Mussel memory: Bill Granger brings sunny reminiscences of holidays past to the table with his spectacular seafood dishes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Our chef's dishes are as speedy to make as they are delicious to demolish

I never quite understand why people turn to convenience food when there are so many cheap ingredients that make preparing delicious quick dishes from scratch so easy. Mussels are the perfect example, and my current favourite ingredient for a speedy meal.

It used to be that you needed to spend ages scrubbing mussels and pulling their beards off ready for the pan, ruining your nails and mood in the process. These days fishmongers and supermarkets seem to sell them pretty much ready to go.

Just rinse under a cold tap, checking for any broken shells and remnants of beard that need throwing out, and your work is done.

They're also incredibly good value for an ingredient that has the power to bring that sunny-holiday feeling to the table. I'm always happiest when I see people getting stuck into their food – rolling up their sleeves with purpose, ready for the attack.

Quick, cheap, appetising food that brings people together – what more can you ask for?

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com

Linguine with mussels in tomato sauce

This is so enticing and works just as well with clams, prawns or really good-quality tinned tuna in olive oil.

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
375g linguine pasta
500g mussels, beards removed and washed

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and chilli and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the tomatoes, season with sea salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Cook the linguine in a pan of salted boiling water, according to packet instructions. When there are 3 minutes of the cooking time remaining, take a ladleful of the pasta's cooking water and add to the tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil, add the mussels and cook, stirring, until the mussels have opened. Drain the linguine and toss into the sauce, over the heat, until the pasta is well coated. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil.

Satisfying and cleansing: Bill's Thai mussel soup (Kristen Perers) Satisfying and cleansing: Bill's Thai mussel soup (Kristen Perers)
Thai mussel soup

One of those light meals that manages to be both satisfying and cleansing.

Serves 4

250ml coconut milk
500g fish or chicken stock
3cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
4 kaffir lime leaves or 3 strips lime peel
Handful green beans, trimmed
500g mussels, beards removed and washed
1 head bok choi, leaves separated
Juice 1 lime
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
Handful coriander leaves

Put the coconut milk, stock, 750ml water, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves in a large wok or saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat and add the green beans and, after 30 seconds, the mussels and bok choi. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the mussels open. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and coriander and serve.

Time to get messy: Steamed mussels with chorizo and saffron (Kristen Perers) Time to get messy: Steamed mussels with chorizo and saffron (Kristen Perers)
Steamed mussels with chorizo and saffron

The Spanish love for pairing seafood with salty cured meats is one that I fully embrace. Make sure you have plenty of spare paper napkins at the table – it's going to get messy!

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 pinches saffron
200g chorizo, peeled and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1kg mussels, beards removed and washed
250ml dry sherry or white wine
Handful parsley leaves
Toasted crusty bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion and saffron and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and garlic and cook until both turn golden.

Tip in the mussels, sherry or white wine and season with ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and steam for 3 minutes, or until the mussels open.

Top with the parsley leaves and serve with toasted bread with which to mop up the juices.

Food stylists: Marina Filippelli and Rosie Reynolds; Prop stylist: Rachel Jukes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    9 best steam generator irons

    9 best steam generator irons

    To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
    England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
    ‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

    ‘We knew he was something special’

    Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York