>Mussels with Hebden Wheat
With the current cold snap, I’ve been eating so much heavy food that I found myself craving some seriously tasty, warming, yet light meals this weekend. So, like a comfy pair of old slippers, I turned to somewhat of a classic standby – Mussels steamed in Wheat Beer. Mussels are excellent right now, so get yourself down to the market.
Although Hooegarden is commonly used (unless in Belgium, I would imagine), I’ve kept things local with Little Valley’s Hebden Wheat. Win Van Der Spek creates interesting twists on classic recipes, and I constantly find thier beers intriguing. The award -winning Hebden Wheat is more of a Wit, heavy on Lemon and peppery coriander, rather than the banana and clove accents of German style Wheat Beer. This makes it perfect for this dish.
The recipes is simplicity itself – buy a bag of Mussels, and de-beard and wash them all under a tap, discarding any that are gaping open. While drying in a colander, chop three cloves of Garlic, one medium chilli, and chop a load of fresh coriander. Please use fresh – you won’t get the same flavour with dried.
In a heavy pan with a lid, melt a knob of butter, and add the Garlic and Chilli. when just sweated down (not burnt), add about a third of a bottle of Hebden Wheat, and the chopped coriander. Up the heat a little to get it nearly to boil, and then turn to simmer and add the mussels. Bang the lid on, and leave for about five minutes. When they are all open, shake around a few times to coat, and then lift the mussels into bowls. Turn up the heat, reduce the broth down a little, and then pour over.
What you’ll get it is tender mussels and a fresh, vibrant broth, with enough kick to it to warm you up. Serve with warm bread for the broth, and enjoy the rest of your beer alongside it.