Fresh seafood and Rhode Island go hand-in-hand. From locally-caught fish to succulent shellfish, seafood lovers can satisfy all of their cravings right here on the island. Whether you catch it and cook it yourself, or buy at a local fish market or straight off a fishing or lobster boat, there are so many ways to take advantage of Block Island’s coastal bounty.
Island resident Pamela Gelsomini has traveled the world to find eclectic local fare and Block Island is where she creates her award-winning dishes. Check out her blog and website “Dish off the Block” for more recipes and ideas at dishofftheblock.com.
Of the recipe Pam shared with us she says “This recipe is one of my signatures and fan favorite for sure! We are lucky to have access to the freshest mussels on Block Island every summer!”
3-4 lbs. mussels, beards removed and soaked in water for 30 minutes to remove any debris
4 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ lb. kielbasa, chorizo, or any flavorful sausage, sliced into rounds and then cut in half moons
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half or small pieces (or any tomato, chopped)
1 cup corn (best off cob, but frozen works too)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 beer (or 1 cup white wine)
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup fresh basil or parsley chopped
French baguette or other crusty bread, cut into rounds
While mussels are soaking in cold water, heat olive oil in a large frying pan ‘with sides’ or a large soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until they become soft and translucent. Add sausage and cook until heated through and aromatic. Remove this mixture from pan and put mussels in an even layer.
Sprinkle mussels with onion and sausage mix, tomatoes, corn, salt, pepper, garlic and curry. Pour beer (or wine) evenly over all and cover. Cook on high for about 10 minutes until the mussels start to open. Take a spoon and gently ‘push’ the tomatoes, corn, etc… into the mussels so all the goodies are mingling with and in the mussels. Add heavy cream. Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes until all mussels are opened.
Remove the mussels from pot with a slotted spoon to serving dish. Boil broth stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half. Pour over the mussels and sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley.
While the mussels are cooking brush the bread rounds with a mixture of olive and chopped garlic. Grill or toast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Serve with bread on the side for dipping in the broth.