Chilli Mussels in White Wine and Cream Sauce

2013-05-31
  • Yield : 2 person meal
  • Servings : 1 to 2
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 40m

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh Mussels – cleaned
  • 200ml white wine
  • 100ml cooking or thick cream (or replace with stock or water for dairy free recipe)
  • 150g white onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic – finely grated
  • 2 hot red chillies – chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley/basil or both
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper – ground
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 200g cooked pasta, rice or crusty bread (optional)

Method

Clean the mussels well and make sure that the beard from each mussel is removed before cooking. In a large saucepan or pan add the olive oil on medium to high heat. When hot add the onions, garlic and chili and stir to ensure even cooking till the onions are translucent. During cooking reduce the heat to ensure that the mixture doesn’t burn,  the approximate cooking time will be about 10 minutes.

Now add the wine and increase the heat slightly and simmer to reduce the liquid by half (about 5 minutes) and then season it with salt and pepper.  Add the mussels to the pan and if using cooking cream add it to the pan with the mussels together (or add the thick cream towards the end of cooking this dish) and stir to combine well. At this stage some of the parsley and basil may be used but saving some for later as a garnish. With the cover on, cook the mussels for roughly 5 minutes until they have opened up but discard any unopened mussels before serving.  If cream hasn’t been added then add and warm through, stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning for salt and serve on its own with some bread or simply over some pasta as shown in the picture.  Omit the cream for a dairy free recipe and replace it with the same quantity of wine or stock at the stage of cooking the mussels.

Variations and Suggestions

Black Tasmanian mussels were used in my recipe however it is fine to use whatever type is available at the time. My photo also shows mussels with prawns. Use 200g of green prawns with their shells on and cook together with the mussels following this recipe. This created a blend of seafood flavour for those in my family who won’t eat mussels.

Cockles may also be used following this recipe but wash it carefully they can contain lots of sand. Enjoy the mussels over a bed of rice or pasta to absorb the sauce, your choice. This can also be used as a starter dish when served with some crusty bread to mop up all of that tasty sauce. When I am not hard-pressed for time I also finely chop some parsley stalks and cook them together with the onions to create even more flavour. Parsley or basil are what I used for my dish as a herb because I just love fresh green herbs growing in my garden you can try growing them too or try and experiment with your own favourite herbs. Nothing can beat the freshness of herbs and produce grown in your own garden.

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