A very healthy and satisfying supper with fresh crusty bread to mop up the tasty juices. You will need a large pan with a tightly fitting lid to contain the mussels.
I bag fresh mussels
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
150ml/5¼fl oz white wine
150ml/5¼fl oz double cream
small bunch flatleaf parsley, chopped
1. First give your mussels a good clean. Wash in lots of cold water before tackling the ‘beards’. To remove the stringy bears, give them a good tug and wiggle from side to side until they come away from the mussel.
2. Discard any broken mussels or those which are open and won’t shut tight when you tap them.
3. When this has been done leave to one side while you heat the olive oil and gently sweat the onion in a large pan. When it is softened, add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add the white wine and allow it to come to the boil. As soon as this happens, throw in the mussels and turn down the heat.
5. Put a lid on the pan and let the mussels steam for 4-5 minutes until all the mussels are wide open. Stir from time to time to distribute the heat.
6. Add the cream and cook for another minute or so, then season with salt and pepper and scatter over the chopped parsley.
7. Serve immediately, discarding any mussels which haven’t opened.
A very quick and tasty soup to make for lunch. You can also use up bacon if you have a couple of rashers in the fridge, rather than the ham which makes it a cheaper option for students.
Serves 2 as main course or 4 as a starter
1 Tablespoon mild olive oil (or butter if you prefer)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
400g frozen peas
400ml chicken stock (made from 1 x Knorr gel stock pot)
100g packet ham hock (cooked, diced ham)
Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan on low or medium heat, then add the onion and potato, season with salt and pepper, then stir to coat the vegetables in the oil.
Put a lid on the pan, cook on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the onions are soft and translucent.
Make up the stock by adding 1 x gel stock pot to 400ml of boiling water. Add the peas and stock to the pan, then bring to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes until all of the peas have floated to the top of the stock and are tender and bright.
Take the pan off the heat. Using a stick blender, process the peas until very smooth. Add the milk and process again.
Bring the soup back to a simmer, then season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Both the ham and the stock are fairly salty, so you may not need to add salt.
Stir the ham through the soup and serve.
Approx. cost = £4.50 (this pea soup without ham would be £2.50, so you could consider using up some rashers of bacon. Simply cook off and add at the end in place of the ham)