Monday, 3 February 2014

Fried mussels

Mussels are one of the seafood, which I could eat every day. They taste good, are quick and easy to prepare, providing the shells are already clean, because this step is probably the most laborious and time - consuming. They can be prepared in a variety of ways, but I like them just plain, without any additional ingredients. I clean the shells scraping them with a knife, pulling off the 'beards' and washing them under cold running water. Next, I put them into an empty pan or pot, cover with a lid and steam until the shells are open, shaking the pan frequently.  Finally, I drain them and they are ready to eat:).

Today, however, not about this way of preparing mussels. The recipe for fried mussels called in Spanish mejillones fritos is from the book of very popular Spanish culinary author Simone Ortega. Her book ''1080 recetas de cocina'' first published in 1972 has sold over 3,5 millions copies and has received nearly 50 releases. Many of the later books Ortega wrote with her daughter Inés Ortega, among them released in English ''The Book of Tapas'' in which I have found the recipe for fried mussels and which includes over 250 new and traditional recipes for Spanish tapas.

The sauce which I have prepared for the mussels is inspired by the different recipe for mussels, but comes from the same book. You can replace it with any other tomato sauce, ketchup or mayonnaise sauce, or simply serve the fried mussels with no sauce, but with salad, for example.

Ingredients (serves 2):

0,5 kg mussels
90 ml dry white wine + 1 tablespoon
60 g flour
50 ml milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
sunflower oil, for deep-frying 


2 dried red bell peppers (ñoras)
1 slice bread, the size of a small egg, from the soft center of a loaf 
2 cloves garlic
pinch of chili flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 very ripe tomato
salt and pepper



Wash the dried bell peppers thoroughly and soak them in hot water. After half an hour or so drain and seed them, then coarsely chop. Put the bread, crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and a pinch of chili flakes to a blender. Add the bell peppers, peeled and finely chopped tomato, the olive oil and vinegar. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper, cover and chill until required.

fried mussels:

Discard any mussels with broken shells or any that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped. Scrape the mussel shells with a knife and pull off the 'beards'. Next, wash them thoroughly under cold running water.

Place the mussels, wine and 90 ml of cold water in a large pan over high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, or until the mussels are open. Drain them in a colander and leave until cool enough to handle. Discard any mussels that are not open, then remove the remainder from their shells. Cover them with a damp cloth to prevent drying out. Discard the shells.

Put the flour into a bowl. Pour in the milk, the oil, the 1 tablespoon wine and a pinch of salt. Sir together until just mixed. Add the baking powder when it is time to fry the mussels and stir well.

Heat the sunflower oil in a deep-fryer to 180ºC. Stir the mussels into the batter. Using tongs, drop them in the hot oil and fry for one minute or so until they are golden brown and rise to the surface. Fry them in batches, if necessary. Remove the mussels from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towels. Serve hot.

Enjoy !!!

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