Picture this if you will piglets. Sitting in a tiny cobblestoned street in Ljubiana, Slovenia. Crisp white wine firmly in trotter, the sounds of jazz drifting down the street and then BAM. The incredible smell of garlic and butter wafts past the snout. This is the experience that This Little Pig had on it’s recent European adventure and what an experience it was. This fine swine sidled up to the chef who was tossing the butter and garlic around in a giant paella pan on the street, leaned in a little too intimately and asked “what have you got there young man?” Luckily the young man spoke English and luckily he didn’t mind the overtly friendly piglet beaming up at him. Soon enough giant bowlfuls of white wine and garlic mussels were being ladled out and mopped up with crusty pieces of sourdough bread and snorts of pure delight ricocheting off the alley walls. It was literally a lasting memory for This Little Pig and one of the best meals ever eaten.
Now that this fine swine is back home, it likes to whip up this simple meal, swirl some wine in its glass and wistfully think back to its holiday. Don’t be fooled by thinking that this dish is complex because actually…this meal is almost simpler than baked beans on toast. So here’s what we suggest piglet..go buy a kilo of good quality mussels and a lovely fresh breadstick on a Sunday and prepare to have this on a Monday night because you really need to brighten up a Monday evening and really the rest of the ingredients you should have lying about your humble pantry. So hello delightful Monday evening white wine and garlic mussels! Oink!
White Wine & Garlic Mussels
Feeds: 2 Hungry Piglets
Prep Time: 10 Mins. Cooking Time: 15 Mins.
Ingredients of Big Mussels:
1kg x Mussels (ideally from Kailis or Catalano’s)
8 x Garlic cloves (yes your read that right)
250ml x Wine
1 x Tsp Gourmet Stock
1 x Thyme Bunch
4 x Red Shallots (yes you read that right too)
1 x Large fresh breadstick (ideally from Lawley’s Bakery)
2 x Tbs Olive Oil
30g x Parsley
3 x Tbs Thickened Cream (optional: it just thickens the sauce and makes it a little richer)
Method of Big Mussels:
- Skin and finely dice your shallots (4).
- Skin and finely dice your garlic cloves (8).
- Roughly dice your parsley (30g).
- Drain your mussels and give them a good scrub and clean down – if you need to, de-beard them (that’s the little fuzzy bit sticking out – just hold the mussel firmly closed and pull the fuzzy bit out).
- In a large fry pan, pour in your olive oil and heat until warm, then drop in your diced garlic and shallot. You want to keep this on a medium temperature so the onion and garlic sweats without burning or browning too much.
- Once the garlic and onion is translucent add in your thyme leaves (ignore the photo and remove the stems piglet or you’ll get them stuck in your teeth like this fine swine did).
- After stirring for a moment, until the leaves infuse the onion and garlic, sprinkle in your gourmet stock (1 Tsp), white wine (250ml) - what you do with the rest of the bottle is up to you piglet *giggle* - and a cup (250ml) of water and heat until bubbling.
- Once it is bubbling away, do a quick taste test and make sure you are happy that it tastes delicious (salty, winey & garlicky – these are professional terminologies) – if it needs a little more salt – hold off as the mussels will impart some salt into the mixture when they go in.
- Now pop your mussels into the mixture and shake the pan to make sure they’re distributed evenly. Pop on the lid and leave them to bubble away for 3-5 mins or until all the mussels are nicely open.
- Just before serving and after it has come off the heat, add in a few dollops of cream into the pan to thicken up the juices.
- Now serve into big bowls with some lashings of fresh parsley and big hunks of bread.
- How quick is that piglets?! Oink!