Our village supermarket sells packs of pre-cooked mixed seafood, mostly mussels but also including squid rings and prawns among other things. While they always have them in they also seem to frequently have a pack or two reduced to incredibly low prices because it is nearing the best before end date.
The recipe below is something I created as a quick snack. I’ve called it mussels in a garlic cream sauce because that is the most common seafood to have with this sort of sauce, but the reality is that I actually used one of these mixed seafood packs which worked really well and adds some variety.
Since I use these pre-cooked packs of ready-shelled seafood the recipe below does not explain how to cook mussels in the shell. It really is designed to be a quickly-prepared dish which can be served up as a starter or perhaps as a small main course over vegetable noodles (like squash noodles) but which will still impress people.
If you want to be a bit less primal and a bit more paleo then leave the cream out. The mussels will then be in a garlic butter which won’t have the same consistency but will still be reasonably tasty! If you are doing this then it may also be worth adding a leaf of fresh wild garlic finely chopped (if you know what you are looking for and have some in a nearby hedgerow) or a teaspoon of parsley to the butter with the crushed garlic to give the dish some flecks of colour.
Ingredients (serves 1 as a starter or a small main course if served with something else):
200-250g shelled and pre-cooked mussels (or mixed seafood)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1.5 tbsp double cream
- Melt the butter over a medium heat and add the garlic. Fry the garlic gently for a few minutes, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent the garlic or butter from browning but to ensure that the garlic flavour is fully released from the garlic into the butter.
- Add the mussels to the butter and continue to fry over a medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes until the seafood is thorough heated through and then turn the heat down as low as possible.
- After a minute over this lower heat, to reduce the temperature of the butter in the pan, add the cream and stir into the butter. If the butter and pan are too hot then the cream is likely to curdle. Keep this mixture moving over the low heat, simmering gently, for 2-3 minutes during which time the sauce will thicken and then serve up while still hot.