Stage 2 – Utrecht/Zélande: The cold waters of the North Sea are perfect for farming mussels, a favourite seafood for the Dutch. This dish makes a great appetiser or entrée but needs to be served as soon as possible after the sabayon has been browned.
- 500 g black local mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 4 sprigs of parsley
- 70 ml Dutch beer
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 50 g butter, just melted
- baby cress, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe serves 4 as an appetiser or 2 as an entrée.
Place the mussels in a saucepan with the sliced onion, parsley and 50 ml of the beer. Cover with a lid and steam over high heat for 2-3 minutes or just until they open. Pour into a colander placed over a bowl, then remove and discard the top shell from each mussel. Check inside the mussel meat and remove any beards if necessary. Place the mussels in their half shells on a baking tray in a single layer.
Strain the mussel cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl, leaving behind any gritty sediment. Place 1 tablespoon of the strained liquid into a heatproof bowl, then add the egg yolks, curry powder and the remaining beer. Place the bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Using a hand-held whisk, whisk until the egg yolk mixture reaches a light, fluffy sabayon which leaves a trail when the mixture falls from the whisk. Remove the bowl from the heat, then gradually whisk in the melted butter until well combined.
Spoon a little of the sabayon over each mussel in the half shell, then place them under a hot grill and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until just until brown. Serve immediately.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Food preparation by Alice Storey. Creative concept by Lou Fay.