have a few things in common. Ok maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. We have exactly 2 things in common – a propensity to use words only when absolutely necessary ( I only have his celluloid works to base this on ) and some Belgian heritage. The Muscles from Brussels seems to have conquered Sunday nights on eTV and must be the most broadcast actor on that station. I am not really a fan of his movies but do enjoy the diversity found in the scripts and use it to brush up on my communication skills when there is no wet paint to watch.
Brussels on the other hand is famous for 3 things. We have discussed the first, namely the famous JC. The second is that Brussels has been voted the most boring city in Europe. Luxembourg are insisting on a recount of the votes and until this dispute is resolved we must delay the celebrations by either watching eTV or finding a freshly painted park bench.
The third thing really is exciting though – Moules or the other kind of mussels. Moules and frites is the national dish of Belgium and what a well chosen one it is. We are so fortunate to have an abundance of mussels along our coastline and one can combine a day out at the beach with foraging for food and ending up with a delicious simple meal.
Of course you can’t always get to the beach on a Wednesday afternoon to pick your mussels. Some of us are inconvenienced by trivialities such as work or blogging. I was fortunate enough to be at the Starlings Urban Market last Wednesday and bought a kilo of fresh mussels from Ocean Jewels which were beautiful. Looking around the market for inspiration I grabbed the last chorizo, picked up a jar of organic cream and was so glad I did not drink the last Steph Weiss in the fridge on the weekend.
I have based this dish loosely on Christian Campbell’s delicious mussel starter at Delaire Graaf in Stellenbosch but without the subtlety, finesse and a few trimmings. I hope he will forgive me.
This is what you need to do:
– chop an onion, not too fine and not too coarse
– fry it in a little butter until soft
– add 1 kg fresh black mussels (beards removed)
– add one of your favourite beers
– cover and simmer until the mussels have opened
– remove the mussels and reduce the beer sauce by half
– add a handful of Soba noodles to the beer sauce
– in the meantime remove the mussels from the shells, discarding any that remain closed
– once the noodles are cooked add some sliced chorizo and 100ml cream
– simmer for 2 minutes and add the mussels
– add a dash of worcestershire sauce and black pepper to taste
– don’t add any salt as the mussels and chorizo provide plenty of that
– garnish with chopped chives and parsley
It’s not quite a soup, it’s not quite a pasta but it is delicious as a starter or a main, especially on Sunday nights just before the 8pm movie on eTV.
– Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. – Lewis Carroll