Rope grown Scottish mussels, cooked in a sauce made from roasted tomato, red pepper, onion, garlic, chilli, fish stock, white wine and coriander.
One of my favourite ways to cook mussels, guaranteed to bring flavour to your diner table. The secret of the flavour comes from the roasted sauce, which brings a rich deeply satisfying flavour to the dish. Serve with some nice sour dough or crusty bread.
Many people are put off cooking mussels at home because they think it is either hard or too time consuming. In reality it is very easy, to prepare the mussels simply rinse them in water, then soak them in water for 10-15 minutes, discarding any that stay open. To clean them scrape any barnacles off the shells and remove the beards by pulling them gently then cut them off with kitchen scissors. Rinse them well under running water, then they are ready to cook – which takes a matter of minutes, and is easy to tell because they open when they are cooked.
Note: to cook this recipe you require a wide, deep pan with a tight fitting lid.
Serves two people
Preparation 45 minutes, cooking time less than 10 minutes.
Ingredients and method
For the roasted tomato sauce:
2 small red onions – roast whole
1 medium white onion – roast whole
1 Romano pepper – remove stalk and seeds
2 red chillies – remove stalk and seeds
4 plum tomatoes
2 round tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
Method: Pre heat your oven to 220°c. Place the tomatoes, onions, chilli, garlic and pepper on the tray and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove the skins from the tomatoes, chilli, peppers, garlic and onion. Place all in a mini blender or food processor and blitz until a smooth sauce is made.
For the main dish
1 kg rope grown mussels – see opening notes for cleaning instructions
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 glass dry white wine
500ml fish stock
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper – to taste
3 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander
Method: Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the roasted sauce along with the white wine, fish stock, sugar, black pepper and a little salt – take care not to add too much as there is salt in the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the chopped coriander, stir well, then add the cleaned mussels. Increase the heat until sauce starts to bubble then place the lid on the pan, reduce heat slightly and leave to cook for 3 minutes. Carefully remove lid and look at the mussels, they are ready when they open (see picture for example) if necessary replace lid and cook for further minute. It is important not to over cook the mussels as they will turn rubbery.
Ladle into pre warmed bowls and serve straight away with some nice sourdough or crusty bread to soak up the wonderous sauce.