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Recipe: Easy Mussels Stew

I actually like mussels (I know some people don't like them much because of the yucky stuff) but not the ginormous ones and only fresh, not frozen.

When I was in Australia, they were plentiful in the supermarkets and when I found an opportunity to cook, I jumped at it and came up with a main entree of mussel stew (more like a light broth) which made a light and delicious lunch, but even more so with hunks of hearty bread to soak up the juices.

Ingredients (generous for 2 as mains)
800 grams fresh mussels, soaked washed and debearded
200 grams of mixed seafood chunks (optional)
1 clove garlic, sliced (1 more if you like)
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced roughly
2 stalks celery, diced finely
1 medium carrot, diced finely
1 white or yellow onion, diced finely
1.5 cup tomato juice
1.5 cup white wine
1 tsp dry mixes herbs
2 tsp pepper flakes or 1 small chili padi , chopped and deseeded (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Method:
In a large pot (that has a lid), add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of pan. Heat up the pan until hot.

Add in celery, onions and carrots and stir fry until the onions turn translucent.

Add in mixed seafood and mixed herb. Stir fry for about 20 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in mussels and give the whole pot a stir through, another 10-15 secs. Add in white wine and tomato juice. Add chili here if using.

Cover the pot and turn down heat to medium.

Cook for about 6-8 mins, or until 75% of the mussels have opened up. Taste and season accordingly.

Turn off heat immediately but keep lid on for another 3 mins.

Prepare to serve in large shallow dishes and alongside, plenty of dense crusty bread, toasted with butter is best.

Note: Discard any unopened mussels so to avoid food poisoning.

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