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Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Bonnet Chilli’

The mussels are cooked in a fairly light sauce but packed with flavour. Serve with some crusty bread if you like.

Wine Suggestion: This dish demands a white with good bones, though you need to keep it fresh and savoury as well for the taste of the sea the mussels bring. We chose to good effect Quinta Soalheiro’s Alvarinho Reserva which comes from some of their oldest vineyards in the north of Portugal. Aromatically intense with a complex structure, it nonetheless also maintains a salty freshness from the grape making it a great match for mussels.

Mussels and orzo with coconut & saffron – serves 4

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 80g orzo pasta
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 1¼ tsp fine salt
  • 150g yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp tomato purée
  • ¾ tsp saffron threads
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • up to 2 tsp chilli paste, we used paté bomba con peponcini piccanti (optional)
  • 1 lemon

FOR THE HERB OIL:

  • 5g chives, finely chopped
  • 5g coriander, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of fine salt

Put the orzo into a medium-sized ball and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, shallow sauté pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, pepper, the whole Scotch bonnet and the salt. Cook gently for about 8 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and saffron and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the orzo, then spread the mussels out on top. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 5 minutes or until the mussels have all opened.

Discard the whole chilli, you can give it a squeeze into the sauce first if you like heat. Taste the sauce and add some chilli paste if you like.

Squeeze plenty of lemon juice over the mussels, then mix all the ingredients for the herb oil together and spoon over the top.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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