Monday, November 3, 2014

Mussels, Fennel & Chickpea Stew

This is a light and summery stew that can be on the table in 30 minutes. 
Inspired by a recipe from Saveur.

Mussels, Fennel & Chickpea Stew

Serves 4

You will need
1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter
1 bulb fresh fennel, sliced
1 brown onion, sliced
1 - 2 Tsp dried chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 ½ cup white wine, room temperature
1.5 kg fresh mussels, cleaned
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt & black pepper
Fresh fennel fronds for garnish
1 large lemon, quartered and deseeded for serving
Crusty bread for serving

How to make it
Heat the oil and butter in a deep heavy based pot.
Add the fennel and onion and cook over a very low heat for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. (Add a splash of hot water if it starts to burn, ensuring there is no liquid left before the next step.)
Increase the heat and add the garlic and chilli flakes, fry for about 3 minutes.
Deglaze the pot with the white wine, add the mussels and cover. Cook over a medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes.
At this point you can either remove the mussels from their shells or serve them as is. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
Add the chickpeas, season with salt and pepper and heat through.
Garnish liberally with fresh fennel fronds.
Serve immediately with fresh lemon and crusty bread.

-          If you can’t find fresh, buy the large frozen half-shell mussels, 
      but try getting fresh, it really makes a difference.

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