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As an avid lover of seafood, especially shellfish, mussels are most definately in my top ten most delicious foodstuffs of all time. This is a simple recipe that anyone can prepare. "Mouthwatering", "Superb", "Mmm, Fantastique!" and "You are a such a wonderful cook, let's go to bed..NOW!" are all phrases that have been used to describe the following dish.

500g Dublin Bay Mussels (any mussels will do, but these are the best IMHO)
1 cup of white wine
3 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
Some fresh chives and parsley
250ml double cream
Salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Finely chop the garlic, shallots and a little of the parsley and chives.Prepare the mussels by thoroughly scrubbing the shells in cold water and removing any excess bits and pieces that may be stuck to them. Take extra care to remove the "beard" of the mussels as this can be poisonous to some. Also, discard any mussels that are open, even slightly. You don't know how long those suckers have been dead.
Next, place mussels in a large, wide bottomed pot with the white wine. Cover and heat over a medium temperature until the shells begin to pop. This should only take a couple of minutes. Quicky pour the cream over the mussels then add the garic, shallots and some of the chopped herbs. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes allowing the flavor of the ingredients to infuse. DO NOT OVERCOOK the mussels as they will shrivel up and become dry and tasteless. The mussels should be moist and juicy. Remove from the heat, pour everything in to large bowl that has been heated in the oven for a few minutes. Earthenware pottery is best for this as it retains heat very well.

Serve and enjoy! This delicious meal can be eaten as a starter or a snack and is best served with homemade style brown bread and butter and a cool glass of white wine or freshly squeezed orange juice.

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