I have to be in the mood for mussels and that mood strikes about twice a year. Even when I’m in the mood I still find them slightly revolting and try to avoid looking too close at what I’m eating. I think that’s part of the pleasure.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Skill level: Easy
- mussels – 1kg
- 1 shallot – finely chopped
- parsley – 2 tbsps – chopped
- dry white wine – 200ml
- wine vinegar – 1tbsp
- bay leaf
- thyme – sprig
Pour the mussels into a sink of cold water and discard any which float on the surface. Clean the mussels and remove their beards. Discard any which are not closed (sometimes they close if you give them a sharp tap with a knife)
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a very large pan and add the shallot, 2 tbsp of chopped parsley, small sprig of thyme, bay leaf, vinegar and wine. Add the mussels, cover with lid and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until the mussels are open. Shake the pan several times to ensure all the mussels get evenly cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the mussels into their serving dish. Discard any which have not opened.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme from the cooking liquid, add 2 tbsp of butter and whisk to thicken. Pour over the mussels. Sprinkle with some more chopped parsley.
Eat with a chunk of good bread.
Verdict: A classic dish which is very easy to make. Personally I find the sauce the main attraction.
Drink: A few over-priced Peroni in The Wheatsheaf, Borough Market where I got on my hobby horse and bored my fellow-blogger with tales of the forthcoming apocalypse. Made alcohol-fueled plans to move to France.
Entertainment: ‘The Prestige’ on DVD – Zzzzz, lost interest in this film after 20 minutes and watched episode 9 of ‘Blakes 7’ instead.