Mussels – not the most popular or common dish, but certainly delicious. Swansea’s coastline has them in abundance, and at roughly 3 quid a kilo in our very own indoor market they’re cheaper than a lot of meat too!
(Photo source: http://www.eatingwell.com)
You will need:
1kg live mussels
1 large onion (finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pint white wine
1 pint stock (fish/chicken/vegetable)
1 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
If not prepared properly mussels can make you ill. However, this is easy to avoid if you use the following 2-stage screening process in order to filter out any dead mussels:
1) Put them into a bowl and leave in a quiet place. They should all open. Any that don’t should be removed.
2) Put them into a bowl of cold water for cleaning – you will need to scrub away any sand and ‘beards’ (excess threads). When handled, they should close. Any that stay open should be discarded.
Put the oil into the pan and fry the onions and garlic on a low heat for about 7 minutes until they are well softened and translucent.
Add the wine, stock and mussels and simmer gently for around 10 minutes. The mussels should begin to open.
When all the mussels have opened, stir in the creme fraiche.
Any mussels that don’t open, or have to be forced open, should be discarded.
Serve immediately with lots of fresh crusty bread.
By Laurence Atkinson