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