AND PREPARING MUSSELS
people are put off buying and cooking mussels at home
by a fear of eating a "bad" one. Certainly,
there is a mysticism and air of complication surrounding
their purchase and preparation, but there really is
very little to fear about these delicious bivalves.
can be naturally harvested, or farmed on long ropes
dangled from rafts, or grown on posts driven into the
seabed. In every respect, they are a truly organic and
mussel is a very simple creature: it lives in the sea,
attached to whatever it's growing on by tough bear-like
tendrils. It sits there all day, sucking in and squirting
out sea water, sifting out food and nutrients.
is, along with all the good stuff that gets sucked into
your basic mussel, can come some unwanted stuff as well.
Unfortunately, it is the mussel's simple filter feeding
process that can give rise to stories of people writhing
around in agony losing half their body weight in a day.
that needn't be the case: here are a few very simple
rules for you to follow when buying, preparing and cooking
your mussels with care, buying them only from reputable
supermarkets and fishmongers.
mussels are always sold live: they should be shiny,
mostly unbroken and closed, and generally smell
of nothing other than the sea.
them home straight away and cover them with plenty
of cold fresh water (mussels don't like tap water,
so they shut up and wait for the real tide to come
them well and remove any barnacles and the tough
fibrous 'beard'. Throw away any with broken shells.
mussels that refuse to close when rapped on the
side of the sink are dead: throw them away.
that remain closed having just been through the
cooking process were dead before you bought them
and should also be chucked out.
cook mussels for the briefest time - two to three minutes
at most, or until they just open. That way, they'll
be juicy, sweet and tender.
article comes from Chef Jim Fisher who now runs
cooking holidays in the Dordogne.
you would like to know more about Jim and how he gained
his love of cooking why not have a look at his biography
find out more about the cooking holidays in France at
Jim's cooking school in the Dordogne you will need to
visit his web site <click