Monday, June 13, 2011


Both my husband and I love mussels. We tend to have them for special occasions after the kids have gone to bed (our version of a date night!). They are so, so, easy to make. Here's how!

Buy a bag or two (depending on how greedy you are) of mussels from the supermarket, fish market or best still, pluck them straight from the lovely Huon River in Tasmania:
No matter how you get them, fill you sink with water and put a tablespoon or so of salt in there. let them soak for a short while (5-10 mins) and they will spit out any sand that's inside. Now inspect each one and rip out any plant-looking growth. This is the mussel's "beard" and it's how they attach themselves to rocks. Pull it out fast before the thing holds on tight. Each shell should be tight shut. If it isn't, rap it on the side of the sink. If it doesn't close itself, it's dead and you don't want to eat it. Throw it away.

Here's what you need:
  • Mussels
  • An onion, chopped finely
  • At least 4 cloves of garlic microplaned or crushed
  • Herbs, your choice, depending on your mood - Parsley, Oregano or Cilantro are good choices
  • Olive Oil
  • a glug of White Wine (1/4 cup or so)
  • a finely chopped red chilli (optional but this is especially good with the Oregano or Cilantro)
  • Juice and rind of a lemon
  • Black Pepper (no salt necessary!)
Start by heating up a pot with a lid and adding the oil and onions. Cook on med heat until the onion is soft. Fire you burner up to full blast. Now tumble in your lovely mussels and everything else. Put the lid on and give the pot a shake every once in a while. Total cooking time will only be about 4-5 mins, but you'll know they are done when they are all open and they are slightly firm to the touch but NOT tough or dried out.

Now place your pot of moules on the table and dig in! Discard any that haven't opened up. They are great with a great bread dipped in the juices or frites, as above.

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