Mussels tend to be available all year round, and usually when I pop to the fish counter at my local Waitrose or Sainsbury’s, this is the only thing they tend to have left!Although it’s probably just as cheap to buy the packet ones nowadays, however I always like to experiment from fresh!
Mussels is a great main course, however I prefer to have this dish as a starter, as it’s not overly time consuming and it doesn’t need to much prep!
- 1.5kg Mussels
- 2 White Onions or Shallots
- Good knob of butter
- 1 Garlic Clove Crushed
- Handful of parsley, bay and thyme leaves made into a bouquet (use a little bit of string and tie them like a bunch of flowers)
- 100ml white wine (I used left over Sauvignon Blanc)
- 100ml Double Cream
- Handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- Loaf of crust bread, to serve
Picking your mussels
When buying my mussels, try to avoid the broken shells. If you can, pick ones that haven’t been chipped or smashed at the ends, and they’re usually fresher when closed. Make sure you buy enough per person, as it tends to be a fairly light dish. Aim for around 400/500g per person for a main meal, and half of that if you’re doing a starter, or using with another dish (I will be posting a pasta one with mussels soon!). Also, as pictured served with some crusty bread and butter to mop the bowl up with after!
How to prepare the mussels.
To prepare the mussels, you need to give them a good old scrub in cold water to remove excess sand and any barnacles. Throw away any that then float to the top – I don’t know why I’ve just always been told that! Any open mussels need a firm tap with a knife. Discard any that don’t close (the dead ones!). Remove the hairs that around the shell (the beards) – by giving it a pull.When the mussels are finally clean, chuck them in a bowl of fresh cold water until you’re ready to cook them! I always keep changing the water they’re into, just to get rid of any sand or salt.
Always eat them on the same day! Shellfish must be eaten on the day of purchase unless frozen.
To prepare the sauce:
- Heat butter in a large pan, then soften the garlic and onions in the butter with the bouquet of herbs
- Add the mussels and wine, turn up the heat to medium – high, then cover.
- Steam them open in the sauce for around 3-4 minutes whilst stirring occasionally
- Remove the bouquet, add the double cream and some more chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
- Pour into a preheated bowl and serve with lots of crusty bread!
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