November 2009

Hotel Rooms

Having to disappear for a couple of days to S Coast , dunno if they have internet etc , probably do , but who knows.

Course plus exams hmmm

West Country Cider Mussels For Paihia

This is a take on the classic moules marinière, using leeks, thyme and cider. It works equally well with cockles or palourdes instead of mussels.

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a feast

50g unsalted butter
1 or 2 leeks, white part only, finely shredded, or 1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar (optional)
½ glass of real cider (medium is best; or use dry plus a splash of apple juice)
1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded 2 tablespoons double cream (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a deep, wide pan over a medium heat and add the leek or onion, plus the garlic.

Cover and sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured.

Raise the heat and throw in the thyme.

When its scent hits you, add the cider vinegar, if using, and cider, then the mussels and some salt and pepper.

Give them a quick stir and a shake, then cook, covered, for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times.

When all the mussels are open (discard any that remain closed), finish with the cream, if you like, and serve with some good bread and more cider (in a glass, this time).