Mussels and Shrimp with Fennel and Feta
Mussels and shrimp with fennel and feta make a wonderful dish that can work for a weeknight dinner, a special meal, or a casual get together with friends on a backyard deck.
Overall, It takes about 30 minutes, and every step of preparation is fairly basic and straightforward.
Mussels and Shrimp Variations
Best of all, the combination of mussels and shrimp and fennel can easily be taken to different places and different cultures. Therefore you may choose to add chorizo and omit the feta, and the dish takes on a Spanish flair. Likewise, if you try it with Italian sweet or hot sausage and shaved pecorino it will take you to Italy for the night. However, as it is, mussels and shrimp with fennel and feta is sublime a weeknight dish as you’ll make. Ultimately it fits into the busy lifestyle too many of us have.
- 6-10 large shrimp, cleaned, with or without tails (see Notes)
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-rounds
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced (vary thickness a bit), feathery fronds reserved
- 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 237 ml (1 cup) white wine
- 1-2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 237- ml (1-1 ½ cups) chicken or ham stock or water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 680 - 907 grams (1 ½ - 2 pounds) live mussels, cleaned, scrubbed, and de-bearded if needed
- 177 ml (3/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese
Notes from the author about shrimp, wine and feta:
- If using jumbo shrimp, cook for 2 minutes then allow 3-4 minutes to cook through
- When choosing a wine for this dish, I use what I’m pouring that night.
- I prefer Bulgarian feta, in block form, crumbled myself.
- Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt and set aside to come to room temperature. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Next, add the onions and sliced fennel bulb, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then add garlic and stir until onion and fennel are softened a bit but not browned.
2. Add the wine and let it reduce by half. Next, add the tomatoes and 1 cup of the stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the mussels, stir, and cover. Allow to steam for 3 minutes, then open lid and check and stir; most of the mussels should be open by now. Add the shrimp, nestling them among the mussels. Cover, cook 1 minute, then remove from heat. Keep covered for 3-4 more minutes to cook the shrimp.
4. Remove cover, sprinkle on the reserved fennel fronds and feta, and cover for an additional minute or two. Serve in bowls, pouring the broth over the mussels and shrimp. Finally, if desired, serve with crusty bread for soaking up the broth.