Monday, April 27, 2009

chilli mussels

Chilli mussels are one of those dishes that everybody loves, and we sold so many in my restaurant, but get them wrong and people will let you know. One of my pet hates is a watery and tastless sauce, One of the main reasons for a watery sauce is the water that comes from the mussels themselves. The fresher the mussel the more water they contain, a mussel can filter up to 38litres of water a day (10 gallons) and while there is nothing better than the tase of fresh seawater, to much can lead to a very watered down sauce.

2 kg cleaned and de-bearded mussels
1 litre good tomato sugo (sauce)
75 mls dry white wine (Riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc)
1 lemon - zest and juice
½ bunch fresh Italian parsley - roughly chopped
100mls extra virgin olive oil
2 gloves garlic crushed
2 small chillies choped (add to taste)

what to do
In a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add the mussels and steam till the mussels just open.
Discard 1/2 the water that is in the pot. (otherwise you will ahve avery watery sauce).
Add the white, garlic, chilli wine, and tomato sugo stir well and replace lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat or until all of the mussels shells are open and sauce is hot.
Remove from heat, Stir well so all mussels are coated in sauce.
Serve in large bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Serve a finger bowl and a bowl to put empty shells into, and lots of crusty bread to saok up the thick rich sauce.

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