garlic mussels and food miles

I think I have raved on in the past about the garlic mussels at The Robert Burns hotel in Collingwood.

Anyway, recently I had a crack at making them using a make-it-up recipe (I did look on the Internet for a recipe that resembled what I remember from the Robert Burns Hotel – but didn’t find exactly what I was after) …. and they were spectacularly easy.

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We are down at Airey’s Inlet for the week and the weather hasn’t bee great, so we drove down to Wye River and had lunch at the pub and then a play on the beach when the weather cleared.  On the way back to Airey’s we called in to the fish shop at the Lorne pier.  I picked up a kilo of Port Arlington mussels. Then we called in to the Airey’s Inlet General Store and bought some Irrewarra bread. I was going super with the food miles! All key ingredients within a stone’s throw.

But then I bought Tatura butter. Shepparton isn’t that close to the Great Ocean Road is it? Oh well, maybe Victorian is still okay….

The other ingredients in this less than precise dish are garlic, chilli and parsley. And a dash of white wine.

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The Recipe (or how I make great garlic mussels)

The first step is to clean  the mussels and get the seaweed off.   Then add about a half cup of white wine and a pinch of salt to a saucepan with a lid and steam the mussels open. Just a minute or two. Take some out of the shells and leave some in the half shell (just do as many as you need to so they fit nicely in your baking dish). Add about half a cup of the juice from the saucepan that the mussels were steamed in (I strain it first), 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, a good bunch of chopped parsley, abou 125 grams of butter and chilli to taste. Cook for about 30 minutes in the oven at about 220 degrees or until the butter is bubbling and it all looks fab.

Serve in the baking dish and with nice bread and salad to accompany and try to share nicely ….

If you want it low fat, use low fat butter – just joking … as you soak up the last of the garlic butter at the end with your bread you’ll know there’s NOTHING low fat about this.

But it tastes GREAT.

Note, how lovely is the dish I cooked them in? It belongs to Hilary and the house and is cast iron with an enamel coating inside and out and has a lid and is the best colour.  And did you notice the view out the window?  It’s so beautiful …

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