2/3 cup fennel, medium diced
1/2 cup Spanish chorizo, diced and dried
1 1/2 cups dry vermouth or white wine, separated
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs shallot, minced
2 lbs PEI mussels, cleaned and debearded, in the shell
2 tbs garlic aioli
Add the diced fennel and chorizo to a hot pan and sauté together over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the vermouth or white wine to deglaze the pan. Add the tomato paste. Turn the heat to low and let the ingredients simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.
Add butter to a pot or heavy pan over medium heat. Sweat the garlic and shallot until translucent, about 45 to 60 seconds. Add the mussels and remaining 1 cup of the vermouth or white wine, and cover the pot. When the mussels are almost open (about 90 seconds to 2 minutes), add the fennel, chorizo, and tomato paste mixture and cover.
Once all of the mussels are open (about 2 more minutes), spoon the aioli over the top, serve, and enjoy.
Cooked mussels can be eaten directly from the pot or pan or transferred to a wide-rimmed soup bowl. Keep covered until just prior to eating as they cool quickly.