Mussels with Amontilado Sherry and Fennel

I love mussels! We are very lucky to have stunning mussels being harvested right here in Portarlington, Victoria. Mussels cooked simply are the best, and I like to combine them with strong flavours like chilli, fennel & sherry to give them a Mediterranean “hit”. This dish is perfect to start a long, relaxed lunch at home with friends. You can easily double the amounts and you have a feast!
Mussels with Amontilado Sherry and Fennel

Ingredients and Methods


2 kg cleaned black mussels – Victorian are the best!
100ml dry white wine

150ml Amontillado Spanish sherry (or dry white sherry)

150ml pouring cream

5 small red shallots chopped

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 long red chilli sliced (with seeds)

2 tspn fennel seeds

3 small fennel bulbs with tops roughly sliced

1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil


1. In a medium saucepan sweat the shallots, garlic and fennel in a small amount of blend oil to soft but with no colour.

2. Increase the heat to high, add the fennel seeds stir of 1 minute, make sure the saucepan is very hot, and add the mussels and white wine, cover with a tight fitting lid and shake the pot a couple of times. Leave it for 3 minutes, shake again and check if mussels are opening. As soon as the mussels are open, remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl on the side, but keep all the liquid and vegetables in the saucepan.

3. Now add the chilli, sherry and cream to the saucepan and keep on a moderate heat and reduce the liquid in the pot by half, this should only take a few minutes. The ingredients in the pot should have a sauce like consistency.

4. Return the mussels to the pot and add the chopped parsley with some salt and pepper, stir well and serve immediately.

5. Even better with some crunchy toasted baguette on the side!

Chef Nicky Riemer

A degree studying chemical engineering was cut short when Nicky realised it was hospitality that held her full attention. With a hotelier as a father, being around waiters, chefs and bartenders was the norm. "I literally grew up living in hotels," says Nicky, "My Dad, as the manager, would have an apartment in them. The only thing I knew was the hospitality industry." (more)

here to view all of Chef Nicky Riemer's recipes.

Nicky Riemer

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