Our fish focus for March is Mussels.
One of our most familiar bivalves (meaning two shells - or valves - that clamp together), the Common mussel lives on rocky, sandy or muddy shores, from the low tide mark and in shallow seas all around the UK
Mussels have been cultivated for almost 800 years in Europe, and have been used as a food source for more then 20,000 years. In fact, prehistoric settlements in Scotland can often be identified by the large mounds of mussel shells found nearby.
Tasty, nutritious and low in sodium and saturated fat, mussels provide a readily absorbed source of B & C vitamins, amino acids, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vital minerals including iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Our amazing Mussels come from the Marshall family and their farm in the Camel Estuary in Porthilly, Cornwall where they have been farming for over 5 generations!
Porthilly Shellfish Website: www.porthillyshellfish.com
Here are two great recipes for our Porthilly Mussels. Give them a go and let us know.
Classic Moules marinière By Rick Stein
Preparation time: less than 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 to 30 mins
1.75kg/4lb Porthilly Mussels
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine
120ml/4fl oz double cream
handful of parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
crusty bread, to serve
Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won't move when lightly squeezed.
Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels - it should only be half full.
Add the mussels and wine, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and simmer to reduce the sauce slightly then add the chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.
'Nduja mussels By Adam Bush
Total time 25 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
½ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
150ml white wine
1kg mussels, cleaned
½ a small bunch coriander, chopped
to serve toasted sourdough
**Nduja is a spicy spreadable salami from Italy which can be eaten spread onto bread or crackers, or used in cooking. Find it in Italian delis and larger supermarkets
Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the fennel for 10 minutes until caramelised and soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the fennel seeds and ’nduja, and breaking up with the back of a spoon. Pour in the white wine, add the mussels and stir really well. Put on a lid and cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan until all of the mussels have opened (discard any that stay closed). Stir really well, add the coriander and stir again, then serve with the sourdough.
Original recipes here
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