Recipe. Mussels in a cream and white wine sauce.

Mussels Recipe. Mussels in a cream and white wine sauce.I’ve gotten into the habit, before cooking fish or shellfish, of having a quick chat with my buddy Paul Joubert, fishmonger par excellence at Southern Cross in Tokai.

Paul has fresh farmed mussels for sale everyday.

I adore mussels, always have. But I’m very picky about the way I like them cooked.

My preference is to eat wild mussels. In South Africa, as I understand it, an individual is allowed to pick 25 wild mussels. Outside of that you have to buy farmed.

The centre for mussel farming in South Africa is Saldanha Bay on the West coast.

The majority of mussels harvested in South Africa are exported.

Saldanha excellent for mussel production because of its fertile waters from the Benguela current with its high concentration of plankton.

The mussel seeds are grown on ropes which are suspended vertically in the water. It takes between

Four and six months for the mussels to grow.

The main variety of mussels cultivated here is the European Blue Mussel.

This variety originated from the Mediterranean and only started to proliferate in Saldanha Bay in the last two decades.

Ok, I think that’s enough detail, here goes with the recipe.

Serves 4

2kg mussels

2 onions finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 cup of white wine

2 sprigs of thyme

1 cup of double cream

1 knob of butter

Splash of olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Chives chopped for serving, Paul fishmonger likes to add coriander, and I like that idea.

Heat oil and butter together

Fry onions until soft.

Add thyme, wine and cream.

Bring to boil and let bubble for 3 minutes.

Add garlic.

Prepare mussels for cooking by rinsing in water. Pulling any beards from mussels

Discard any mussels which are open.

Add mussels and stir. Within 3 minutes they should be cooked. But cook until they open, discard any that are still closed.

Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Or indeed any herb you fancy.

Serve with crushy French style baguette available from Cassis.

Drink a Sauvignon Blanc from Cape Point Vineyards. My favourite.

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8 Responses to “Recipe. Mussels in a cream and white wine sauce.”

  1. sam says:

    Awesome stuff Claire, Paul is a treat! (next time you are there tell him you would love to see our smoked tuna :-)
    Love mussels too and have been meaning to get a stash in my freezer.
    Sam x

  2. clare says:

    Hi Sam, Smoked Tuna…OMG. I never knew Paul carried your products. I’m on to it……what do you reckon – sauvignon blanc or gewurtztraminer??

  3. Richard says:

    Hey Clare…

    Just one tiny correction, I think: “Discard any mussels which are not open.”

    Reckon this should be “Discard any that are open”? They should be closed firmly before cooking, and any that don’t open during cooking should be tossed?

    Thanks for the fresh mussel tip…. good to know.


  4. clare says:

    Quite right Rich – Discard any that are open prior to cooking, and discard any that are not open after cooking.

    I think that’s what I meant!

  5. Clayton says:

    Wow this recipes sounds incredible, think I will try my hand at it this weekend.Have become a bit of a regular customer at Southern Cross, Paul always has to best cooking tips.

  6. Peter says:

    Can’t easily get fresh mussels or even frozen ones in their shell here in the highlands of Mpumalanga – how should I use frozen ‘mussel meat’ (i.e. shelled mussels ?

  7. Misty says:

    you can use frozen muscles just as easy although fresh is always better but anyway if you wanted to use them in a chowder or just your favorite broth you simply just bring you liguid to a rolling boil and since frozen muscles are already cooked keep them frozen until ready to use. Next bring your liquid to a rolling boil and add muscles for about 8-10 min until heated through. thats it! very easy!

  8. Chef1107 says:

    I’m going to get some mussels today, and I wasn’t sure what recipe to use. But, this one looks great and I, gonna try it out tonight.

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