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Mussels with Fregola, Pork Sausage, Sherry and Pangrattato by Nicky Riemer

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Nicky Riemer’s Mussel Recipes

Nicky Riemer is regarded as one of Australia’s leading chefs. After heading numerous kitchens including Langton’s, The Melbourne Wine Room and Union Dining which she successfully ran for six years, Nicky is now Head Chef at Bellota Wine Bar in South Melbourne. Here she shares her incredible skill and flair, offering menus with contemporary Melbourne class.

As chef ambassador of our Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival 2018, Nicky has put together four delicious mussel recipes for you to make and enjoy at home. The Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival is on Sat 10 & Sun 11 March 2018. Read more about it here.

Baked Mussels Rockefeller

Baked Mussels Rockefeller by Nicky Riemer

Preparation time: 60 mins including cooling of sauce
Cooking time: 40 mins including making sauce
Level of difficulty: medium
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 60g plain flour
  • 60g grated grana padano parmesan
  • 1 nutmeg to grate for flavour
  • 500g picked baby spinach leaves
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of chives, roughly chopped
  • 50g bacon, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 100ml pernod
  • Salt
  • 1.5kg fresh cleaned black mussels (allows about 6 mussels per person)
  • 150ml white wine

Method

  1. Bring the milk, cream, bay leaves, allspice just to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes then strain.
  2. Heat the butter and extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan, add the flour and “cook out”, pour in the milk mix then cook with continual stirring until thick (making a béchamel style sauce) then remove from the heat and add the grated parmesan and some nutmeg, allow to cool.
  3. Blanch the spinach, parsley, chives in salted water, refresh in iced water, drain well and set aside.
  4. Sweat the bacon, onion, garlic until soft but with no colour, then increase heat and deglaze with pernod and allow to reduce to almost syrup, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. When everything is cool, combine the béchamel base, blanched herbs and bacon mix, season this mix with salt and pepper then puree in blender until smooth (note: you can add a little cream if it is too thick), then chill mix in fridge whilst you open the mussels. This mix will keep for 5 days in the fridge and is also great on oysters or clams.

To serve

  1. Open mussels in a large hot pot. Heat the pot first then add the mussels and white wine, place a tight fitting lid on top and cook for about 3 minutes, until the mussels open, then remove from the pot.
  2. Remove top shells from all mussels and lay shellfish on tray with wet rock salt (this provides stability for when they are coated).
  3. Spoon small amounts of the Rockefeller sauce on to the shellfish, followed by a pinch of panko crumb then drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake in the oven at 210°C for 8 minutes – a nice crust should form – serve immediately.

Pickled Mussels with Cucumber & Dill

Pickled Mussels with Cucumber and Dill by Nicky Riemer

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins and overnight for pickling
Level of difficulty: easy
Serves: at least 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg fresh cleaned black mussels
  • 200ml white wine
  • A good pinch of thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 300ml white wine vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1 small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil for dressing

Method

  1. Mix fresh clean mussels with wine and herbs, then heat pot to very high, toss in mussels and cover with a lid that fits tightly and shake for a couple of minutes, remove lid and take out opened mussels, allow to cool and discard all liquid. Then remove meat from shells and set aside.
  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and water and stir until combined over medium heat then remove and chill.
  3. Toss the mussel meat with chopped dill and sliced cucumber, pack loosely in a large clean glass jar –pour the vinegar mix over to completely cover the mussels and dill, place in the fridge and chill for at least one day before eating. Pickled mussels will keep for 7 days in the fridge.

To serve

To serve, remove pickled mussels and cucumber mix from the liquid, toss with extra virgin olive oil and some freshly chopped parsley. Serve with some sour cream and freshly toasted crunchy baguette. A great pre dinner appetiser or snack to enjoy.


Mussels with Celery, Cider & Parsley

Mussels with Celery, Cider and Parsley by Nicky Riemer

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level of difficulty: easy
Serves: at least 4

Ingredients

  • 2kg fresh cleaned black mussels
  • 200ml dry apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sticks of celery, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 80g unsalted butter, diced
  • Extra 100ml cider

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add mussels and cider, cover with a lid and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, strain juices and keep mussels and juices separately.
  2. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and heat butter until soft, add the celery and garlic and cook on medium heat until vegetables are soft with no colour, add the reserved mussel juices and the extra cider, bring to the boil.
  3. Return the mussels to the pot and add the chopped parsley with some salt and pepper, stir well and serve immediately.
  4. Even better with some crunchy toasted baguette on the side!

Mussels with Fregola, Pork Sausage, Sherry & Pangrattato

 Mussels with Fregola, Pork Sausage, Sherry and Pangrattato by Nicky Riemer

Preparation time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Level of difficulty: medium
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2kg fresh cleaned black mussels
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 80ml fino sherry
  • 150ml pouring cream
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced
  • 2 medium pork and fennel fresh sausages – or use your favourite sausages – chorizo is great too
  • 1 packet fregola pasta
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley,
  • leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Japanese breadcrumbs
  • 5 anchovies, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Make some pangrattato by heating about 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, adding the cup of Japanese breadcrumbs and anchovies and stir over medium heat until the mix is golden and crunchy, spoon on to paper towel on a tray and allow to cool. Set aside for garnishing later.
  2. Cook the fregola like pasta in boiling salted water for 6 minutes, drain well in a fine strainer, and add a little extra virgin olive oil to coat the pasta so it doesn’t stick together. Spread on to a tray and set aside.
  3. Take sausage meat out of its casing and crumble into chunks, rub in olive oil, and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan sweat the garlic and chilli in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to soft but with no colour.
  5. Increase the heat to high, add the sausage, stir for 3 minutes on high heat to brown the meat slightly, continue to make sure the saucepan is very hot, and add the mussels and white wine, cover with a tight fitting lid and shake the pot a couple of times. Leave it for 3 minutes, shake again and check if mussels are opening. As soon as the mussels are open, scoop them out with a slotted spoon into a bowl on the side, but keep all the liquid, sausage pieces and vegetables in the saucepan.
  6. Now add the sherry and cream to the saucepan and keep on a moderate heat and reduce the liquid in the pot by half, this should only take a few minutes. The ingredients in the pot should have a sauce like consistency.
  7. Return the mussels to the pot, along with the cooked fregola and add the chopped parsley with some salt and pepper, stir well and serve immediately into bowls then generously sprinkle the pangrattato over the top with a slurp of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Nicky Riemer at The Neff Maket Kitchen

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