The addition of freshly cooked mussels, aromatic coriander and a little cream to a packet of instant risotto can turn a simple meal into a decadent treat. Serve with a side salad for a splendid supper. Other types of cooked shellfish, such as clams or prawns (shrimp), can be used instead of mussels.
900g/2lb fresh mussels
275g/10oz packet risotto
30ml/2tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
30ml/2tablespoons double cream
1.Scrub the mussels, discarding any that do not close when sharply tapped. Place in a large pan. Add 120ml water and seasoning, then bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook the mussels, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until they have opened. Drain, reserving the liquid and discarding any that have not opened. Shell most of the mussels, reserving a few in their shells for garnish. Strain the mussel liquid.
2.Make up the packet risotto according to the instructions, using the cooking liquid from the mussels and making it up to the required volume with water.
3.When the risotto is about three-quarters cooked, add the mussels to the pan. Add the coriander and re-cover the pan without stirring in these ingredients.
4.Remove the risotto from the heat, stir in the cream, cover and leave to rest for a few minutes. Spoon into a warmed serving dish, garnish with the reserved mussels in their shells, and serve.
For a super-quick mussel risotto, use cooked mussels in their shells-the type sold vacuum packed ready to reheat. Just reheat them accroding to the packet instructions and add to the made risotto with the coriander and cream.