Warm the cockles of your heart
Having spent the better part of the week in Auckland attending my much-loved and highlyrespected uncle Paul Hargreave’s funeral, I needed some serious comfort food on my return south.
I immediately thought of the scrumptious and creamy mussel chowder my mother used to cook us when we were young, cold and hungry after a day skiing at Coronet Peak.
Mussels seem to be affordable all year round, averaging $5/kg in most markets.
They are high in Omega-3, which is great for heart and brain health, and are also high in iodine and selenium, good for thyroid function; selenium also acting as an antioxidant.
On the down side, mussels are high in purine, which creates uric acid. So gout suffers are best to avoid this!
This delicious, affordable recipe can be served as an entree for a dinner party or as a yummy lunch or dinner. Best served with a fresh warmed baguette, garlic bread or ciabatta.
It has a depth of mussel flavour and a little 5 per cent magic with a splash of curry powder.
For a slightly more sophisticated French twist, use saffron instead of curry powder.
Moreish Mussel Chowder Ingredients
1.3 kg mussels, cleaned and de-bearded 5 shallots diced 50g butter 3 tbsp flour 250ml white wine 600ml water 150ml cream 2 tsp Simon Gault vegetable or fish stock 2 tsp tomato paste 1 tsp curry powder 1 handful of fresh dill chopped Lemon juice to taste Garnish Fresh dill Lemon wedge
1. Place the cleaned and de-bearded mussels in a pan with the wine, pop on the lid and boil for 3 mins. 2. Strain, set the liquid aside and discard any unopened mussels. 3. Meanwhile saute the shallots and curry powder in the butter until the shallots soften. Stir in the flour to make a roux and stir for 1-2 mins. 4. Slowly pour in the water mixed with the stock and the mussel liquid, stirring constantly until it thickens and boils. Add the tomato paste then lemon juice to taste. I blend my soup at this stage to create a more silky soup, as opposed to leaving unblended shallots. Either option is delicious. 5. Remove the white connecting muscle and brown tongue and cut each mussel into 3. Leave two mussels in their shell per bowl for serving. 6. Return the chopped mussels, cream and chopped dill and re-heat but do not boil. Season to taste. 7. Pour the soup into warmed bowls placing the two whole mussels in the shells in the centre and garnishing with dill and a lemon wedge. Serves 4
Mmmm: Bec Stanley’s Moreish Mussel Chowder.