Ingredients

1 smallish leek, washed sunflower oil for shallow frying
4 stalks curry leaves, stems removed
30g butter
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons brandy or cognac, optional
250ml creme fraiche
2kg tuatua or other
150ml dry white wine crusty baguette to serve

Mouclade is a famous – and somewhat surprising – dish from Brittany, in which mussels are first steamed then served with a lightly curried sauce. Of course, this combination works well with other shellfish too, and I especially like it with bigger tuatua.

Serve with crusty baguette as it would be in France, or you could use other types of bread; naan would be great. For more of a main course, spoon the shellfish and sauce over grilled fish and kumara puree or rice.

Instructions

1.Trim the very top off the leek and remove the tough outer leaves.
2.Cut a 5cm piece off the green end and slice very finely into batons.
3.Slice the remaining leek into thin rounds and set aside.
4.Heat about 1cm of oil in a saucepan and fry the leek greens until golden, about 1 minute.
5.Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
6.Fry the curry leaves for about 30 seconds (stand back, they spit) then remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
7.Set aside (in an airtight container if longer than a few hours).
8.Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the saucepan and add the butter and reserved sliced leeks.
9.Sprinkle with salt and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft, trying not to brown.
10.Add the garlic and curry powder to the leeks, cook for 1 minute then raise the heat and add the brandy or cognac if using and bring to the boil.
11.Lower the heat and stir in the creme fraiche. If making in advance, you can chill at this stage until needed, then gently reheat.
12.To SERVE, bring the wine to the boil in a large saucepan.
13.Add the tuatua, cover and cook for about 2 minutes.
14.As the tuatua start to open use tongs to remove them to four warmed bowls.
15.Cover the pan and continue cooking a further 2-3 minutes until all are open and transferred to the bowls, discarding any unopened shells.
16.Set aside the cooked tuatua, covered with plastic wrap to keep moist.
17.Bring the tuatua cooking liquid to the boil and reduce a little.
18.Pour this carefully into the reheated creme fraiche mixture, leaving behind the last few tablespoons of liquid in case there is any sand.
19.If your sauce is too thick, stir in a little water or milk to get the required consistency.
20.Heat through, taste and season if necessary.
21.Pour the sauce over the tuatua and scatter with the fried leeks and curry leaves.
22.Serve with crusty baguette or other bread.

Recipes & Food Styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron Mclean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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