When it comes to sustainable seafood, it’s hard to go wrong with mussels. Labeled “Best Choice” by the venerable Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, they are almost always responsibly farmed and harvested, no matter where in the world they’re from. At his Manhattan restaurant Cosme, chef Enrique Olvera serves them marinated in a tangy escabeche and piled onto crunchy tostadas with a spicy vegetable salad. This recipe first appeared in our 2015 SAVEUR 100.
- 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 3 allspice berries
- 3 cloves garlic (1 thinly sliced, 2 peeled and crushed) 1 (1″) piece ginger, grated
- 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 small white onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, cut into ½″ pieces
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½″ pieces
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 dried pasilla chile, stemmed and seeded
- 6 (6″) yellow or white corn tortillas
- Minced chives, for garnish
- Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Add mussels; cook, covered, until shells open, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a bowl and let cool; discard shells. Bring vinegars, paprika, allspice, sliced garlic, ginger, serrano chile, onion, and salt to a simmer in a 4-qt. saucepan; cook 5 minutes, pour into a bowl, and let cool. Stir in reserved mussels and ¼ cup each canola and olive oils; cover and chill overnight.
- Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook carrots and potatoes until tender, 6–8 minutes; transfer vegetables to a bowl of ice water until chilled, then drain and set aside. Heat crushed garlic and ¼ cup olive oil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium; cook until garlic is very tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool and transfer mixture to a blender. Add lime juice, chipotles, egg yolk, and salt; purée until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in remaining olive oil until sauce is emulsified and transfer to a bowl; stir in reserved carrots and potatoes, salt, and pepper and chill until ready to use.
- Heat pasilla chile in a 12″ skillet over medium until toasted, 2–3 minutes. Let cool and grind into a powder using a spice grinder. Add ½″ canola oil to skillet; heat over medium-high. Cook tortillas, one at a time, until crisp, 2–3 minutes. Transfer tostadas to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Divide carrot salad between tostadas; using a slotted spoon, divide mussels between tostadas. Garnish with reserved pasilla powder and the chives.