Much to my mother’s eternal frustration, I’m not big on fish.
I don’t really know why.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in a small gourmet town by the Irish Sea.
Maybe it’s because I have parents who aren’t really into food.
Maybe it’s just the one food I really don’t like very much.
It’s the only real explanation there is.
And believe me when I say how deeply ashamed I am of this.
So deeply ashamed, I’m trying to figure out a way of teaching myself to like it. I mean the fishy options in restaurants really do usually sound the absolute best and most interesting.
I WILL do this.
While on my voyage of fishy discovery, I have decided mussels are good. Actually, scrap that, I initially decided that the creamy, garlicky sauce mussels often come in is good, but I had to start somewhere, right?
And now I genuinely do like to fishy goodness within.
Bizarrely, I also think there is something quite sexy about the actual eating of mussels. All that sucking and licking of fingers. Makes me come over a bit peculiar.
And obviously the fact his fish-hating wife is cooking something from the sea does all sorts of things to Mr. P.
Everybody is a winner.
Such a winner was I on the last night I cooked these, I didn’t have time to take pictures for it all. Or I forgot. Or something. And those that I DID take must have had the ISO set to approximately one million.
Take your ingredients: wine, cream, mussels, onion, garlic, celery, salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
Add the finely chopped onion…
While that gently cooks, prepare the mussels.
Remove any mussels with open or damaged shells, pull off any bits attached to the outside, and wash well.
Add the carton of cream to the onion, garlic, and celery mix, and measure out the same amount in white wine.
Add this to the mix, too.
Add the mussels and put a lid on the saucepan.
Shake the pan well, and look to check. When all the mussels have opened, the dish is ready to serve.
This doesn’t take very long at all, by the way.
Taste the sauce for seasoning, and add salt and pepper accordingly.
I am the voice of experience here: season before the mussels are ready, and you will be in SALT CITY.
Which isn’t so pleasant.
Serve, with a chunk of bread and the rest of the wine.
Remember not to eat any mussels where the shells haven’t opened.
Mussels with cream sauce
Serves 2. Cooking time 15 minutes.
1 stick celery
2 cloves garlic
150ml white wine
Salt and pepper
1. Melt the butter over a low heat.
2. As it melts, finely chop the celery, onion and garlic.
3. Add these to the butter and cook, stirring often.
4. Prepare the mussels, discarding any with damaged or open shells, removing the beads and washing well.
5. Add the cream and the wine to the celery mix, and then the mussels.
6. Place a lid on the pan, and continue to cook over the heat for up to 5 minutes, shaking the pan.
7. When all the mussels have opened, check for seasoning and serve.