Stuffed Pimientos With Mussels On Puff Pastry....Lovey Entrée

Ready To Serve
Sometimes we have to let our imagination run away with us. By watching works of art one can develop his own ideas of syntheses. Puff pastry is not only used in pies and other every day dishes.
 Puff pastry can be used to make different shapes such as Volovan which can be stuffed, circular, square or rectangular basis for the addition of something on top to create a delicious starter.
Mussels are easy to find either frozen or fresh in their shell.  To buy them frozen with the shells taken off are much easier to handle.
If you buy them fresh from the fish monger they must be brushed to get the sea weed off and other sea stuff stuck to their shell. Steam them, choose the good ones etc. which sometimes is a pain.
Using the frozen mussels can be quick, and no mucking about in the kitchen.
I would like to create for you today a tappa made of pimiento stuffed with mussels. The word "tapas" in Espanish means "cover" .
For Stuffed Pimientos (Sweet Red Peppers) you will need:
Serves 6
-  Six Pimientos cut as in picture.
Pimiento Segments Required For The Filling.
-  300 gr of frozen mussels thawed keeping the liquid.

Mussels Thawed With Juice.
-  1 clove of garlic mashed, smashed and squashed then finely minced.
-  No salt (mussels are quite salty) freshly ground pepper.
-  2 Cups of prepared thick béchamel.
-  1/3 cup dry white wine.
-  1/2 of one of the two sheets of frozen puff pastry thawed.
For the puff pastry squares;
-  Cut squares to measure with a pastry cutter to fit the size of Pimiento you have.
-  Arrange all six squares on baking paper on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 1 hour at 180 degrees centigrade or until they are golden.
-  Take out from oven and set aside until needed.
Puff Pastry Basis For The Stuffed Pimientos
For the Pimientos:
-  The Pimiemtos have to be stuffed.  However they must not be stuffed when they are uncooked. So we have to steam them just enough to be soft but at the same time be somewhat hard so as not to fall apart when filled.
For the Bechamel:
-  50 gms of good unsalted butter.
-  50 gms. of all purpose flour.
-  1 cup of milk.
-  Salt, white pepper, nutmeg.
For the decoration:
-  Keep 12 best looking mussels in a small bowl.
-  Heat mussels in a little oil to spill their liquid, add the garlic and the white wine. Simmer for a minute, till the alcohol in the wine evaporates, cover and let cool.
-  Make the bechamel sauce and throw in the liquid from the mussels.  Mix well to incorporate.
-  Having already taken off the 12 best looking mussels for the decoration, add all the remaining mussles into the bechamel sauce and use the vetical hand blender to puree the béchamel with the mussels.

Mussels Blended Into A Purée.
-  If the resulting purée is too fluid add 1/2 cup of pulverized  bread crumbs.
-  When they are done and you have a nice thick puree, start stuffing your pimientos.
-  Use some of the stuffing to spread a bed over the puff pastry squares then place diagonally a stuffed pimiento as seen on photo.
-  Place two mussels from the bowl on each side of the pimientos.

Et Voila!!
Serve one square in the centre of each plate.
Enjoy with a chilled white "Flisvos" by Tsandalis.
Feast your eyes on  the colors of this entree on a dark colored plate.


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