Since Valentine’s Day came on a Monday this year, I thought it would be nice to celebrate a whole Valentine’s Weekend instead. It was also a good excuse for cooking something different every day and for testing some recipes.
The whole story behind Mouclade (in other words, Mussels with Cream) began on our first trip to the Lake District. On our last day we came across a beautiful hotel called The Queen’s Head and decided to stop there for lunch. I ordered the mussels; J had the fish pie. I was already in love with the place but when I saw (and later tasted) this big 800g pot of loveliness, I was in Food Heaven. Therefore it was only logical to head back there (excuse the pun) on our second trip and this time both of us ordered the mussels again. We were not disappointed – they tasted even better!
So until we go back once more for a third helping, I found four gorgeous recipes: two by Nigella, one by Lorraine Pascale and another by James Tanner. The following is my interpretation. I’m very pleased with the result. For two 500g portions you need:
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- knob of butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon curry (optional but worth trying)
- 375 ml white wine (preferably not too dry)
- 1 kg mussels
- 150 ml double cream (single would also be fine)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley (optional)
- Clean the mussels in some cold water to remove grit and beard, and discard any which are open and do not close when you knock on them gently.
- Chop the onion finely and gently fry in some butter. When it turns translucent add the garlic and curry.
- Add the wine (I used a Chardonnay). When the liquid has reached boiling point add the mussels and shake very gently to distribute them evenly around the pan. Cover the pan and let simmer for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Once they are open add some salt, pepper and all the cream. Shake gently again, sprinkle some parsley and serve with crusty bread. Remember to remove those mussels which have not opened and put a bowl on the table for discarded shells.
Simply divine. Enjoy!