So by now you should all now how much I love Greek food. Quite a lot of my day to day cooking incorporates Greek flavours or elements, such as slow roasting a big bunch of mixed vegetables in olive oil and oregano, or prawn cocktail with ouzo (divine by the way and I may just share that recipe with you one day!), there is of course this Baklava which I blogged about last year (very easy and effective if you are looking for an impressive desert) and then there is this simple and easy Spinach and Cheese pie which also has Greek Flavours in it, and I am sure there will be a few more… Anyway, this is a very simple recipe to make if you like mussels and I do, I had this in Greece last year with the biggest juicy mussels and I told my partner, that I simply must make this again when we get home, so when we went to our local farmers market and they had mussels, I immediately bought some, (don’t worry if you can’t get any, because I have bought some from Tesco and you actually can’t tell the difference!) and searched for a recipe to adapt, and I found one here which I have adapted slightly.. Now onto the recipe – Mussels Saganaki …Print
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 People 1x
- 1 kg mussels (I made 2kg as they do freeze well). You need to clean the beards of them, so you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you, but it is quite simple.
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes (use one tin if you want less sauce, I like to dip bread into the sauce or chips so always make more)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic (I like garlic, so feel free to use less if you prefer, but do at least use one clove!)
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 60 ml ouzo (available in most supermarkets) You can actually leave this out, it just adds a nice flavour to it and reminds me of Greece
- 1 bunch parsley chopped but not too finely
- 1 block feta cheese crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large pot with a lid
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 bowl to place the mussels in
- Clean your mussels (this is the important bit!) You don’t want beards on them as they don’t taste nice! Once clean, set aside until later.
- Bring 250ml of water to the boil and add the cleaned mussels to the water, put the lid on and cook for about 3 minutes. After about 3 minutes, using a pair of tongs remove any mussels that have opened and place in the bowl, do this until all the mussels are cooked and open. Reserve the cooking liquid.
- In the same pot (just pour the cooking liquid into a jug), add the oil and then sauté the onions and the garlic for 3 minutes until the onion starts to soften and then add the ouzo if using, and cook out until most of the liquid has evaporated, normally about 2 – 4 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, reserved cooking liquid and paprika and give it a good stir around, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the mussels and give them a good shake/stir around using a spoon so that the sauce coats all of the mussels and gives them the flavour. Cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on so that the mussels start to incorporate some of the flavour of the sauce.
- Once you are happy that your mussels are cooked (normally once most of the shells have opened) remove from the heat, add the parsley and the crumbled block of feta cheese and give it another stir around coating the mussels in the feta and the herbs.
- Take pot to the table with your plates and your fresh bread – I recommend my feta, sundried tomato and oregano loaf which have the same flavours – to soak up all the wonderful juices.
Please do not try to eat any mussels which are closed, as these are no good, just discard them. Likewise, if you find you have perhaps made too much (like I did!) simply freeze whatever you don’t eat in a Tupperware container and when you are ready to eat them again, simply add them to a pot and warm through. They will taste as good as if you had them the first time!
Enjoy and I will see you soon with some more wonderful recipes.