- 3 large or 6 small fennel bulbs, sliced
- 4 oranges
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 kg mussels, cleaned
- 1 cup cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Arrange the fennel, the rind of 1 orange, 2 oranges, halved, and the garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, dot with butter and roast for 30 minutes, or until caramelised.
Transfer the fennel and garlic to a large saucepan, add the stock and squeeze in the juice of the oranges. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, until the fennel is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the mussels and simmer until opened. Remove the mussels and set aside. Blend the sauce until smooth, return to a low heat, add the cream and the mussels and simmer until warmed through. Season to taste and serve warm with fennel fronds, diced orange segments and lots of black pepper.
Cook's note: This one will blow you away – it might take a little time but it’s worth the wait. The fresh orange juice, fennel and garlic is the secret to a truly knockout (and easy!) cream sauce.