Archive for the ‘Nibbly Things’ Category

1 cup dry white wine

36 mussels – washed

625ml cream

4 garlic cloves

3/4 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

40g (3/4 cup) parmesan cheese

parsley to serve

Put the wine into a large pot and bring to the boil.

Tip in the mussels and steam uncovered until the shells open and the mussels are cooked.

Remove from the heat and tip into a large sieve, discarding the liquid.

Take the mussels out of the shells, keeping one half of the shell. Discard the beardy bits.

Put the cleaned, cooked mussels into the half shell and put the shells into a low-sided baking dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 200c.

Put the cream, garlic, salt and pepper into a small pot and bring the pot to the boil over a medium high heat.

Turn to a simmer and cook until the cream is reduced by half.

Use a potato masher to mash the garlic into the cream.

Put 2 – 3 tsp cream onto each mussel shell and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake 3 – 4 minutes (or you can grill them for a couple of minutes)

Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley.

I’ve written this recipe as if you were going to have these as a nibbly thing. When I made this for dinner tonight I didn’t bother with putting them onto the shell. I just piled the cooked mussels into a shallow oven-proof dish, poured the cream over, sprinkled the cheese on top and bunged them in the oven.

We had these with rice and a green salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing.


These are rich and delicious, but also inexpensive. We are so lucky to have great mussels in NZ.

I’m a bit squeamish about shellfish sometimes – there are always bits in there that look pretty manky – it takes courage to eat them 🙂 – this recipe is good for wimps like me, because the creamy topping disguises the icky bits.

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>Salsa Maro
2 cups broad beans – blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds, then peeled
1 clove garlic
2 anchovey fillets – you don’t have to add these, but they disappear into the sauce and add deliciousness
8 large, fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp pecorino or parmesan cheese – finely grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
up to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Puree beans, garlic, anchovy, mint and cheese in a food processor.
Add lemon juice, then slowly add the oil

Warn people that this is not guacamole. It is so good that even the fussiest will like it.

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>Our American friends are getting all geared up for Superbowl. In NZ we have our own tournament at the same time. I’ve never been a fan of rugby – in fact it’s a really good thing I like cricket (our summer game), because The Silver Fox and I would not talk to each other all year if I did not. But, I don’t mind the sevens so much. Perhaps it’s because the crowd goes in fancy dress and the rugby is just an excuse to party. It looks like fun and each game is over so fast. This sevens weekend our gang went to Lynne and Evan’s house at the beach. We all took food – the idea was that Lynne wouldn’t have to do a thing, because it was her birthday. We had heaps of lovely food, great company and we watched the sevens, talked and laughed and drank some wine. Life is good.

Heather’s Chicken Liver Pate

300g chicken livers
50g butter
1 small onion – chopped
1 clove garlic – chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Fry until the pink has gone from the livers.
Whizz till smooth, the add
1 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp cream
salt and pepper to taste.

This is good in stuffed mushrooms – egg, crumb (I use polenta) and then fry. Heather is a friend of my mum.

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