Simplicity is the key to this traditional Christmas dinner with a twist. Some of us thrive at the thought of cooking for a crowd, others cringe and immediately go into panic mode. For those people this is a great menu. Christmas shouldn't be stressful for anyone. It is a time to enjoy being with your nearest and dearest.
With our pre-dinner drink, I'll serve these stuffed mussels. Make the filling for them a few days in advance; that way, you just need to stuff and crumb them in the morning, then give them a quick fry before serving.
We usually do scallops, with an Asian dressing, cooked in the shell on the barbecue, but these mussels will be a pleasant change. The coriander pesto is a taste explosion with the crunchy crumbs, which will surprise your guests. I make my own pesto but feel free to buy one to make life simple.
|20||Mussels, fresh (Main)|
|½ cup||Cream cheese|
|¼ cup||Coriander pesto (Main)|
|¼ cup||Flour, to dust|
|2||Eggs, lightly whisked and seasoned with salt and pepper|
|2 cups||Panko breadcrumbs|
|1 serving||Oil, for frying|
|1||Lime, to squeeze|
|1 serving||Chilli sauce, for dipping, optional|
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- Pour ½ a cup of water in a large saucepan and put the lid on. Bring to a boil then add the mussels and steam until opened. Remove from the liquid. When cool enough to handle, remove mussels from the shell.
- Combine the cream cheese and pesto in a small bowl. Stuff each mussel with this mixture and press closed.
- Dust them in flour, dip in egg then breadcrumbs. Place on baking paper in the fridge until ready to cook.
- To shallow-fry, cover the base of a frying pan with oil. Add the mussels in batches, frying for 2 minutes each side until crispy.
- Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and chilli sauce if wanted.