Friday, 11 January 2008
The Mussel Man of Dromana. every local knows of him. About 10 years ago (or so legend has it), he stole a Safeway trolley, towed it out offa Safety Beach and dropped it in. He returned a year later and the damn thing was covered in mussels. Just like the glorious ones above. From there, he's prospered. During Mussel season, IF he's been a'harvestin', he'll have a cardboard sign out in his front yard. "Mussels today". If not, don't bother knocking.
When I started buying from him some 8 years ago, you could get a garbage bag full for $6. Now, they're about $6 a kg.
Scrub mussels well under running fresh water. Beard them and remove as many barnacles as tou can. Preferable bribe your 15 y/o son into doing this.
Add some good quality white wine, some fish stock, a splash of soy, a splash of fish sauce and a knob of ginger and some bruised lemongrass to a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Drop in your mussels and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for a further 5 mins. meanwhile, make your Asian fusion "gremolata".
Finely chop a bunch of corriander, some garlic, the rind of a lemon, some Vietnamese mint and some Thai basil. 1/2 a red chilli.
Remove mussels from heat and throw in the "gremolata". Stir quicky. Ladle into bowls and serve with extra lemon juice and chunks of pasta dura for slurping.
Remember to take pics of the beach the following day, to make all your readers in the Northern Hemi positively VERT with jealousy. And yes, the sky REALLY is that colour!!