We can't help keeping our eyes peeled for fodder wherever we go and this sunday supper sees us celebrating a family forage with a moules mariniere feast fit for any self respecting king worthy of the name Neptune.
On a typical '5 go adventuring again' day out from Enid blytons tales, we stumbled upon a shoreline of mussels ready for the picking, with the small humans eyes low to the ground they quickly gathered up enough to fill our bucket and off we set home to get to work.
So in true sunday supper style, raid your larder and pull out those everyday essentials to boil up a little something that ticks all the quick and easy boxes you need filling on a sunday evening..
When foraging for mussels by sure to avoid harvesting them during their breeding season between May and August and be aware of the size guide (Minimum of above 50mm) and only take home mussels that are closed and not damaged. Do your research, check up on the water quality of the beach you are foraging from and unless you want to don a snorkel be sure to go at low tide, study the tides so you know when it's the right time, an almanac is a worthy foragers companion.
Once you've collected your bounty it's time to get them ready for supper, Mussels that have been taken from the seabed rather than rope grown like shop bought ones will have grit inside them, soak them in salted water for 30 minutes which will allow them to breathe and filter, pushing out any grit or sand inside their shells, then remove the barnacles with a scourer or brush and pull off the beard that sticks out from the shell then run them under clean water and tap any that are partly open, if they do not shut then discard them.
Time : under 5 minutes
Makes : 2 portions
2 Garlic bulbs
1 small glass of white wine (around 100ml)
30 mussels (approximately 1.5/2 kg)
1 bay leaf
120ml single cream
Parsley to garnish
Chop your shallots (or onions) and garlic finely, sweat onions in the pan and add the garlic after a few minutes on a low heat.
Add the mussels and wine turn up the heat and cover and steam for 3-4 minutes, giving the pan a good shake every now and then
Add the cream and remove from the heat, serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce (the best bit!)
Et voila...moules mariniere straight from the ocean to your plate