To make up for my lack of Mussels recipe last week, here’s one this week. They are a great sustainable seafood to munch on – I have loved them since I was tiny and have clear memories of holidays on the West coast of Scotland picking mussels on the beaches. I remember marvellling at the fact that they could be just there clinging on to the rocks, then cooked up hours later, on our plates in minutes and wolfed down even faster. Super fresh and as they should be.
As with the clams I cooked back in February, the mussels have to be alive when they go into the pot. The same checks are necessary and the rules are simple; before you cook them the shells must be shut (if they’re open, tap them and if they close up, fine. If not, bin them) and not cracked. Once they are cooked it’s the reverse, they must be open – do not force them open. And it’s always best to be safe rather than horribly, painfully sorry.
So once you’ve checked that they are all safe to eat and have pulled off their funny little beards, follow this recipe for a very quick and simple dish. Serve with a good chunk of bread to mop up the juices. This serves 2, but can obviously be multiplied to suit – go easy on the chilli though.
750g mussels, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), 1 chilli (chopped), a few sprigs of mint (leaves torn), 2 spring onions (chopped), 250ml white wine and 2 tbsps double cream
Put everything apart from the cream in a pot. Cover with a lid and place over a medium heat. Bring up to the boil and then let it simmer away and steam all the mussels open. Once they’ve opened, which should take about 5 minutes, stir in the cream, spoon into bowls and serve immediately.