Tag Archives: Green Lipped Mussels

COZZE (Mussels) GREEN LIPPED MUSSELS WITH TOMATO AND CANNELLINI BEANS

Mussells

A must when in New Zealand is to eat the green-lipped mussels. They are so much larger and meatier than the varieties of black mussels common in Australia and Europe.

I stayed with friends on Waiheke Island located in the Hauraki Gulf. It is about 17.7 km from Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand. I bought the mussels from the local fish shop and cooked them with extra virgin olive oil, white wine, parsley and quite a bit of garlic (Cozze in Brodetto).

The next time I cooked green lipped mussels was a few days later when I visited other friends in Queenstown in the South Island. I bought the mussels in another great fish shop in Dunedin and both towns are in the South Island of New Zealand. I cooked these with tomatoes and cannellini beans and these are the photos and the recipe. On this occasion I used tinned beans.

Black mussels can also be used in this recipe.

 There were 4 of us.

INGREDIENTS
mussels, 2.5 k
dry white wine ½  cup
parsley, ½  cup chopped
cannellini beans,  I used 2 x 400g tins, cooked and drained
tomato salsa: 800g of tinned red tomatoes, oregano (dried) or fresh basil leaves, salt, 1/4 cup of  extra virgin olive oil, garlic, 4 cloves chopped finely

Make salsa:
Place the tomato, basil or oregano, extra virgin olive oil and liquid from the mussels in a saucepan and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 2 cups.
Clean and de-beard mussels.
Place mussels in a large, wide saucepan, add wine and parsley, cover and place over high heat to steam open.
Remove the open mussels from the cooking liquid as you go (I placed mine in a large serving bowl). Leave the unopened ones in the liquid until they all open.
Evaporate the cooking liquid until you only have about 1 cup of concentrated liquid. This will be salty and this is why no salt has been used elsewhere.
Add the cannellini to the salsa and heat.
Combine all of the ingredients together and serve.

Reduction of liquid

 

You can see that I like mussels quite a bit. For other mussel recipes see:

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SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH MUSSELS (Risu cu Zaffaranu e Cozzuli is the Sicilian, Riso con Zafferano e Cozze is the Italian)

Green lipped mussels kept fresh and alive under jets of sea water

I have just returned from a two week stay in the North Island of New Zealand where there seemed to be a public awareness about sustainable fish and sustainable fishing and farming practices. Seafood seemed plentiful and well priced and I found fish sellers that clearly state their support for sustainable fish species and how they only procure stocks from sustainable resources. There was even information on restaurant menus such as line caught snapper, or this fish was farmed in a sustainable way.

 

During my stay I ate many varieties of fish that I had not eaten before – I loved it all.

Green lipped mussels (such as the ones in the photo from The Fish Market in Auckland) were around $3.50 per kilo; I did not spot any on restaurant menus, but maybe this is because they mussels are so common. While I was in New Zealand I stayed in serviced apartments (not that I did much cooking), and on one occasion I bought some and steamed them lightly (just enough to open them) and enjoyed them with some lemon juice.

Green lipped mussel farming in New Zealand is sustainable; the government conducts research and careful monitoring into selective breeding, farming and harvesting methods.

A good way to eat mussels (any type) is with rice. Saffron is used in Sicilian cooking and in this recipe, the rice is simmered in fish stock – the more traditional and older way to cook risotto in Sicily.

INGREDIENTS 
rice, 2 cups of aborio or vialone
fish stock, 6-7 cups
saffron threads, ½-1 small teaspoon
extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup
garlic cloves, 2 chopped finely
mussels, 2 k,
wine, ½ cup, dry white
parsley, ½ cup chopped finely
PROCESSES
Clean the mussels by rubbing them against each other in cold water(or use a plastic scourer). Pull the beards sharply towards the pointy end of the shell.
Heat the oil in a large pan (which can be used to cook both the mussels and the rice), add the garlic and soften.
Add the mussels and the parsley, toss them around in the hot pan, add a splash of wine, cover and cook until they open (about 4-6 minutes). Do not discard any mussels that don’t open – they just need more cooking.
Remove the mussels from the saucepan. Take out half of the mussels from their shells – the mussels with their shells will be used for decoration on top of the rice.
Add about 5 cups of the fish stock and saffron to the same pan and when it reaches boiling point add the rice.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over moderate heat, stirring now and again to ensure that the rice does not stick and the stock has been absorbed.
Taste the rice and season with salt if necessary. Add more stock or wine if needed – the rice is done when it’s al dente – just tender, but resistance can still be felt when you bite into it. (The rice will continue to soften).
Stir into the rice the shelled mussels. Place the mussels with the shells on top of the hot rice or gently fold them through the top layer of the hot rice (Italians are never fussy about eating food which is not piping hot).
Leave to rest for a few minutes for the flavours to meld before serving (the rice will also continue to cook and soften slightly).
Sustainable fish display in Auckland Fish Market

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