I love mussels. I really love all kinds of seafood, but mussels are something we haven't made that often at home. So to fix this, a few weeks ago we found a nice patch of fresh mussels and decided to make some.
For the recipe, instead of the classic white wine version, we wanted to try something different. I found one with some bacon in it and as you know, anything with bacon must be good, so we had to try it!
- 1kg of mussels (we used Blue Mussels)
- 150g of smoked bacon, try to find the thickest slices you can
- 150ml of good quality cider
- A small bunch of fresh tarragon
- A small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
- 2 gloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Loaf of quality rustic bread
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Put the bacon slices on a large pan and put it on medium-to-high heat (remember never to preheat a pan when cooking bacon). Use a large enough pan so that it can hold all the mussels later.
While your bacon is frying, check all the mussels. If any of them are open, give them a small tap and they should close. If not, you should throw these away as they are not good to eat.
Once your bacon is nice and crispy, pick up the slices and leave all the nice, juicy grease on the pan. Add the mussels on top the the bacon grease with 1 crushed garlic glove, all the cider and a nice lug of olive oil. Cover the pan with a lid and let them steam for a good 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened.
Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to spread the flavours nicely.
As the mussels are steaming, take out the bread and slice it into nice, thick slices. Put the slices on a grill or a toaster and let them warm up. Once they are nice and warm, rub a cut side of a garlic glove on both sides of each slice. Don't over do it as even a little bit of rubbing will give a nice taste. Drizzle them lightly with some olive oil.
When all the mussels have opened, transfer them to a large platter leaving all the juices behind in the pan. If any of the mussels have remained closed, throw those away as they are not good to eat.
Add the crème fraîche into the pan, stir, and let it come to boil. After it has bubbled for a few minutes, add most of the herbs (leave some for decorating), some of the bacon, taste and season with pepper. Stir the sauce a little and pour it over the mussels. Add the remaining herbs and bacon on top and you're done.
Don't let them sit for long as mussels are best while they are fresh from the pan.