Sunday, 21 August 2011
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Recipe from Food from Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros (Andrews McMeel, 2011)This is often made with all the shells removed, so if you prefer you can make it that way too (I love the shells). This is a dish from northern Greece, which is best served warm just after you have made it. It is great alone or along with other fish plates as part of a meze. Choose lovely fresh mussels. Nice with ouzo on ice
Serves 4 to 6
- 3 pounds 5 ounces black mussels, not too big
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, 1 whole, 2 chopped
- 2 thick Italian parsley stalks with leaves
- ½ cup white wine
- 6½ ounces green onions, chopped with some green also
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped dill, plus extra, chopped, for serving
- 3 tablespoons ouzo
- 2 tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a grater (so that the skin stays behind in your hand)
- 2 cups medium-grain rice
Debeard the mussels and scrub them clean with a wire brush under running water. Drain. Give each one a tap and discard those that stay open. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a high-sided pot large enough to hold all the mussels. Add the whole garlic and when it starts to smell good, add the drained mussels, parsley and wine. Put over high heat and cook, covered, until the mussels have opened. Remove the opened ones and give the others another chance. Remove from the heat and strain, keeping the liquid. Now discard any mussels that have not opened. When cool enough to handle, remove half of the mussels from their shells. Discard the empty shells and put the mussels together with the other ones still in their shells.
Heat the rest of the oil in a wide non-stick pot. Add the onion and sauté on low heat until soft and golden. Stir in the chopped garlic and half the dill and when they smell good, add the ouzo. Cook until it evaporates, then add the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for a few minutes, then add the rice, turning it through to coat well. Make the mussel broth up to 4 cups with hot water and add this to the pot with a little salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a lot of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste, adding salt if necessary. Add all the mussels, shelled and unshelled, turn through with a wooden spoon and simmer for another 5 minutes, checking that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat, add the remaining dill and fluff up the rice. Cover the pot with a clean dish cloth. Put the lid back on and leave it for another 10 minutes or so to steam and finish cooking.
Serve with a grind of pepper and a scattering of the extra dill.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 August 2011 )