…the cheats or Buddhists’ version.
As a small child in NZ I used to open the fridge and invariably find a container of mussels in brine, stuffing a couple in my mouth for an instant protein and mineral boost. I had forgotten about them recently, until one night when hubby brought home frozen precooked NZ green lipped mussels, because he couldn’t find any organic meat for me at Asda. I wasn’t impressed – at 9pm after a long day working I was starving, and couldn’t care less whether it was organic or not! Seeing frozen mussels and imagining having to scour recipes for an hour while waiting for them to thaw – an instant meal this was not…or so I thought.
But they’re precooked, he said – once they thaw, you can eat them tomorrow. Tell that to your future hungry children, I replied. I was so annoyed, I didn’t care about researching the perfect way to cook them, I sliced up a massive red onion, threw it in a saucepan with the biggest chunk of butter ever, chopped garlic, and hoped for the best.
As I rinsed the mussels I noticed that unlike my mood, the mussels were thawing, and that they wouldn’t take too much cooking. I piled them into the saucepan with the softening onions and garlic, and drowned them in marsala wine, which I normally use for pasta. Another huge blob of butter, lid on and waited. After a few minutes I gave them a shake, took a peek, et voilà, they had thawed perfectly.
I tumbled them into a bowl and started slurping away. The shells were perfect for spooning the garlicky buttery winey shellfishy liquid. It was undeuxtrois yumsville St Tropez!
Oh, and I was a bit nicer to my husband after that…