I will have to tell you my little story and how/why I’ve started cooking mussels at home. Unfortunately, it is not a nice experience but it is a very real one. ?? It was not that very often that I was eating mussels out but every now and again I fancied them so badly that I had to order them…..oh, I love them so very much. However, the last time I’ve had them out (9-10 years ago) in a pretty posh restaurant but, sadly, I have had the nastiest food poisoning (with severe indigestion) to the extent that I thought I was having a heart attack ??? …so, that was it! It was the call for having them home cooked only ??
Okay so let’s just begin with our mussels and I will start by telling you a little bit about these green-shelled ones which I absolutely love and I mostly cook.
Greenshell mussels come from New Zealand and are renown for:
- being one of the cleanest, safest and thus healthiest seafood around due to the clean waters they come from;
- a high content of haem-iron, an animal sourced iron known to be easily absorbed by the human body (100g streamed mussels, 12mg compared to the same amount 100g of cooked steak which contains 3.4mg);
- a high level of proteins: 6 mussels (100g) contain almost 25% of daily protein intake as well as the Omega 3’s (crucial for our bones and brain’s health);
They are great stuff, I knooowwww, … and if you didn’t eat them before, I am sure you will have them now after reading all of this. ?
I cook these for many years now and I have to say that as much as I love the small black standard mussels, I do prefer those. They are meatier and, to me, tastier too.
Once you have cooked these at home once, I promise and reassure you, you will never, ever eat mussels in a restaurant again. They are fantastic!! ? ? ? ? ?
But also not to forget about the super tasty and superhealthy homemade chips, which are amazing ? and a good ten times or more healthier than the ones cooked in a restaurant which you know, I know, …..are overly soaked in oil.
Please do let me know how you found this home made combo as soon as you make them but I’m so sure you will absolutely enjoy every mouthful.
For the mussels:
- 550 g mussels (32-35) cleaned
- 4 small shallots
- 1 pinch himalayan salt
- pepper (freshly ground)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
- 200 ml white wine
- 40 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp soft cheese (full fat)
- 30 ml creme fraiche (full fat)
- 1 tiny butter knob
- 2 tbsp parsley (chopped), for garnishing at the end
For the homemade chips:
- 2 large potatoes (white or red)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (even large ones)
- 1/2 medium celeriac ***
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Peel wash and chop both potato types and the celeriac into finger size chips.
- Peel and finely chop the shallots.
- In a nonstick deep frying pan (round edged wok type) add the rapeseed oil. When hot, add the standard white potato chips and cook for 3-4 minutes tossing them every 1 minute. Put a lid on for the first 2 minutes and then remove. Do not add salt at this point as it will make potatoes mushy. 3-4 minutes into cooking the potatoes, add the sweet potatoes and the celeriac chips. Cook stirring/tossing regularly (ideally toss them around and do not use a metal spoon- a wooden spatula would be best if not good at tossing). Keep on turning them/tossing them every minute, minute and a half so they do not burn. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. In the last 4 minutes, add the olive oil and sprinkle all the salt you wish and cook further, allowing them to get a bit of nice and golden brown color. ??
- Meanwhile, but pretty much simultaneously ( you are a super chef, right??), place the shallots in a deeper pan or a pot (where mussels will be cooked later) with a tiny little knob of butter, salt and pepper - cook on low heat until it starts sizzling and then add half of the garlic, half of the wine and cook (increase the heat a little) for about 12 minutes or so until all wine has reduced significantly. (!!Don’t forget about tossing the potatoes in between ? )
- When the shallots are soft, add the cream cheese, double cream and creme fraiche and mix well with the cooked shallots. Lower the heat and add the mussels one by one face/flesh down. Arrange them all quickly on top of another to the last one.
- Sprinkle over the remainder of the garlic, half of the parsley and pour in the remainder of the wine. Cover with a lid, shake and wobble a little the pot so the wine mixes with the creamy mix underneath and cook for about 8 minutes.
- Serve the mussels on a plate (face up) (1 starter portion should contain 6-8 mussels) with those beautiful home made chips and a slice of lemon. Of course you can make double the portion for a main course. Spoon some of the creamy sauce allover the mussels. The best in the world! ? ?