoy!