Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The smoked mussel saga

I couldn't decide what to do with the smoked mussels over the weekend. I had designs on a taco filled with sour cream and avocado with the mussels but went off that. Last night, having used the last of the smoked langoustines, I decided to use the shells and made a quick bisque (without tomato). I simmered some carrot, some celery, and onion all finely chopped in a pint of fish stock for 15 minutes then used the blender to turn it into a smooth soup. I then added the broken shells and boiled them in the soup for about 3 minutes . I engaged the Bamix for a second time to smash the shells and recover any meat left behind. After another 2 minutes I  passed the entire mix through a sieve to remove shell etc. and added a shot of Dild Akvavit we had picked up in Copenhagen. I was left with a smooth, smokey fish sauce. 1/2 went to the freezer and the rest spent the night in the fridge.

Tonight I put the steamer on to warm up a large pan of water for some pasta. Popped some garlic bread in the oven. Chopped some spring onions and the back half of some fine asparagus and added this to the fish sauce from last night. I brought the sauce to the boil and simmered it for 4 minutes while the pasta cooked through and the mussels, asparagus and some broccoli gently steamed.

I strained off the pasta, added the sauce and the mussels. One good stir later and the mussels and pasta were spooned into a bowl, topped with the asparagus tips and broccoli and a good twist of black pepper. Accompanied by a hunk of garlic bread this now left for the dinner table along with a glass of French Sauvignon Blanc.

The smoked mussels were fantastic. For ease of eating I might remove the shells before tossing them in the pasta and sauce next time but then again ....

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