On a recent drive down to Portarlington, I was reminded of the time I backpacked through France and enjoyed so many new culinary delights. What reminded me most were the sea fresh black mussels, which are sold on the Port pier for a cheap $5 per kilo.
These salty, tender mussels are harvested right there in the bay so they are super fresh. If you fancy a nice drive to the Bellarine, get to it! While you’re there, grab some crusty sour dough, oven-baked at the Portarlington Bakehouse. Also while you’re down that way, ‘do yourself a favour’ and check out some of the best wineries in the country – just a stone’s throw away.
Here’s my quick and easy recipe for cooking these delectable morsels. It’s so simple with just a few fresh ingredients and literally takes 10 minutes to make. Just remember to de-beard the mussels and rinse beforehand.
(mussels in broth)
1/2 to 1 kilo of fresh black mussels
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 brown onion (diced)
1 large clove garlic (chopped)
2 sprigs parsley (chopped)
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream
1 tblsp. olive oil
In a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion, then add garlic and sauté until slightly browned. Add in mussels, stir and place lid on for 1/2 to 1 minute. Add the tomato and wine, and put lid back on for 2 to 3 minutes. Next stir again and add parsley and cream with lid on for one last minute. All mussels should be open now. Grind black pepper over and serve in a nice big bowl with crusty bread and a beer. Yummo!!
Stewart is a local chef and traveller of the region.
Follow Stew’s adventures, dishes and recipes via his website.
Written by Stewart Clarke