BAKED MUSSELS WITH CHILLI, ANCHOVY AND CAPER BREADCRUMBS
3 tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, very finely chopped
1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
pinch of crushed dried chillies
2 anchovy fillets in olive oil (from a can), drained and chopped
50 g white breadcrumbs, made from stale bread
1 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
1½ tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
1 kg mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
50 ml dry white wine
½ small lemon
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, red chilli and dried chillies and cook for 5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add the anchovies and stir until they have melted. Lower the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs until they have absorbed all the oil, then cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned. Stir in the capers, parsley and seasoning. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Discard any cleaned mussels that are cracked or those that don’t close when given a tap on the work surface.
Heat a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the mussels and wine, cover and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan now and then, until they have just started to open. Drain the mussels in a colander and leave to cool slightly. Discard any that remain closed, then tear the remaining shells apart, discarding the empty half. Lay the remaining mussels in their shells on a baking tray.
Spoon a little of the breadcrumb mix on top of each mussel. Drizzle with 2-3 drops of lemon juice. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve immediately in their shells.
Posted: Amanda Conradie
Photo: Elize de Kock