This child friendly, easy mussels in cream is ready in minutes.
This Guardian article on eating in restaurants with small children caused me some amusement recently. I do think it’s important that children have the experience of eating out where possible, and sometimes it is easier than cooking at home with a toddler underfoot. On our recent holiday to Brittany, however, we spent a day in a lovely seaside town called Cancale, which is famous for its oyster farm. It’s really impressive, and takes up most of the bay.
When I first cooked my Spanish style mussel pasta the small one ate an astonishing nine mussels, so I had decided that while we were in Brittany, renowned for its seafood, we would have to try the famous French Moules Frites – mussels cooked in cream, and chips. Chips are his favourite food, to the extent that they are known as ‘pommes frites’ in our house. As soon as you say the c-word he starts looking for them.
However, when faced with a tired, end-of-the-afternoon toddler and a row of smart restaurants, with children’s menus aimed at nine year olds and posh white tablecloths, we realised we didn’t want to spend the evening chasing the little one round a restaurant full of sophisticated French diners with a spoon. The French also have a very wysiwyg attitude to food- what you see is what you get – meaning few vegetables.
The solution- we headed to the supermarket, stocked up and made this easy mussels in cream version. It uses cooked mussels so there’s less to be paranoid about, there’s plenty of nutritious vegetables, and no wine involved in the cooking so it’s child friendly. We found mussels in a parsley sauce – plain cooked mussels with some fresh or dried parsley and a little stock or worcester sauce should do the trick instead. We served it with oven chips, and it was gobbled up in no time.
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 500g mushrooms
- Butter or margarine for frying
- 2 cloves garlic
- A small amount of milk
- 200g mussels in parsley sauce
- 150ml double cream
- Peel and dice the onion. Wash and slice the mushrooms and leek, and prepare the cloves of garlic according to your preference.
- Fry the onion, leek and mushrooms in margarine or butter until they are soft. If they start to stick before they're cooked add a little milk to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mussels and cream, stir well and simmer gently until cooked through.