Every so often I like to cook something nice and simple. Plain simple ingredients and minimal time at the cooker is a necessity sometimes and mussels are just the thing for such times, once you’ve cleaned the buggers that is!
I bought them fresh this morning and sat them in the fridge until I could face the chore of cleaning them. Actually when I came round to it, it wasn’t so painful. They were wild mussels so covered in barnacles which I had to scrape off. I then debearded them by pulling away at the threads that the mussel uses to attach itself to rocks etc and then rinsed them thoroughly. Some of the mussels were open, so I tapped them to check whether they were still alive. Any that didn’t close I threw and I only came across about 3 dead ones so quite happy with that.
That is one thing with mussels, you spend so long looking after them; cleaning them and checking that they’re still with you only to cook them… alive. I even named a couple of mine today; a couple of big fat ones, covered in masses of barnacles. They had to be Barny 1 & Barney 2. Unfortunately I ain’t that sentimental….. so RIP Barney 1 & 2….. and their mates.
Time to cook. One onion, finely chopped, fried off slowly in olive oil in a large pan. Once that had softened I added 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and one tsp of dried chili flakes. I gave that a minute or two, then turned the heat up high and poured in 150mls of chicken stock, tipped in the mussels and put the lid on to let them steam away for 4 minutes.
I served them in bowls with some of the juices poured over and some bread for dipping.
Lovely, even if I do say so myself!