Soaking the mussels to expel sand takes several hours. Preparing them for cooking takes several minutes. But the actual cooking takes no more than a minute.
There are only four ingredients and the recipe itself is no more than six steps — four, in fact, if we don’t include the preparation. No kidding.
Ingredients for baked tahong
1/2 kg. of fresh mussels
1 tsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 to 3/4 c. of your favorite cheese, grated
extra virgin olive oil
No, you don’t need salt because the cheese is salty enough. No, you don’t need pepper because the garlic will provide all the zing that the mussels need.
Cleaning and preparing the mussels
Wash the mussels several times. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Place in the fridge and allow to soak for several hours, changing the water every hour or so.
Wash the mussels again and pull off the beards. If they had been soaked sufficiently, the beards should come off easily.
Place the mussels in a baking tray and pop in a preheated 180oC oven for about three minutes or just until the mussels partially open.
Let the mussels cool a bit, then break off the half shells, leaving the meat intact in the other half.
Assemble and bake
Arrange the half shells on a baking tray (a pizza dish was useful), dot with grated garlic (a toothpick is recommended), sprinkle with grated cheese and drizzle with olive oil liberally.
Put back in the hot oven and bake for about a minute or just until the cheese melts.
That’s it. Told you it’s short and simple. :)