West Coast Mussels with Apples & Cider
Typical in the northern regions of France where excellent apples and cider are produced and mussels are found in abundance along the coastline.
- Makes : 4 as a starter |
- Difficulty: easy
- Prep Time : 10 mins |
- Cook Time : 8 mins
1.2 kg fresh mussels
1 x 340 ml bottle of your favourite cider
½ C (125 g) butter, diced and kept in the refrigerator
1 small bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, washed
Start by scrubbing the mussels clean in cold fresh water. Remove any barnacles on the mussels and pull the beards off them. Place the cleaned mussels into a bowl covered with a cold wet cloth and keep to one side in the refrigerator until needed. Peel the apples and cut into ½-cm cubes. Keep to one side.
When you are ready to serve, heat a medium saucepan that will comfortably fit the mussels to smoking hot. Place the mussels into a dish and pour the cider over. As soon as the saucepan is hot enough, quickly place the mussels and cider into it and cover with a lid.
Shake the pan around lightly. (Look at you – steaming mussels like a pro!) Carefully lift the lid after 2 minutes and give the pan another shake. As soon as the mussels start opening, add the apple cubes. Once most of the mussels are open, add the butter and give the pan another good shake. The cold butter will melt into the cider-mussel juice, turning it into a magnificent sauce. (The French call this method of thickening and finishing a sauce Monte au beurre – use it to impress your friends.)
While the butter is doing its magic with the sauce, roughly chop the parsley and scatter it into the saucepan, stirring to mix everything.
Decant into 4 bowls and serve immediately with a crusty baguette rustically torn into pieces.
Tip: To serve this dish as a main course, just double-up on all the ingredients.