When I was a kid my Mam always said you should only eat mussels during months with an ‘R’ in them. And as everyone knows, Mothers know everything. So when my Mam came to visit me recently in Sydney, I decided we should have some March mussels, just because.
I love love love all types of seafood, but mussels are by far my favourite. Every year when my brother and I were little we were be brought to Dunany beach in the wee country of Louth to pick them. We used to pick bucketfuls; and I have a clear image of bringing them home and filling up the bath with them. But presumably this couldn’t be right, how could we have got that many home in the first place? Beats me. But once a year we did pick them and would have a fresh mussel feast. We always enjoyed the whole day hugely!
Since I met The Fella I eat a lot less fish; he’s a little bit severely allergic, which does pose a slight problem. So now when I do eat anything from the sea, it’s always a total treat.
My Man and I didn’t pick these mussels, unless you count driving to Sydney Fish Markets and back. But I did follow her tried and tested recipe from way back when, and they were so very delicious. Enjoy them quickly, before May rolls around.
Makes enough for 4
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red chilli and seeds, finely chopped
1.5 kg fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
½ cup of dry white wine
½ cup cream
handful of snipped chives
crusty white sourdough bread with lashings of butter, to serve
In a very large, heavy-bottomed pot, gently sweat the onions, garlic and chilli in the butter for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to look clear. Turn up the heat and add the mussels and wine to the pot. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, seriously, just 3. As soon as the mussels start opening, they’re done. Any longer and they will be tough, rubbery and tasteless. Once the mussels are open, add in the cream, it won’t thicken but that’s okay, it’s just there to make the soupy sauce even more delicious.
Sprinkle the chopped chives and serve with crusty bread and butter and a nice cold glass of pinot grigio.
These will take less then 10 minutes to make, and are perfect for a light and boozy lunch, brilliant!