Stuffed mussels from Turkey. A simple but delicious treat! When I was living in Istanbul years back, I learned to love these stuffed little delicacies. On the ferry on the Bosporus, fishermen were cooking them in big kettles and sell them for a few Turkish lira, where I ate them outdoors on the boat.
Now last week in Zurich I went to Gül, the new Turkish restaurant in town, and had a flash-back eating them there. They were amazing, as all the food at Gül by the way. The restaurant is still new and some minor improvements will be necessary in terms of the menu, but so far I really liked it and will go back there fore sure.
Before I get too melancholic, here’s the recipe. I adapted it a bit, to make it easy and quick. I added some wine for the mussels, and separated the meat from the mussel, but as usual it might be a bit easier to do, but not less delicious!
Ingredients for 20 pcs:
- Mussels (20 or more)
- 1 onion
- 2 TS tomato puree (concentrate)
- 1 TS cinnamon
- 0.5 TS crushed chilis
- 3 TBS chopped fresh flat parsley (a lot!)
- 1 TBS white raisins
- 1.5 TBS pine nuts
- 50g white rice
- A splash of white wine and some olive oil
Finely chop the onion and sear in a deep pan in some olive oil. Add the pine nuts, the raisins, the cinnamon, chili and tomato puree and keep searing for a bit. Then add the rice, keep roasting it for another two minutes, then cover everything with water (I use hot water from the kettle to speed up the process), switch off the stove and cover with a lid after having stirred well. Wait for 20 minutes or until the rice is soft.
Meanwhile, clean the mussels on the outside and throw away the ones that are already open. in a big pan, heat some olive oil, then add the mussels, then add a splash of white wine. Cover with the lid and let cook for about five minutes. Shake the pan from time to time. Now throw away the ones that are still closed and only keep the open ones. Dispose of the water and separate the shells from the meat. Chop the meat, not too finely, just roughly, and set aside in a bowl.
Add the parsley, season with a pinch of salt, and mix everything together before filling the empty shells with the mixture.
Keep in the oven at 80 degrees until served. They can be served lukewarm as a starter, apero or snack.