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23 October 2006

Mussels Provencale

One of the benefits of living at the coast is the access one has to a variety of seafood! This together with Melbourne's markets makes seafood a regular menu item. This last Saturday we bought 1kg of fresh Australian mussels at South Melbourne market; the mussels are delivered to the market daily. Once you have access to the raw materials, a delicious meal is very simple to prepare. For example:

1 onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tomatoes
a bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 chili
5-6 calamata olives
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon / Chardonnay wine

Clean the mussels in generous amounts of cool water, discarding any that are not closed. Put the cleaned mussels in a large saucepan, adding about 1 1/2 cups of water. Place covered saucepan on high heat for about 6 minutes, cooking until all mussels are open - be careful not to overcook! Drain the mussels in a colander, preserving the broth.

Melt the oil and butter in a saucepan, adding the finely chopped onion and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and about 1 cup of the broth, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Add the remaining finely chopped ingredients, and the wine, cooking very briefly (< 2 mins). Add the mussels back into the saucepan and heat through. Serve piping hot mussels, in generous helpings of the sauce, with flat Turkish bread (Melbourne markets make this easy again). The Sauvignon or Chardonnay is a perfect to complement the dish.


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