'Tigers' is a mussel-version of croquetas (see our recipe). One of my aunts cooks them always when I go to Spain, which is lucky because these little things are truly laborious. The children love them though. Surprisingly, they were mesmerised by the chance of looking closely into their insides. Eating muscles after seeing the insides is an act for faith, but that goes for both children and adults...
- for each 20 mussels (keep the shells)
- 1.5 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- a quarter of a green pepper (cubed)
- 8 raw (and peeled) shrimps (cut into small cubes)
- olive oil (lots)
- for the béchamel: flour (three heaped table spoons) olive oil and 850 l of milk.
- for the crust: flour, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs
Clean the mussels. Put half a glass of water on a pan. When the pan is hot add the mussels. As soon as they open up take them off the heat and discard the ones that have remained closed. Keep the liquid at the bottom of the pan and sieve it through a colander so that you get rid of any sand.
Take the muscles off the shells and put the sells aside. Cut the mussels into small cubes.
On a different pan, fry the onion, green pepper and garlic until they onion becomes translucent. Then add the shrimps and mussels for a coupe of minutes. Add salt and take the mixture off the heat.
Separately prepare the béchamel (heat two table spoons of olive oil, add three tablespoons of flour and let it get hot for 2-3- minutes while storing well. Then add the milk. Blend with a hand held blender and then put it back on the heat until it starts bubbling and thickening while stirring constantly. At the end add 4 table spoons of the liquid that you got at the bottom of the pan when 'opening' the mussels. When the béchamel is ready mix it with the mussels mixture and pour it onto the mussels shells. Then let them cool down.
Beat the eggs and put then in a bowl. Prepare another bowl with flour and a third bowl with bread crumbs. Dust the shuffled shells with flour. Then dip them into the eggs and cover them with breadcrumbs (by dipping the béchamel surface of the sells into the breadcrumbs).
Heat olive oil in a frying pan ( a lot of it!) and fry the mussels for a couple of minutes until golden.