Seaside Mussel Shell with Memories

Seaside Mussel Shell with Memories / SA Country Life (p)

At her cooking school in Hilton, award-winning KwaZulu-Natal chef Jackie Cameron puts her creative flair to work on heritage food. Try her Seaside Mussel Shell with Memories.
— SA Country Life

Seaside Mussel Shell

Makes 6 tapas portions



  • 1ℓ white wine
  • 800g half-shelled mussels, fresh if possible
  • 200g onions, sliced
  • 8g fresh garlic, grated
  • 75g fresh fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 150g potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 15ml Pernod
  • 250ml cream
  • 250ml full-cream milk
  • 250ml fish or vegetable stock
  • 35g salted butter
  • 30ml sunflower oil
  • 250ml white wine poaching liquid (kept aside from when the mussels are poached)

Baba Ganoush

(makes about 300ml)

  • 3 medium brinjals, skins on
  • 1 large clove fresh garlic
  • 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fine salt and black pepper


  1. To make the soup, in a large pot bring the white wine to the boil. Then poach the 800g mussels in the white wine for about 2 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly. Remove the mussels from the shells, keep them to one side and place the shells back into the boiling wine and allow to boil for 5 minutes to enhance the flavour. Strain the wine through an oil filter, keep the liquid for later use and the shells for dishing up. Melt the butter and heat the sunflower oil in a pot. Add the onions and garlic, sauté well. Add the fennel and potatoes, caramelising them really well. Now add the Pernod, cream, milk, stock and white wine poaching liquid. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Add 400g of the mussels, take off the heat. Blend, strain and check seasoning.
  2. For the baba ganoush, if you have a gas stove, ignite a burner on top of the stove and, using a carving fork or long-nose tong to avoid burning yourself, char the brinjals on top of this flame. Place them into a plastic bag, tie closed, and allow to cool. If using an electric oven, place brinjals onto a tray lightly drizzled with olive oil and char in a hot oven. When cool remove the skins. Liquidise brinjal flesh with the other ingredients and season well.
  3. To serve as pictured, take a mussel shell, place 1½ tsp soup into it, add a mussel from the remaining 400g and pipe the baba ganoush and a good quality mayonnaise over it.

Wine suggestion: Cape of Good Hope Serruria Chardonnay