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MUSSELS AU GRATIN

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As the weather in South Africa takes a summery turn, we’re starting to imagine lazier afternoons spent with our nearest and dearest when, let’s face it, food becomes central to our gatherings. I just love this appetizer. I always imagine I’m on a West Coast breakaway, fuelling a braai fire while nibbling on these bite-sized beauties. The added rice in this filling also means you can take your time on your way to the main event.

MUSSELS AU GRATIN

TIME: 35 minutes | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

125 ml Spekko Saman White Long Grain Rice

24 large half shell mussels

30 ml butter

1 small leek, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

30 ml cake flour

250 ml cream

30 ml finely chopped parsley

15 ml finely grated lemon zest

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fine dried bread crumbs

METHOD

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packaging, then keep to one side. Remove the mussels’ flesh from the shells, wash the shells and keep to one side. Then, finely chop the flesh and keep one side.

Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan and add the leek and garlic. Fry until soft and translucent. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Add the cream little by little stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Keep stirring until thickened. Add the chopped mussel flesh, parsley, lemon zest and cooked rice, season with salt and pepper and mix. Heat the grill element of your oven. Arrange the mussel shells on a large baking tray. Spoon the rice mixture into the shells. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top of each mussel and place in the oven. Grill until crispy and golden. Serve warm.

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