I have fond ‘mussels memories’ from when I was 13 and went to the seaside in Southern France. This may sound strange to an Irish person but it was the first time in my life I’d ever seen the sea. We visited my parents’ friends and they cooked fresh mussels in a Pastis (a French anise-flavoured aperitif drink) sauce for dinner. It was so simple and made within minutes but amazingly tasty. Since then, I’ve always associated mussels with sunny days and you can be sure that I always order a dish of mussels washed down with a glass of white wine when visiting Howth in summer time.
As you can imagine, when Bord Bia asked me to take part in their #FlexYourMussels campaign I didn’t hesitate. It’s my favourite shellfish after all and I also firmly believe as an Island nation we should embrace our seafood more.
Mussels might look intimidating to cook at home but they’re actually really easy to prepare (see Bord Bia’s video), inexpensive and packed full of nutrients.
Now I’m sharing this little recipe of mine that I think you will love, it’s perfect for a tasty quick supper and requires very little effort and not many ingredients. I’m not using any French wine or Pastis for my sauce but some lovely dry Irish craft cider. It’s a match made in heaven with Irish mussels.
Mussels with Irish Cider, Cream & Tarragon sauce
· 1kg fresh Irish mussels
· 25g butter
· 2 shallots (finely chopped)
· 200ml dry Irish craft cider (I like Stonewell or Craigies)
· 100ml Irish double cream
· 1tbs tarragon (chopped)
· Toasted sourdough bread
Rinse the mussels in a large bowl of cold water
Scrape off the barnacles and remove the beard (the hairy bits)
Discard any mussels that are opened and won’t close when tapped
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on low-medium heat
Sweat the shallots in the butter until they’re soft but not coloured
Turn the heat up to medium, pour the cider and when it bubbles
add the mussels and cover the pan with a lid
Cook the mussels until they open, shaking the pan occasionally (it should take 4-5 minutes),
Turn down the heat and stir in the cream and chopped tarragon for a minute
Discard any unopened mussels
Serve in bowls with toasted sourdough bread to mop up the sauce
Check out www.bordbia.ie/fish for tips, videos and recipes using Irish mussels.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Bord Bia, Ireland’s Food Board. However, I maintain full editorial control and my love for Irish mussels is purely my own!