Seafood Paella - The one pot wonder


Seafood Paella - The one pot wonder

Eating seasonally, when produce is packed full of flavour is without a doubt the best way for you to enjoy food at its best. Each month we will be highlighting what’s in season and also share one of our favourite recipes using some of these great ingredients. We hope that it’ll inspire you to get in the kitchen, start cooking and ultimately support great British food.

Our seasonal favourite, Mussels were once regarded as the poor relation of the shellfish family due to their small size and relative abundance. Today, mussels are highly popular in dishes such as paella, fish stews or served on their own in a creamy white wine sauce.

Part of the shellfish family, the most common type of mussel is the Blue or European mussel. This type of shellfish usually has a sleek, shiny shell and tender nutritious flesh. Mussels have the most impressive nutrition value of all the shellfish. Containing high levels of fatty acids such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid); these fats have many beneficial effects such as improving brain function. Mussels are also a brilliant source of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron and folate acid.

You can purchase mussels either alive, still in their shell or de-shelled and frozen from either your local supermarket or fishmongers. If you do purchase mussels that are still alive, then you need to bear in mind the below facts.  

  • Pick mussels that have securely closed shells and discard any mussels with open shells that will not close.
  • If a shell is open, tap it against a work surface or knife, if the shell closes then the mussel is still alive and fresh, if the shell remains open then it needs to be discarded.  
  • Discard any mussels that are broken, cracked or split shells as these have already died.
  • Remove any barnacles from the shell with a knife and remove the ‘beard’ a fibrous clump of hairs that sprouts from the shell; this can be removed with a firm pull or scissors.
  • Clean the mussels thoroughly with fresh water and a clean sponge, do not submerge the mussels in water or soak them as this can kill them.

Mussels need to be eaten when they are alive and fresh; by following the above steps you can be confident that you are eating mussels that are wonderfully nutritious and full of flavour. One of the key attractions towards mussels is that they can be prepared virtually in any way, from smoked, boiled, roasted, barbecued, or fried in butter or white wine.

Why don’t you try our recipe for Seafood Paella, if you’re new to trying mussels this is a great way of introducing them to your diet, without being over powered by the flavour or texture. Our Seafood Paella is a one pot wonder, bursting with flavour and colours – Enjoy!   

 Other seasonal delights include:

Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Leeks, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Swede

Fruit: Pomegranate

Fish & Shellfish: Clams, Mussels

Meat & Game: Hare, Partridge