Now that I’m having to cook for myself, I’m certainly appreciating any meals that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. A pot of mussels in white wine sauce is something that’s easily whipped up on a weeknight, even for someone like me who is painfully slow in the kitchen (something that Sir D will attest to).
To cut down on prep time, you can buy the pre-packed mussels which come already cleaned and debearded for you, so all you have to do is chuck some butter, garlic and sliced onions in a pan, throw in your mussels and some white wine (mmm alcomohol…) and cook them until the shells open. Finish off your sauce with some cream and parsley.
I love eating mussels with a side of piping hot chips. This was my first time making chips from scratch with a scary pot of hot oil in front of me (yes I am one of those people who has a fear of deep frying). It wasn’t easy to maintain the oil temperature with a temperamental electric stove top. These took considerably longer than the mussels to cook (probably since I’m a noob at deep frying) but they turned out alright in the end and were perfect with a dish of mayonnaise to dip into.
Add a glass of white wine or a ice cold beer, and maybe some crusty baguette for mopping up all the sauce and you have a meal on your hands!
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller
500g Sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick batons and soaked in cold water
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1kg black mussels, beards removed and scrubbed
100ml white wine or cider
1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Drain potatoes and pat dry. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 140C. Add half the potato, cook until tender (3-5 minutes), drain on absorbent paper, repeat with remaining potato. Set aside. Increase heat to 180C.
2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the mussels and wine or cider, cover, then increase heat to high, shaking the pot to distribute mussels evenly. Cook until mussels open (3-5 minutes), discarding any that haven’t opened, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Bring pan juices to the boil and cook until reduced by a third. Remove from heat, whisk in cream and parsley and season to taste.
3. Deep-fry potato until golden (3-5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and season to taste with sea salt. Spoon mussels into bowls and ladle over the cooking liquid. Serve with chips and mayonnaise.