Mussels mouclade with spinach mousse

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Simon Hulstone's take on a classic mussels mouclade recipe is a reminder of the old trading links that the French port towns enjoyed with the East, with its pairing of lightly spiced mussels with a rich spinach mousse.

First published in 2015




Mussels mouclade

Spinach mousse


  • Blender


Peel and slice the shallots and the cloves of garlic. Melt the butter in a deep pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the shallots and the garlic and allow to soften, but not colour
Add the curry powder and sherry to the pan, bring to the boil and add the cleaned mussels. Cover and cook until the majority of the mussels are open
  • 1 1/3 tbsp of mild curry powder
  • 150ml of dry sherry
  • 3kg mussels, cleaned
Allow the mussels to drain in a colander for 5 minutes, but keep the liquid. Strain this liquid through a fine sieve and keep to one side
Sort through the mussels and discard any that haven't opened. Remove the meat from the shells and set aside, discarding the shells
Bring the strained stock from the mussels to a simmer. In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter and the flour and gradually whisk this into the stock. It should thicken almost instantly
  • 50g of butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp of flour
Add the turmeric, milk and cream. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding lemon juice to taste and salt, if needed. Then leave to cool until you're ready to serve
To make the spinach mousse, cook the spinach until tender and squeeze out any excess water. Blitz the eggs and spinach together with a hand blender or in a jug blender
Once you have a purée, add the cream and blitz again for 30 seconds before passing through a sieve and seasoning to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper
Butter 4 x 2.5cm moulds and refrigerate until the butter is hard. Then repeat and chill again
While waiting for the moulds, preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas mark 1. Once the butter has hardened, pour in the spinach mix until three-quarters full. Place the moulds on a tray and into the oven
Check after 10 minutes. You want the mix to set, but not to rise too much (just above the top of the moulds). When they're set, leave to rest for 5 minutes
While the spinach mousse is resting, bring the mussel stock up to a simmer. Dice the tomatoes and add, then add the mussel meat. Leave on the heat for about a minute before removing
Unmould the spinach mousses by running a knife around the edge of each one and gently shaking the mousse directly onto the centre of each plate. Spread the mussel curry around the edge and serve
First published in 2015

Simon Hulstone's aesthetically pleasing and rewarding cuisine can be found in Torquay at The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star.

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