Shetland Mussels, Garlic, White Wine, Crème Fraiche
Ingredients: Serves 2 as a starter
1 Kg Mussels
75g Unsalted butter
2 Banana shallots, finely chopped
Bouquet d’ garni – Bay leaf, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 handful fresh parsley stalks, with leaves reserved and chopped, to garnish
150ml White wine
1 tbsp Beurre manié (2 tsp of soft butter and 1 heaped tsp plain flour mashed to a smooth paste)
2 tbsp Freshly chopped parsley,
100ml Crème fraiche
1. Using the back of a small knife scrape off any loose debris from the exterior of the shells and tug out the beard (this is the little hairy bit of string that hangs from the closed mussel). Discard open mussels and those that don’t close while being prepared. Wash under running cold water and set aside in a colander.
2. Melt butter in a large, heavy pan. Add the chopped shallot, bouquet d’ garni, season with black pepper, cover and cook gently for at least 10 – 15 minutes or until the shallots are completely soft. Add the wine and simmer for five minutes to reduce the wine volume by half.
3. Add the mussels, cover and cook on a medium heat for five to ten minutes to steam all the mussels open. Lift out the mussels with a slotted spoon and transfer to a hot serving tureen or a pair of bowls. Keep warm. Turn up the heat of the mussel pan and, when the wine-mussel liquid is boiling, whisk in the beurre manié, add cream and cook briskly for two minutes. Add the parsley, and then spoon the mixture over the mussels.
4. Garnish with a little more chopped parsley, serve immediately.