I must admit that, unfortunately, this recipe doesn't belong to the fastest ones. First you have to scrub the shells, then steam the mussels, remove the dead creatures from the shells, chop them finely and then add to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. After that you stuff the shells, dip them in beaten egg and cover with breadcrumbs, and finally you have to fry them in oil until golden brown. These stuffed and breaded mussels are called here simply mejillones rellenos (stuffed mussels) or mejillones tigres (tiger mussels), because they tend to be (more or less) spicy. They are served cold or hot as a tapa to a glass of wine or a beer.
200 g mussels - steamed, removed from shells and finely chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper
1/2 large onion
150 ml milk
20 g flour
salt and pepper
oil for frying
a few drops of Tabasco or cayenne powder
beaten egg and breadcrumbs for breading
the mussel shells
Discard any mussels with broken shells or any that do not shut immediately when sharply tapped. Scrape the mussel shells with knife and pull off the 'beards'. Next, wash them under cold running water. Place the mussels in a large pan over high heat. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, or until the mussels are open. Drain them in a colander and leave until cool enough to handle. Discard any mussels that are not open, then remove the remainder from their shells.
If the shells are very dirty, you can put them into a pan with water and vinegar and cook for a few minutes - this way you will get rid of sand and other impurities outside and inside the shells. Drain them, wash under running water and dry.
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan, add finely chopped onion and pepper, and soften. Mix in the chopped mussels, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to boil, stirring. Cook until the mixture thickens and will pull away from the walls of the pan. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper.
Spoon the mixture into mussel shells.
Dip in egg and cover with breadcrumbs.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.