Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chef's Choice Recipe: Jarvis Putnam's Tequila Lime Mussels

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 1:00 PM

This is part three of Robin Wheeler's Chef's Choice interview with chef Jarvis Putnam of Bossanova Restarant & Martini Lounge. Part one is available here; part two is here.

click to enlarge Tequila lime mussels by Jarvis Putnam of Bossanova Restaurant & Martini Lounge - ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler
  • Tequila lime mussels by Jarvis Putnam of Bossanova Restaurant & Martini Lounge
For a born-and-raised Midwesterner, Jarvis Putnam sure loves seafood. "My favorite meals growing up, my mom made Italian fish soup called cioppino. Chris McD's [my first restaurant job] did a lot of spicy seafood."

His trans-continental cuisine at Bossanova Restaurant & Martini Lounge has given him the opportunity to create dishes like Tequila Lime Mussels, which satisfy his taste for richly flavored seafood with a bit of kick. His take on traditional steamed mussels adds the bite of tequila to the usual white wine, while a heaping dose of sweet and hot puréed peppers give the dish a piquant finish, all balanced with a squeeze of lime.

Putnam uses frozen mussels because of the lack of consistency in fresh mussels shipped to the Midwest. Use the best-quality mussels you can find.

While the salty bites of tender mussels are the star of the dish, it's really about the richly concentrated broth they're cooked in. "When we first started serving these we gave people two pieces of bread. Now we're up to six because people kept ordering extra. I'm sure we'll be up to eight soon. It's all about the broth."

Or skip the bread and slurp the buttery, complex broth directly from the mussel's shells.

Tequila Lime Mussels
serves 1-2

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon puréed roasted red pepper with habenero pepper to taste
1 1/4 cup clam broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup gold tequila
1 pound frozen mussels
2 pats butter
juice from 1/2 lime

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil to high heat. Sweat the onions, then add garlic and pepper purée, being careful to not inhale the steam if using habenero pepper.

2. Add broth, wine and tequila and simmer until reduced by half or more.

3. Add mussels, stirring occasionally to incorporate into broth. Simmer until mussel shells open. Add butter, stirring to incorporate.

4. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Place mussels and their cooking juice in a large bowl. Serve with toasted French bread.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Robin Wheeler

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 9, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation