Marvellous Mayo mussels


WORLD CLASS Mayo mussels are plump, sweet and full of flavour.

Seamus Commons

Nothing inspires me more than the Mayo countryside – the rich tapestry of the surrounding area produces the finest of ingredients. Mussels are produced a stone’s throw from here, and they are world-class produce – you genuinely will not get better mussels anywhere else in the world.
Plump, sweet, full of flavour, I have used mussels here with cream, white wine and herbs to make a simple yet impressive dish that would be perfect to put on any menu – a big pot of them with crusty bread for a casual lunch, or served with melba toast in fine china as a dinner party starter. Once the prep is done, the actual cooking time is minimal, and there’s only one saucepan for the washing up!

Mussels with cream, white wine and herbs
Serves 2

>   350g mussels – depending on size, on average about 24 good mussels, cleaned thoroughly with any barnacles and beards removed
>  1 shallot, finely diced
>  1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
>  100ml cream
>  50ml dry white wine
>  1/4 bulb fennel, very thinly sliced with root removed
>  10 leaves baby spinach
>  1 tomato, diced with skin removed
>  Some fronds of coriander, chopped
>  Juice of a quarter of a lime

Heat a thick-based saucepan until smoking hot. Add mussels, wine, garlic shallot and fennel.
Cover with lid until mussels open, approximately 2-3 minutes depending on the mussels.
When opened pour out half of the cooking liquid, then add the cream, spinach, tomato, lime juice and herbs to the pot and warm through.

> Seamus Commons is head chef at award-winning restaurant La Fougère at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport.