By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina
My family is big on gatherings, and appetizers are always served to entertain our guests before dinner. When we get together we usually sit around the kitchen counter to drink wine, talk about life, and make scrumptious meals. My sister Angie and her husband, David, have kept with the family tradition of greeting guests with unique starters that leave you hungry for more.
Ten years ago, when Angie introduced David to the family, he was met with our numerous weekly reunions and the different kinds of food we ate (like fish with its head still on!), which left him quite baffled. Being from North Carolina, he'd had little exposure to Latin food and a lot of what we ate was far from his culinary considerations. It took him some time to develop his Latin gastronomic skills. Now, more than a decade later, he travels to Latin America a couple of times a year, has learned to dance salsa like a native and has become an accomplished Latin cook himself. One of his favorite meal starters is fresh mussels cooked in white Chilean wine. Mussels' natural juices tend to be quite strong when cooked; adding wine makes that natural broth more delicate and subtle. After I adopted David's recipe, I decided to add garlic and parsley for a more colorful presentation and tastier broth. Make sure to get fresh mussels instead of the frozen kind for a right-off-the-boat flavor. I usually cook them in a wok because it's deep and conserves all the juices. But if you don't have one, any deep pot will work. ¡Les va a encantar!Mussels in Chilean chardoany
2 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 white onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds mussels
½ cup Santa Rita Chardonnay or any good Chilean white wine
1 lime, juiced
½ bunch parsley, chopped
Pre-heat a wok or deep pot at medium heat.
Add butter, garlic, onion and tomatoes. Let the mix cook for 3 minutes. Add salt, mussels, wine and lime. Cover for 7 minutes or until the mussels open up. When the shells open, that's the sign that they are ready to eat. Finish with parsley. Stir and serve.