Moules Cullen Skink

Fish and Shellfish

Moules Cullen Skink.

Cheap, quick and delicious.  My idea of the ultimate healthy winter comfort food.

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Serves 4

1 kg fresh mussels

200g plump pieces of smoked haddock

1 large or two smaller potatoes

250ml gold top milk

3 fresh bay leaves

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 leek, washed, trimmed and sliced

6 sticks celery, sliced

200ml white wine or fish stock or 100ml of each

Freshly ground black pepper

3-4 good sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Clean the mussels well. Put them into a large bowl of clean water and keep them somewhere cool for a few hours to allow any grit to be discarded.  Before using drain the water off the mussels and clean each one under cold running water removing the beard and discarding any that will not close when tapped.

Skin the haddock and remove any bones. Chop into large bite sized chunks. Peel the potato and cut into even sized 2 cm squares.

Put the potato pieces into a pan along with the milk and bay leaves. Over a medium heat bring the milk to simmering point. Cook the potatoes for about twelve minutes or until just cooked through.

Put the oil into a large sauté pan with a lid. Add the sliced leek and cook gently until it is just wilted and then add the celery. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Pour over the wine or wine and stock and put the lid onto the pan. Simmer the contents gently for a further 3-4 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften.  Remove the pan lid and bring the liquid to a rolling boil and then tip in the cleaned mussels. Replace the lid and cook for about 5 minutes or so until the mussels are opened. Remove the pan from the heat and discard any mussels that have failed to open at this stage.

Bring the milk and potatoes back to the boil, add in the smoked haddock pieces and simmer for 2 minutes to cook them through.

To serve have ready a large heatproof serving dish. Tip in the cooked mussels and their juice and vegetables. Pour over the milk, potatoes and smoked haddock and gently mix together. Grind over some black pepper and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Serve with good crusty bread.

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