The best sharing meal you can have with your partner, that will always be a success. Mussels is the so quick to cook and to impress, the best finger food on earth with French fries and a glass of Muscadet or Picpoul de Pinet
Recipe courtesy of
1 kg mussels
Couple of sticks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon zest and juice
Sprig of thyme and four bay leafs
100ml vermouth (alternatively works beautifully with Gewurztraminer wine from Alsace)
150ml double cream
Fresh Tarragon to serve
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Start everything off with cleaning and de-beard the mussels, wash the mussels under cold water and any that do not close throw away. Sometimes the mussels are sneaky and do not close, so give them a little tap and if they change their minds they are good to go!
Take a large heavy bottom pan with a tightly fitted lid and get the pan hot, drop the mussels in to the pan and pour over a glass of vermouth. Quickly place lid on pan to steam cook the mussels. Note, do not overfill the pan otherwise you risk overcooking the mussels, you can always cook them in two batches.
As soon as the mussels open again, transfer them to a cold tray or pot and place in the fridge. Save the cooking juice on the side.
While in the fridge, finely dice your vegetables and gently cook in the butter in a sauce pan on low heat.
When the vegetables are tender add garlic and lemon zest and juice.
Pass the cooking juices from the mussels through a fine sieve or cloth and add to the vegetables and reduce by half. Now add the cream and herbs, leave it to book the consistency of cold double cream.
Remove the top shell of the mussels (another option would be to remove all the shells and serve with a good pasta)
To serve, gently reheat the mussels in the sauce and finish with fresh tarragon. Arrange on plates with each mussel with the shell down, so each shell contains all the good bits! Serve with fresh crusty bread or frites!
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