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With Matt Lyons, head chef of The Jolly Crick­eters, Seer Green

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLE AND PLACES -

HEN I see mus­sels on a menu I like to or­der them - BUT, and this is a big but, I have to trust the restau­rant and also the chef.

Now that might sound a bit con­tro­ver­sial, how­ever there is noth­ing worse than dirty mus­sels!! Gritty mus­sels with their beards at­tached is not my thing and it can eas­ily ruin a sim­ple hum­ble and de­li­cious dish in seconds.

Our friend Jody from the award-win­ning sup­plier Fly­ing Fish in Corn­wall al­ways de­liv­ers great qual­ity mus­sels to us and whether we serve this dish as a starter or a main, it’s hugely popular.

This time of the year one almost feels slightly de­prived from sun­shine and the hap­pi­ness of the sum­mer sun which de­liv­ers brightly coloured foods such as berries, pep­pers and toma­toes. See­ing beau­ti­ful food such as th­ese mus­sels and leeks is enough to put a gen­tle smile on one’s face, and it’s a soft re­minder that sum­mer will be back again. 1 small ba­nana shal­lot, finely diced 1 bay leaf 80g smoked ba­con, cut into small pieces 200ml As­pall Cy­der 80ml dou­ble cream Fresh horse­rad­ish Hand­ful of chopped pars­ley and chives Mal­don sea salt and freshly cracked black pep­per

Method

Wash the mus­sels, re­move the beards and dis­card any that are heavy, bro­ken or re­main open when tapped. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion,

ba­con, and leek with the bay leaf and garlic. Add the cider to the pan and bring to a gen­tle boil. Add the mus­sels, cover the pan with a lid and steam for 2 min­utes, or un­til the shells start to open. Add the cream, bring to the boil and re­move from the heat. (Dis­card any mus­sels whose shells re­main closed). Toss in the chopped herbs; serve in a bowl and grate over fresh horse­rad­ish to taste, serve with plenty of fresh bread. Serves one

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