Mussels are amongst the last things that I tried when I reverted to eating fish. I was vegetarian for about 18 years so for a long time mussels seemed like a big leap. I’m quite a fan now, I think we take most of the people who visit us to Granville Moores in D.C just as an excuse for me to eat moules frites!
Responsibly farmed mussels are an excellent choice if you’re at all concerned about the minefield of environmental issues associated with meat-eating. Mussels are actually pretty eco-friendly as they take very little energy to produce. Plus they’re usually pretty cheap!
Mussels are very healthy too, being good for your body and your brain (I think that makes it totally acceptable to eat them with a little butter and cream). They’re also pretty tasty, I especially like the little sweet ones and who can say no to a rich sauce of garlic, butter and white wine?
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic
250ml dry white wine
800g mussels (rinsed, cleaned and de-bearded, I like to use rope grown because they tend to be less gritty)
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp cream
Finely slice the shallot and garlic and gently saute them in the butter until they are tender but not coloured. Use a lidded saucepan that will be big enough to hold all of the mussels. Add the wine and the mussels and clamp on the lid. Leave the pan for 3-4 minutes. Once the mussels are cooked (they should have opened up) remove the lid and stir in the cream, parsley and black pepper. Tip the mussels into a large serving bowl and ladle over the cooking liquor. Serve with lots of crusty bread or frites if you’re feeling especially decadent!