Monday, 21 January 2013

Garlicky Mussels

The first time I tasted these intensely flavored mussels was at home when my Mum put them on the table for the family to eat. A big dish, with the shellfish carefully laid out in a spiral, all I can say is that they did not last long and we all were calling for more.
A great pre dinner nibble or a starter with a little salad is where these shine.

Serves 6

48 rope harvested Mussels cleaned
Garlic butter
75g of fresh soft white breadcrumbs

Cook the mussels in a large pot with a good splash of white wine over a high heat until they open. Drain and keep the liquid for a fish soup or stock for a sauce.
To make the garlic butter, peel and crush 2 large cloves of garlic in a mortar with 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gradually beat in the butter until it all comes together.
Now spread the soft butter evenly over the mussels in their shells. Dip each one into the breadcrumbs. They can be prepared ahead to this point and kept in a fridge until called for.
Before serving preheat the grill and place the mussels under it until nice and brown, serve at once.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Go for the Oyster


The famous poet Jonathan Swift once said, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster”. There are two types in Ireland the Native and the Rock oyster, If I had a choice I would eat the Native Oyster all day, they are smaller and a little sweeter than the rock but that said once they both are fresh and handled properly they are delicious. So go for it and leave your preconceptions at the door.
This dish is simple to prepare and beautiful to eat.

Serves 3

Get your hands on a proper oyster knife, preferably one with a hand guard, this will save you from a nasty gash. Always use a tea towel, its prevents the Oyster slipping.

6 fresh oysters opened
1 tbsp. of butter
1 good handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 tbsp. of finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
1 tbsp. of chopped tarragon
1 tbsp. of fresh breadcrumbs
A dash of Tabasco sauce
1 lemon

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the spinach, shallot and herbs, cook until the spinach is wilted and add the breadcrumbs, Tabasco and a little salt, cook on for a few minutes and blitz in a food processor until you have a nice green paste.
Heat the grill and put the oysters on a baking tray and spoon the spinach paste evenly on top of the oysters, grill for a few minutes and serve with lemon.