Chef Alejandra Schrader Flexes Her 'Mussels'

The MasterChef finalist will share recipe at Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert

Chef Alejandra Schrader will prepare this mussels dish during the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, March 22-24.

Courtesy of Chef Alejandra Schrader

Chef Alejandra Schrader endured the wrath of MasterChef's Gordon Ramsay on the hit reality TV show.

And it was worth it.

Since then, she has performed cooking demonstrations all over the U.S. at prestigious food and wine festivals. Schrader will demonstrate her talents during the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, March 22-24. She will cook the recipe below at 1:45 p.m. March 23 on Stage 4 of the main tent on Lakespur Lane between El Paseo and Shadow Mountain in Palm Desert. Tickets are available through the website.

Schrader is working on getting herself in front of the camera again with her own cooking show, but in the meantime owns a private chef business in Los Angeles and teaches wellness cooking classes.

This recipe fits right in with her "Cook Global. Eat at Home" journal where she explores the concept of Global Cuisine and  experiencing the world through her kitchen.

Spicy Mussels and Clams in White Wine Broth


- Grape seed oil
- 1 small shallot, minced (approximately 2 tablespoons)
- 1 small fennel bulb, diced (½ to ¾ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 cups of Sauvignon Blanc
- 1½ pounds black mussels
- 1½ pounds manila clams
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chives, finely minced
 Optional: crostinis for plating

Heat 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil over medium-high heat on a medium deep pan with a lid. Sauté shallots for 1 minute then add fennel and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Season mixture with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper; cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon. Add wine and bring to a boil. Bring heat to low and reduce wine by half, for about 6-8 minutes.
Add mussels and clams; cook, covered, until they open (start checking frequently after 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Discard any unopened shells. Serve immediately.

Serve mussels and clams in 2 deep bowls, adding vegetable mixture and wine broth to each. Drizzle each plate with fresh lemon juice with olive oil. Garnish with minced chives and serve with crouton.

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