1 kg blue mussels, scrubbed, beards removed120 gm day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves2 cloves garlic, finely chopped100 gm cultured butter, melted
Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add mussels, cover and steam for 3 minutes or until mussels just open. Drain mussels and cool. Remove and discard top shell of mussels and refrigerate until required.
Cut bread into small pieces and process in a food processor into coarse breadcrumbs, add parsley leaves and garlic and process until parsley is finely chopped and mixture is well combined. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat grill on high. Place mussels on an oven tray, spoon over breadcrumb mixture and drizzle with melted butter. Grill for 2 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.
While oysters, mussels and scallops receive their fair share
of attention, there's a bevy of other shellfish, too, such as
pippies, cockles and clams, which promise plenty of pleasure on the
plate. These daintier varieties, along with mussels, should be
purchased alive. You can check their condition by tapping any open
shells - they should close immediately. They're sometimes sold
sandless (that is, purged of sand), but if they're not, you'll need
to purge them. Do this by soaking in salted cold water for about an
hour. Discard any shells that don't open during cooking. While
fresh scallops are available to restaurants, they're harder for
home cooks to lay their hands on. Look for examples with plump
flesh and always buy them fresh rather than frozen. If you can't
find shellfish at your local market or fishmonger, give your local
Chinatown a go.