Mussel, Celery and Potato Chowder with Gremolata Toasts
A creamy chowder with plump mussels and chunky vegetables served with garlicky toasts.
|Preparation Time:||20 minutes|
|Cooking time:||40 minutes|
- 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 2 litres fish stock*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 leek or large onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery and leaves, finely diced
- 50g butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 750g potatoes, peeled, finely diced (Dutch Creams)
- 1/2 cup cream
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, for sprinkling
Place mussels in a large pot with 1/4 cup water and simmer covered for 5-10 minutes until mussels open. Remove mussels from shells, reserving 8 with shells, and strain the cooking liquid into the fish stock, discarding shells. Heat oil in the pot and fry leek and celery until softened. Add butter and, when melted, stir in flour, cooking for 1 minute. Add fish stock all at once and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. Add potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes util potatoes are tender. Return all mussels, including those in the shell, to the chowder, add cream and cook until heated through. Season to taste. Serve portioned into bowls, distributing the mussels evenly, sprinkle with cayenne and extra celery leaves. Serve with Gremolata Toasts.
Finely chop 1/4 cup parsley leaves and 3 cloves garlic together. Mix in grated rind of 1 lemon to make Gremolata. Mix half into 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon salt and use to brush both sides of 8 slices ciabatta bread. Grill on both sides until golden. Sprinkle with remaining Gremolata. Serve with chowder.
The flavour of this chowder relies heavily on a good quality fish stock. To make your own, combine fish bones, chopped carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and a slice of lemon in a pot, cover with water, season and bring to the boil, simmering for 1 hour before allowing to cool. Then strain and use within 2 days or freeze for later use.