Much to the curiosity of Douglas the kitten I decided to have a go at cooking mussels recently. Having spent a very fiddly hour taking the beards off and thumping them against the side of the sink to ensure that they closed, I left them to soak in cold water for another hour and then discarded any that remained open.

I gently sautéed a finely chopped leak and medium onion in about 2 ounces of unsalted butter until soft and then added a couple of bay leaves and a couple of sprigs of thyme. The mussels were then added (about 3lbs) with half a pint of dry white wine and then cooked on a highish heat for just over 5 minutes (until the mussels opened). For the last minute of cooking I added about half a pint of double cream and finally scattered over some chopped parsley.


The mussels were served with lots of crusty bread to soak up the wonderful sauce, and were a great success.

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