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Big Steamy Bowl of Shells SurfCafe Mussels

One of my favourite places to eat on the West Coast of Ireland, and actually worldwide, is the amazing Shells Surf Cafe. My friends Jane and Miles run a wonderfully informal cafe right on the beach in Strandhill, County Sligo. The food is fresh, local and amazingly delicious. Their approach uses a lot of local, high quality products and many ingredients are home-grown or foraged. Todays garden planner for the Irish Mail on Sunday mentioned some foraging tips.
One of my favourite recipes is the Big Steamy Bowl of Shells SurfCafe Mussels from their first book entitled ‘The SurfCafe Cookbook’.



Big Steamy Bowl of mussels

serves 7


900g mussels (washed, scrubbed and beards removed)

1 small onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

100ml (1/2 cup) of dry white wine

50ml (1/4 cup) or a large dash of cream

1 tablespoon dills seaweed, finely sliced (optional)

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea Salt


  • Heat a large pot on a high temperature and throw in the oil
  • Add the garlic first and fry until it starts to our nutty brown, about 15 seconds and then add the onions.
  • Allow the onions and garlic to cook for a minute or two until they begin to soften.
  • Pour in the white wine and let the alcohol boil off. Keep the wine at a rolling boil for another minute
  • add in the cream, then reduce the heat to medium
  • Add in the mussels (make sure to discard any unopened ones as they are dead)
  • next add the dillisk and parsley. Give everything a stir.
  • Put a lid on the pot and let the mussels steam and cook nicely until they have all opened. This should take about four to six minutes. (discard any mussels that have not opened at this point).
  • Serve with warm crusty bread and a nice glass of dry white wine.

Thanks to Jane and Miles of Shells SurfCafe for the recipe. To check out their inspiring website go to Shells Surfcafe


More From the SurfCafe website:

Surfers Jane and Myles Lamberth are living their dream – running a bustling seaside café, creating a gorgeous home and enjoying the coastal lifestyle that goes with it. Surf Café Living is their second book, and here they once again serve up delicious, easy-to-make recipes with an emphasis on fresh, organic, seasonal produce.

After releasing their first title The Surf Café Cookbook, Jane and Myles transformed a rundown cottage into a contemporary beach house. In Surf Café Living, they share a wealth of design and style inspirations along with resourceful ideas for hosting friends and family. This book is all about stress-free, flavoursome entertaining. It will inspire you to invite guests around for brunch, throw an impromptu barbecue or take the next step and host a dinner party filled with music, tasty food, flowers and friends.

Surf Café Living explores everything from keeping bees and harvesting herbs to sourcing the perfect vintage treasure for your home. Taking his cue from the changing seasons, talented chef Myles shows you how to prepare mouth-watering dishes such as Calamari And Chorizo Salad, Veggie Noodle Soup, Pan-Fried Skate, Spatchcock Chicken With Salsa Verde, Cola Pulled Pork, Chocolate Raspberry Tart and Homemade Marshmallows. In these pages you’ll learn how to make upcycled cushion covers, inventive party decorations and campfire coffee too.

This book is dedicated to making your house a home and filling it with great friends, family and – of course – delectable food.


Thanks to Shells Surface and Mike Searle for the shots.



Photo By: Mike Searle & Shells Surfcafe

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