While I was out this morning Simon the Fish arrived. Simon is a white van man who drives up from the coast and every other Thursdays visits us selling whatever looked good from the catch that morning. My Father bought enough mussels for the two of us for lunch. He is blissfully happy at the moment putting up plaster board in my parents new bathroom, why pay some one else to do it when you can do it yourself? Fortunately for us he is quite the Mr fix it, so for the most part it is not a bodge job although he does believe that there is not much that cannot be fixed with either gaffer tape or cable ties. Having so said he came home last weekend with his thumb nail held together with a piece of gaffer tape. He had split the nail with a hammer whilst re-tiling the barn roof. This has now elegantly been replace with nail glue and an off cut of silk.
Anyhow back to the recipe we cook mussels a lot in Scotland where they somewhat give me the heebie-geebies as we collect them of the beach and they are full of pearls. Not the kind of pearls which you want to keep but the kind which you crack your teeth on. If I must eat mussels even pearl free ones, I do always think that they are better as plain as possible. This is for two.
1-2 Shallots depending on size
2 cloves of garlic crushed
A handful of parsley
salt and pepper
100ml white wine or cider
150ml cream optional
First de-beared the mussels and scrape off any barnacles then wash them with cold water. Finely chop the shallots you can use onion but it is not as sweet. Sweat off the shallots and garlic then add the mussels and wine. Turn up the heat bring to boil with the lid on and allow the mussels to steam for 3-4minutes shaking the pan occasionally. Once all the shells are open they are cooked. At this point you can either serve it or remove the mussels and tinker with the sauce. Once you have taken out the mussels you can season, reduce it if you prefer it a little thicker of add some cream. Finally sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley.