A really impressive start to any dinner party, and not as tricky as you might think. Preparing your mussels is the key ... buy them fresh on the day you are intending to eat them, if you have to shop the day before store them in a cool place, in a bowl covered with a wet towel; leave cleaning them until just before cooking. When you are ready to start preparing them, simply tap each shell and see if it squeezes shut, discard any that don’t along with those that are damaged or cracked. Cultivated mussels will not be full of sand and grit in the way that wild mussels often are but if you have bought wild, soak them in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes before cleaning. Scrub the mussels under cold running water and remove the bristly stuff sticking out from one side – their beards – pull it towards the hinge of the shell and outward, use a tea towel to help grip. Scrape off any barnacles with the back of a knife and give them a quick rinse. Checking them after cooking is equally important, if any of your mussels remain closed after cooking, discard them.
Preheated oven 220°c
- 24 mussels
- 2 small leeks
- Bunch of flat leaf parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme
- pinch saffron
- 2 strips of orange peel
- 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes or
- 6-8 baby tomatoes
- 4 tbsp Noilly Prat/Vermouth
- 40 g butter
- Greaseproof paper
- tin foil
- Place a baking sheet into a pre-heated oven.
- Wash & slice the leeks finely, clean and prepare the mussels.
- Lay out two large squares of tin foil approx. 40cm square and repeat this with greaseproof paper.
- Lay the greaseproof on top of the foil.
- Divide the leeks between the two, sprinkle with the saffron, seasoning, orange peel, cleaned mussels (see above), parsley, thyme; then dot with butter.
- Fold in half, sealing the edges from right to left, crimping and folding to seal, leaving the end open to add the Vermouth/Noilly Prat before sealing completely.
- Cook for 14 minutes until puffed and doubled in size.
- Serve immediately taking care not to burn your fingers!
Enjoy our October Dinner Party Menu Recipes Below