Tiger Mussels

Tiger Mussels

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

I can’t believe Christmas has been and gone!!! Hope you’ve all had a great time and better food!! I had initially planned to publish some of my mum’s classic Christmas beauties… but seriously, I have no idea where the time has gone!! Don’t be surprised if something rather “Christmasy” pops up now and then… no worries, there will be no reindeer muffins or the like…

Soooo I bring you today another of the tapas my mum has been cooking like forever; Tiger Mussels (Mejillones Tigre) Why tiger? Well’ it seems originally people used a few lines hot sauce to decorate them, visually resembling the skin of a tiger (or that is what I have heard anyway)

In Spain we looove mussels, cooked like this or in spicy tomato sauce or of course, decorating beautiful paellas… although I understand they could be a little daunting to tackle, alive and all ;0) The first time I bought live mussels, my partner stared at me and asked with a little voice: are you… going to kill them? Yep…. well I guess if you look at it that way…

Anyway, once lightly scrubbed & steamed, they are sensational; a few drops of lemon and you are away. I really had to stop myself from nibbling on them once steamed, otherwise I suspected they will never make it to “tiger”. This recipe is quite simple, prepare a thick béchamel sauce with olive oil or butter, add steamed chopped mussels, refill shells carefully & let them cool; then a dip in beaten egg, a wallow in breadcrumbs and a swim in hot oil, and voilà !! Make sure you don’t miss the crunchy bits of deep-fried breadcrumbs and egg stuck outside the mussel shells; as I always say… simple pleasures…

Tiger-Mussels

Tiger Mussels

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Tiger Mussels

Yield: 15 stuffed mussels

Ingredients

  • 20 big live mussels
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
  • sunflower oil for deep frying
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 + 1/2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon mussel liquid
  • salt & white pepper
  • nutmeg

Directions

  1. Scrub mussels with a stiff brush and pull out the hairy beards. Discard any broken mussels or open ones that don't close up when tapped. Rinse well. Place mussels in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 5 minutes or until mussels are open. Remove mussels with tongs, draining any liquid back into the saucepan. Place in a big bowl. Discard any unopened mussels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mussel's liquid. Let mussels cool slightly
  2. Pull mussels our their shells. Keep 15 of the shells without the attached muscle. Chop mussels. Set aside
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium/low heat. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, then slowly start to whisk in the warmed milk. When all the milk has been incorporated, add the mussel liquid. Simmer on low for a couple of minutes until it thickens. Add nutmeg and season with salt & pepper. Stir in chopped mussels. Take pan off the heat & let cool slightly
  4. Fill reserved shells with cooled mixture. Place in a big plate or tray. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least one hour
  5. Heat up oil in a big frying pan to around 175 °C (347 °F) Prepare one low bowl with beaten egg and a small plate with breadcrumbs. Dip each filled mussels in egg (Filled side down, no need to turn them) then coat in breadcrumbs (again, just the filled side, a little bit of breadcrumbs will get stuck in the shell anyway, those bits are awesome once deep-fried) place filling down in the frying pan. Fry until golden, then turn and cook a few seconds on the shell side
  6. Gently transfer mussels to a big plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess of oil. Serve immediately with coffee spoons to scoop filling out
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/tiger-mussels/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation