For Judy the prospect of being shunted off to some fancy restaurant for Mothers Day was not high on her priority list, especially on a perfect sunny day in the Garden Route. Instead, a treat would be to enjoy some seafood collected and prepped on the beach with family. So, to bring her dream to reality, I packed up a daypack with the basics for mussels in a creamy white wine sauce with a twist of chilli. Our destination was Gericke’s Point, a fossil dune peninsula shaped like a Sphinx and fringed by plethora of rock pools, her favourite beach venue.
Famous for her Moonlight Meander, a guided night walk investigating the rock pools by torch light at the spring lows of full and new moon, the day outing would give us a chance to investigate the diverse southern Cape marine life by daylight at a leisurely pace while we collected our quota brown Mussels, Perna perna.
The recipe for our brunch was as follows :
- Sliced onions – 4 x small
- chopped garlic – 3 x cloves
- Two chopped chillies – the chillies were roasted then soaked in cider vinegar and olive oil for 2 weeks
- Olive oil
- Cloves and cardemon
- 30 to 40 large Brown Mussels,
- 250ml cream,
- Sparkling wine.
- Baguette or sour dough bread.
- Slice the onion, garlic and chillies and soak in 40ml olive oil and sauté till brown.
- Boil a pot of water and place 6 to 10 mussels in at a time. Leave in water for between 2 and 3 minutes till the mussel just starts opening. when just open, remove the mussels from the boiling water and leave in a bowl to cool down till you can handle them. When cool, open each mussel and remove the flesh and place in a second container.
- Transfer the fried onions to a saucepan, heat up and add 250ml of cream and bring to the boil.
- When the sauce comes tot he boil add the cleaned mussels to the cream sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 5 cloves and two cardemon pods.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add 100ml of sparkling white wine.
- Simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat and serve with pieces of broken baguette.
The result, a day to cherish and remember forever.