Creamy mussels with smoky bacon & cider

Creamy mussels

Serves 2

  • olive oil

  • 6 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon, sliced 1cm thick

  • 1 kg mussels, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, debearded and scrubbed clean

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 150 ml good-quality cider

  • 2 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt

  • 1 small bunch fresh tarragon, leaves picked and roughly chopped

  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

  • For the toasts

  • ½-1 loaf good-quality rustic bread or ciabatta, sliced 2cm thick

  • 1 clove garlic, halved

  • extra virgin olive oil

Put your bread on a screaming hot griddle, in the toaster or under a hot grill to toast.



Meanwhile, put a large pan on a high heat with a lug of olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced bacon then stir and cook for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crispy. Scoop the bacon out of the pan, leaving the flavoured fat behind. Check your mussels, if any of them are open just give them a little tap and they should close; if they don't they're no good to eat so chuck those ones away. Add the mussels to the hot pan with the garlic, cider and a good lug of olive oil. Cover with a lid and leave to steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened and are soft, juicy and delicious. Shake the pan occasionally.



Meanwhile, rub your toasts with the cut side of a garlic clove and drizzle them lightly with extra virgin olive oil.



When all of the mussels have opened, they're ready. Transfer them to a large platter, leaving the juices behind in the pan. If any of the mussels have remained closed, throw those away, they're no good. Lay your toasts around the edge of the platter.



Stir the yoghurt into the pan then let it come to the boil and bubble away for a couple of minutes. Add most of the herbs and a little of the bacon then have a taste and season with pepper. Give the pan a jiggle then pour the sauce over your mussels. Scatter over the remaining herbs and bacon then bang the platter in the middle of the table and let everyone tuck in.

Nutritional Information

Creamy mussels with smoky bacon & cider

With garlicky toast for mopping up the lovely sauce

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Mussels are the future. They're absolutely gorgeous, cheap, exciting, easy to farm and so quick to cook. The other brilliant thing about them is that they don't need any feeding: they live off tiny plants that they filter out of the water so they actually clean the sea. I want to help you fall back in love with them. I had my first mussel when I was about 7 years old and I remember it to this day. It's so exciting to pick the first one out of the shell and enjoy it then use that shell as pincers to eat the rest, chucking the empty shells into another bowl. My kids love them – they're great fun for kids to eat.

Put your bread on a screaming hot griddle, in the toaster or under a hot grill to toast.

Meanwhile, put a large pan on a high heat with a lug of olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced bacon then stir and cook for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crispy. Scoop the bacon out of the pan, leaving the flavoured fat behind. Check your mussels, if any of them are open just give them a little tap and they should close; if they don't they're no good to eat so chuck those ones away. Add the mussels to the hot pan with the garlic, cider and a good lug of olive oil. Cover with a lid and leave to steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened and are soft, juicy and delicious. Shake the pan occasionally.

Meanwhile, rub your toasts with the cut side of a garlic clove and drizzle them lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

When all of the mussels have opened, they're ready. Transfer them to a large platter, leaving the juices behind in the pan. If any of the mussels have remained closed, throw those away, they're no good. Lay your toasts around the edge of the platter.

Stir the yoghurt into the pan then let it come to the boil and bubble away for a couple of minutes. Add most of the herbs and a little of the bacon then have a taste and season with pepper. Give the pan a jiggle then pour the sauce over your mussels. Scatter over the remaining herbs and bacon then bang the platter in the middle of the table and let everyone tuck in.

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 946 47%
  • Carbs 49.4g 19%
  • Sugar 7.1g 8%
  • Fat 45.0g 64%
  • Saturates 10.1g 51%
  • Protein 80.5g 178%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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