MEDITERRANEAN MUSSELS WITH PANZANELLA

Vacay in the mediterranean from your home with this flavourful creation by our partner Chef Bertrand Cheo. 

This recipe was contributed by Chef Bertrand Cheo of Twitterbert. A premier F&B Kitchen Consultancy Service.

Serves 4 l Prep Time 1 hour l Cooking Time 2 hours     

 

INGREDIENTS

 

PANZANELLA

1 cup French bread (1/4-inch)

2 tsp shallots, minced

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned

½ cup oven-dried tomatoes, julienned

1 tbsp basil, julienned

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp capers, rinsed

 

MEDITERRANEAN MUSSELS

900g mussels (large)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced

2 sprigs thyme

 

FENNEL CONFIT

2 cups fennel (dice 1/2 inch)

1 cup olive oil

3 sprigs thyme

 

SAFFRON SAUCE

1 tsp olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup mussels cooking liquid

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup aioli

1 large egg

Pinch saffron threads

 

Directions

MUSSEL WITH PANZANELLA

- Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

- To make the stuffing, toss the bread dice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Set the bowl aside. Bake turning with a spatula once or twice, for about 6 minutes. Sprinkle the shallot and garlic over the bread, stir with the spatula and bake for 2 minutes more, or until the bread is crisp and golden.

- Return the bread to the bowl, add the tomatoes, capers and the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and toss until well mixed. Set aside to let the bread cubes absorb the juices.

- To cook the mussels, heat the olive oil in a large sautŽ pan or saucepan, add the shallot, garlic, thyme and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the mussels, stir to coat with the oil, then add wine. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mussels have just opened, shaking the pan and stirring to make sure the mussels are cooking evenly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl. Discard any unopened mussels.

- Strain the mussel liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Stuff the mussels with ½ to 1 teaspoon of the tomato-bread mixture, depending on the size of the mussels. Place stuffed mussels on a small rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

  

FENNEL CONFIT

- Combine the fennel with the oil and thyme in a small casserole or saucepan. Bring to a low simmer on the stove. Cover and bake in a 180ûC oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fennel is very soft. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and reserve the oil for another use.

  

SAFFRON SAUCE

- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, saffron and cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the mussel cooking liquid and cream, increase the heat and bring to a boil (watch that it doesn't boil over). Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1/2 cup.

- Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan and whisk in the aioli and egg yolk. The sauce may be made 1 hour before serving and gently reheated over low heat when ready to use. Be careful because reheating can cause it to break or separate.

  

ASSEMBLING

- Place a 4-inch ring mould in the centre of the dinner plate and pack it with 1/4 of the fennel salad. Carefully remove the ring mould and repeat with 3 more plates. Place 5-6 mussels on top of the fennel and drizzle with any liquid left in the warming pan. Spoon the sauce around the plates, sprinkle with the basil, and top with a salad of your choice.

  

  

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