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"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gratinated mussels


You'll need

1 kg blue mussels, scrubbed, beards removed 120 gm day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 100 gm cultured butter, melted

Method

  • 01
  • 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.
  • 02
  • 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.
  • 03
  • 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.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Cold lager.

Featured in

Aug 2007

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