A bowlful of mussels is cheap and dead easy to cook. Admittedly, eating them here is not the same as slurping them by the sea, but they’re still satisfying in the chilly weather.

What you need:
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 fresh red chilli
½ stick celery
Olive oil
1kg mussels
250ml dry white wine or cider
Small bunch of parsley

The work:
Tip the mussels into a sink filled with cold water. Sort the mussels. Throw away any broken ones and those that don’t shut when squeezed closed. Grip the beards and pull them away firmly. Give them a good rinse and drain in a colander.
Gently heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan.
Chop the garlic, onion, celery and chilli and sweat this over a low heat until glossy. Add the mussels, pour in the wine and place a lid on the saucepan. Turn up the heat and cook for 3-5 mins, shaking the saucepan once or twice.
Discard any mussels that have not opened. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and serve.
This will feed two so simply add more ingredients if you’re cooking for friends. Serve the mussels with chunks of crusty bread and butter, or the authentic Belgian way with chips and a dollop of creamy mayo.