Stuffed Mussels

I cannot say these are quick to make. If you are only of the throw it in the pan and stir about school of cookery, you might find these to be frustrating or bothersome. I am only warning you to ensure that you don’t become unhappy half way through, give it all up and have to serve cheese on toast for tea. You might also think about doing the first parts of the recipe earlier in the day if you want to. However, if you do decide to make these, you will be rewarded by elegant, garlicky, scoop-with-a-spoon satisfying dinner. If you are organised enough, best served with shoestring fries, but a great salad would almost be as good. Serves 2-3 greedies as a main. Converted from John Burton Race’s French Leave.

stuffed mussels

Part 1:

  • 1 kilo mussels
  • 375 ml white wine
  • knob of butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs of flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

Clean your mussels. This involves nothing more technical than, using a small sharp knife, pulling away the beard – or that stringy stuff that attaches itself to the mussel and tapping any open mussels firmly. If they close, you can keep them, if they don’t close within a few seconds you have to throw them away. I reckon we lost about 10% this way, which is about average .

musselscookingstock

In a large, lidded pan, melt your butter over a low heat and then tip in your herbs and vegetables, salt & pepper and stir gently for a few minutes. Once the veg are just beginning to soften, pour in the wine and turn the heat up and cover with a lid to bring the wine to a vigorous simmer. Chuck in the mussels and put the lid back on. It will take around 5 minutes to steam them all open. Drain, and when slightly cooled, pull open the mussel shells and separate the mussel flesh out from the shell. Place each mussel in one half of the mussel shell and discard the other half.

Part 2:

  • 50g white breadcrumbs
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 125g butter, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Either in a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, or with the mixer attachment of a food processor, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Pour the wine over the breadcrumbs and leave to soak for a few moments. Add the garlic to the butter and beat until thoroughly combined and then add your soaked breadcrumbs and ground almonds. Then add your parsley. Beat again until completely mixed.

If you are ready to eat now, turn on your grill to it’s highest setting. Otherwise, you can refrigerate the stuffed mussels after this stage until you are ready to eat. With a teaspoon, get a little bit of the mixture, and stuff it into the shell containing the mussel, smoothing it over as you go. Once all the shells are filled, put the baking tray under the hot grill, and cook for maybe five minutes until the mixture is brown and bubbling. Scoff

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