Mussel Salad (from Sydney Morning Herald)
1kg live mussels
Wash mussels, scrub well and remove beards. Place in a large pot, add wine and oregano sprigs, turn heat to high and cover with lid. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking every 30-40 seconds to help mussels open. Remove from heat and drain liquid from mussels into a bowl then strain liquid through fine muslin or clean tea towel.
Place strained cooking liquid into a small pot. Bring to the boil and reduce by ⅔. Meanwhile, remove cooked mussels from shells, discarding shells and any mussels that are not open. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and put into a large bowl along with mussels. Thinly slice celery heart and add to bowl along with any tender celery leaves. Clean and trim baby cos and chop each top to bottom into six wedges. Place these in the bowl. Make a dressing by mixing olive oil, lemon juice and mussel liquid to taste. Dress salad and season with salt and pepper. Add parsley and toss. Serve on a platter or in individual bowls.
La Mouclade Soup
2 kg small green lipped mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Saute celery, onion, garlic and chillies in butter, using a large saucepan. Once onion is translucent, add carrot, cumin, curry, cardamom, coriander, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and place mussels into saucepan. Cover with lid and boil for approximately 8 minutes, until mussels open. Remove mussels from saucepan and discard any that have not opened.
Remove mussels from open shells, and return to stock in saucepan. Blend the soup in a blender, taking time to ensure the mussels are completely processed. Reheat the soup and add cream, take care that the soup does not boil. Serves 6.
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