This is not soup. Not stew. And definitely not jumbalaya. The only way to truthfully describe this meal would be to call it a seafood chili. But luckily for us the name won’t change its awesomeness.
It all started on a Tuesday. My brother John and I were hungry for lunch. Not sure what we were thinking…but it’s evident that we were craving something other than a PB&J. Something that would satisfy us in between episodes of Top Chef.
We opened the freezer to find a package of mussels nestled nicely between an ice pack and a Lean Cuisine. [No advertisement. Unless you’re paying.] Mussels at the Kummer house were even more than a rareity – they were a neverity. And attached was a sticky note: “Don’t stink up the house. Love, Mom.”
Real life. Mom hates seafood.
Why she bought mussels, I’m not sure. But we had a window of opportunity and were ready to use it. The rents were up north, and we were determined to have the kitchen stinkified and smelling like the ocean by dinner time.
I know. We’re gross.
We began scanning the kitchen in search of ingredients that would mingle well with mussels. Earlier that week I had purchased some shrimp and corn for a New England clam-bake recipe; a perfect mussel-match. Needless to say, there was never a clam-bake. But I was pleased with the shrimp’s alternative destiny.
We then moved onto the pantry. Finding beans, rice, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Our hodgepodge of flavors began to take shape and unite in somewhat of seafood symphony.
[Insert a capella of Under the Sea here.]
We had all ingredients on deck. First, we made the rice. Then added the remaining ingredients to the pot in a free-for-all fashion. 35 minutes later and we were left with a hearty, well-balanced seafood dish with enough kick to knock any amateur on their butt.
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
1 package mussels
2 cups rice
1 12-ounce can beans
2 tbs. butter
4 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
20-piece shrimp, un–cooked, de-veined
Franks hot sauce (to taste)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tbs. old bay seasoning
about 2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
In a large pot, combine rice, water, butter, and beans. Prepare rice according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add remaining ingredients to cooked rice and simmer 30-45 minutes. Serve warm, with baguette or corn muffins.