Saturday, 11 November 2017

Mussels



Mussels, mmmm you either love or hate 'em.

Or else you could be like me and just need to be in the mood for 'em.

Very often at cafes and restaurants they are served with a tomato and chili broth and that doesn't suit me, but when we see 'em with a cream and white wine sauce, if the mood is grabbing me, then we dig in.

I love to eat 'em with lashings of fresh crunchy bread dipped, ok sometimes double dipped into the broth. Stevie doesn't mind. I like knowing that if they are closed they are probably gonna make you sick so don't force 'em open cos there will be repercussions - all those men in Hollywood take note! So they are sort of foolproof.

I found a recipe and have set to occasionally cooking up a pot full.

It always causes some stress, cos I don't remember the recipe, except that it's pretty easy and very quick, so rather than look it up again and save the rising bile, I just make it up anew every time.

But essentially it's a very good knob of butter in a big pot and saute off some leeks or onions, finely chopped, then add a clove of crushed garlic and a generous splodge of nice white wine. Let that simmer til most of the smell of the wine is gone - just a minute or 2, add some chicken stock some cream and the de-bearded mussels. Pop the lid on and occasionally pick up the whole pot and give it a good swish around until the shells open - only a few minutes, and as the shells open they release all their sea water yumminess so no extra salt is needed. As soon as the shells open sit and eat.

Over cooked mussels are just plain nasty.

We had a hankering for my mussels last night.

Finding the bloody things took an age popping into different shops, but finally we sourced some, even though I admit to being a little suspicious about 'em, cos instead of fresh closed up jobbies I had always bought in the passed, these were vacuum packed pasteurised fellas. Now pasteurised means heated doesn't it? And I knew that it didn't take much heat to cook these guys, so I was concerned about dishing up overcooked lumps in a fine broth, but we pushed on, well actually we settled on 'em cos we were over trawling around looking for the usual stuff.

The broth was a winner and the dipping of the bread was yummo, but as I expected these 'elf and safety' pasteurised green lip mussels were rubbery hard lumps that were so unpalatable that even Dog rejected 'em.

Bugger!