Steamed mussels with plenty of garlic

There’s been a little lull on my blogging of late, this is because I’ve been to Ibiza – the party island! We went out there for our friends’ picturesque wedding overlooking Cala Tarida.

I’m not that much into going to super clubs until 6 in the morning, but I am into having cocktails and watching the sunset, like this one:

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So in an attempt to get over our holiday blues we had steamed mussels for dinner.

The most work of this dish goes into cleaning the mussels, you have to cut off their ‘beards’ and scrape the shells clean so you don’t get gritty bits in your sauce. I always worry about the mussels getting warm while I’m doing this and opening up too early so I keep them in a big bowl of water during the cleaning process, sometimes with an ice cube or two thrown in.

Important – you must discard any that have opened before cooking.

Once the mussels are all cleaned, I leave them in the cold water while I prepare the sauce by frying a finely chopped shallot and lots of crushed garlic (6 or 7 cloves) in a little olive oil in a big, heavy set pan.

Once softened, I add a large glass of white wine, season and leave for a couple of minutes before adding the (drained) mussels and putting the lid on the pan for them to steam.

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They should take around 3 minutes – once they are opened they are cooked – I sometimes take a few out as they open, to allow space for others to open.

In the last minute I grated in lemon zest – a whole lemon’s worth – and then removed the mussels that were cooked with a slatted spoon (throw away any unopened mussels).

Leaving the sauce in the pan, add a dash of cream and turn up the heat to reduce and thicken – this is what you’re meant to do and it’s really delicious when you do – usually after a minute of waiting to thicken (I think it takes about 5-8mins) I can’t wait any longer, and pour the sauce over the mussels to eat with lots of crusty bread for dipping.

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Christina Hunter

I'm a personal trainer who loves to cook and eat so I started a blog to share my food, recipes and experiences.

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