Garlicky Chili Mussels with Lemon and Tarragon Aioli

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Garlicky Chili Mussels

Take everything amazing about chili mussels and then make them the perfect finger food!  A delicious, spicy sauce and perfectly tender mussel is topped with a crispy garlic crumb.  Bet you can’t eat just one.  

75g panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped 
210g tin of diced tomatoes 
1 tablespoon tomato paste 
1 teaspoon brown sugar 
½ teaspoon chili flakes 
12 green lipped mussels 
½ cup white wine or fish stock 
½ small onion, finely chopped 
1 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley 


Peel the garlic and place it in a small food processor bowl, blitz until fine.  Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the panko crumbs and mix well to combine.  Tip the mixture into a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.   Cook until golden and crisp, stirring occasionally and being careful not to burn.   Tip into a bowl, stir through the parsley and set aside for later.

Place the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili flakes and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, and the sauce is warm to hot.    Heat the wine in a large pot with the parsley and the onion.   Simmer for 5 minutes.   Add the mussels, put the lid on and cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute, until the mussels open.  Drain into a colander and sit for a few minutes until you can handle them.  Open the mussel shells fully, pull apart and discard the empty half. Always throw away any that won’t open.  Put the mussels attached to the half shells onto a baking tray, mussel-side up.   (You may find that a bed of rock salt makes it easier to keep them steady)  Gently spoon about a teaspoon of the chili sauce over each one and then top with the garlic crumbs.  Toast under the grill for 1 minute until the crumbs are crisp and golden.  

Lemon and Tarragon Aioli

Makes 1 cup    
Try this delicious lemon and tarragon aioli as a change from the usual tartare sauce.  Create this delicious alternative to the traditional tartare sauce quickly and easily with a stick blender.  Enjoy!

2 egg yolks 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 tsp garlic, finely minced 
¼ tsp sugar 
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon lemon zest 
¾ cup of light tasting oil 

Using a stick blender, place the egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, tarragon and garlic in the jug of the blender or a jar.  Pour the oil over the top. Place the head of the stick mixer directly on the bottom of the jug and turn on.  After a few seconds, you will see creamy ribbons coming from the bottom of the jug. Slowly start to raise the mixer through the ingredients until everything is creamy. Once all of the oil has emulsified and your aioli is creamy, stop the blender and taste.  Season as required with salt and pepper then add 2 teaspoons of warm water to the sauce, blitzing for a moment. This will help to stabilise the aioli. Spoon into a jar and keep chilled.