Pine Nut Crested Mussels

Pine Crusted Mussels, Fennel and Pearl Barley Risotto With Light Curry Cream

Serves 4 

Preparation time: 15 mins 

Cooking time : 15 mins 

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1.35 Kg / 3 Ibs mussels

1 tablespoon oil

170 g / 6 oz mixed vegetables- carrot, red pepper, courgette, fennel-finely chopped
170g / 6 oz pearl barley
75ml / 2 fl oz dry white wine
6 tablespoons fresh cream and 1 tablespoon curry paste
75g / 3 oz pine nuts, toasted



Add cleaned and debearded mussels to 275 ml / half pint boiling water.  Cover and cook over high heat for 3-5 minutes.  Take mussels out of saucepan and remove top shell, reserving some in shell for garnish.  Strain and reserve cooking liquor.

Saúte mixed vegetables in oil until softened.  Add pearl barley and then add white wine and cook slowly.  When barley has absorbed wine, slowly ladle in reserved mussel stock until the barley has absorbed all the liquid and is fully cooked.

Check seasoning, add mussels and allow to heat through. 

Sauce - Gently simmer cream and mix in curry paste. Check seasoning.


To Serve

Spoon Risotto onto hot plate & place mussels on top. Drizzle curry cream around edge and garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Creamy Mussel Soup

Creamy Mussel Soup 

Serves: 4 

Preparation time: 

Cook time: 

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800 g mussels 

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

4 slices bacon, rashers chopped 

garlic cloves, crushed  

100g of mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, leeks)

1/2 cup dry white wine 

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

2.5 pints of vegetable stock 

300 ml cream  

2 sprigs of tarragon finely chopped 

Olive oil 


Scrub mussels and remove hairy beards from them. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a fry pan, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. In a small pan cook bacon until browned then drain on absorbent paper.  In a large saucepan add a small quantity of water to cover the base of the pan.   Add mussels to pan, cover and cook for a few minutes or until mussels open. Drain and discard any mussels that do not open. Remove shells from the mussels and place to one side.    On a medium heat combine wine, lemon juice, water, stock, vegetables and onion garlic mixture, bring liquid to boil then reduce heat to a simmer, add cream and bacon. Remove pan from heat and turn onto a low head and add mussels and tarragon and stir until heated through.

To Serve:

Place the soup in bowls and accompany with fresh crusty rolls .

Mussels White Wine Cream

Connemara mussels in white wine and cream

Serves : 2

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins 

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Ingredients : 

1 kg connemara fresh rope grown mussels
25g Butter
1 Large chopped onion,finely chopped
4 Gloves garlic,chopped
300ml dry white wine
1/2 x 200 ml tub crème fraiche
20 g pack Flat-leaf parsley,finely chopped


Scrub the mussels well in cold water,removing any beards.
Discard any damaged shells or open shells that do not close when tapped sharply with a knife.Drain in a colander. 
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and sautè gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring the boil.
Tip the mussels into the pan and cover.Cook for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times until all shells are open (discard any that remain closed).Using a large slotted spoon,remove the mussels and divide between two bowls.Cover and keep warm.
Add the crème fraiche and a little pepper to the pan and return to the boil.

To Serve 

Stir in the parsley and boil rapidly for 4-5 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.
Pour over the mussels and serve immediately.   

Seafood Carbonara

Seafood Carbonara

Serves: 4

Preparation time 

Cook time: 

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 455 g spaghetti
 15 ml olive oil
 8 slices bacon or pancetta diced

250g of mixed seafood cooked
15 ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
 60 ml dry white wine (optional)
 4 eggs
40 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 g salt and black pepper to taste
8 g chopped fresh parsley
10 g grated Parmesan cheese

Method :

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.


Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto absorbent paper. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in re-used large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.

Return cooked bacon to skillet; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).

Add the seafood to the carbonara and allow to heat for a further 2 minutes.  

To Serve : 


Chop some parsley and  sprinkle on top, and you may like to have some  extra Parmesan cheese at table.