Five-spice mussels

- 750 g to a kilo of fresh mussels - 1 large carrot - 1 fennel bulb - 3 spring onions - one small onion - 2 garlic cloves - bunch of flat-leaf parsley - a good few sprigs of thyme - three spoons of creme fraiche - 150 ml dry white wine - one tsp five-spice powder - 100 ml olive oil
To be honest, this is basically Gordon Ramsay's recipe, but since I didn't have any Pernod, I replaced it with the fennel and the five-spice. It's the aniseed flavour we're after. Wash and clean the mussels. Slice the veg very thin and fry them with the garlic, thyme and five-spice powder in the olive oil in a saute pan on a very high heat. Stir until the vegetables start to wilt. Add the mussels to cover the entire pan, cover with a lid and cook them for a minute or two. Shake the pan or stir once or twice. Add the wine and cook it until the wine reduces by half. Drain the mussels and veg in a colander over a bowl. Put the liquid back in the pan, stir in the creme fraiche and parsley leaves. Season to taste. Return the mussels and veg to the pan to reheat. Serve with chips or bread.