Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


G'day, mussels*.

Mussels in garlic and white wine.

This just about cooks itself, so you don't need to miss a ball of the cricket.

Take a kilogram of Portarlington mussels.

Chop an onion and four or five garlic cloves finely. Warm these through in some olive oil in a large pot.

Before the garlic starts to change colour, add a cup of white wine. Bring almost to the boil and quickly add the mussels. Grind some black pepper over the pot, and add a finely chopped chili or two. Then scatter some chopped parsley and a few chopped spring onions. Salt to taste.

The mussels will clatter around in the pan as they open in the boiling fluid. I give them about two minutes.

Place mussels in large bowls, pouring cooking liquid over the mussels, ensuring you scoop up the garlic and chili that tends to settle at the bottom of the pot.

Serve outdoors on a hot evening, with the sun sailing away to the west and day-night cricket on the big screen. Cold beer or white wine.

Serve with thick Turkish bread or the like to mop up the salty, garlicky juices.

(This is not good manners, but I build towers from the empty mussel shells in a spare bowl as I eat the mussels. My record was a cross between a minaret and the Sydney Opera House that topped eighteen inches. I should have photographed it, but one of the children knocked it down before I could get the camera.)

*A word-play on 'muscles', an Australian slang honorific used in place of 'mate' or 'champ'. Another alternative, now sadly slipping out of usage, is 'sport'.

No comments: