mussels in sherry & basil cream
When buying mussels, look for ones that are closed, or ones that close when you touch them, this means they’re still alive. If you aren’t using them on the day of purchase, place them in a glass or stainless bowl, cover them with a damp clean tea towel & store in the fridge. Sambal oelek (chili paste) is available in grocery stores and in Asian markets.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- pinch salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste, add more to suit your taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, cut chiffonade (finely shredded) plus extra for garnish
- 3 lbs live mussels, cleaned & beards removed (1.5kg)
- crusty bread to serve
Melt the butter in a wok or large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the onion is softened.
Add the wine & sambal. Increase the head to medium-high & boil gently, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by about half. Add the cream & half the basil; bring to a simmer.
Add the mussels & stir. Cook, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring twice during cooking, or until the mussels are opened & tender. Do not overcook; discard any unopened mussels.
Stir in the remaining basil. Serve immediately garnished with extra basil & crusty bread .