Moroccan mussels in a tomato sauce recipe: Bouzroug be maticha

Mussles in tomato sauce is a dish which can be served as a main dish or as a cooked salad.

I decided to serve it rather warm-ish over couscous for a change, but also to make my husband eat couscous..I served it as a light meal, somewhere between a starter and a main dish too.

In today's post, I'll describe how to make a proper Mussels tagine or starter. I'll also add the rest of the ingredients to serve it in a more modern way.

The best couscous to use for this is a corn couscous or a fine semolina couscous. I personally steam my couscous but I understand some may want to shortcut and use the 5 minutes formula (mix with salt and water and wait 5 min until in plumps up). In this particular recipe, whichever way you follow does not really matter.


Mussels in tomato sauce given a modern treatment


Ingredients
Serves 4 to 6
Prep: 20 min - cooking: 15 min

Mussels in tomato sauce

  • 2 kg of mussels, raw and shell scrubbed and cleaned
  • 800 g of tomatoes, seeded and grated (or good quality chopped tomatoes from a tin)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup of parsley and coriander, chopped
  • 50 ml of olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of dried cayenne powder or a chopped fresh one 
  • Salt to taste 
For the prawns
  • 800 g prawns, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 5 tbsps of olive oil
For the couscous (double ingredients if you want more couscous)
  • 1 cup of dried  couscous (follow package directions to prepare it)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed peppercorns (black, white, red, green), crushed
  • 2 tbsps of butter
  • 1 tbps of parsley, chopped
For the garnish
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice
  • Extra parsley leaves
  • Lemon wedges



Preparation

Again, you could enjoy the mussels in tomato sauce on their own or make this elaborate dish for a complete meal. 

Prepare the mussels in tomato sauce

Wash and clean the mussels. Drain. Put them in a deep pot and cover. Place over low heat.

Once they're open (discard the closed ones), turn of the heat. Set aside to cool, pick each mussel and discard the "beard". Keep the water released by the mussels.

At the same time, sauté tomatoes in half of the oil with spices and herbs for 15 minutes in a frying pan. Add a bit of water if needed.

Transfer the shelled mussels with their water to the tomato sauce. Cook on medium heat until most of the water has evaporated. Correct the seasoning.

Serve hot for a main dish or cold/warm as a starter.

Prepare the couscous

Follow package direction to prepare the couscous. Delicately mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Sautee the prawns

While the couscous in taking shape, sautee prawns for a couple of minutes and season to taste.

Serve the dish

Use a pastry circle to shape the couscous base. Surround it with prawns. Spoon mussels in the sauce on top of the couscous.

Spread the chopped and seasoned fresh tomatoes around the prawns.

Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.




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