The last time I attempted to cook mussels was a while ago and it didn’t turn out so well. Maybe it was the recipe I tried or possibly the use of too much wine or who knows why. So when I had a craving for Moules-Frites (Mussels & Fries) I was determined to make the perfect mussels this time around.
I went for Rick Stein’s classic Moules Marinière recipe and in a few minutes I had a big bowl of tender mussels with a delicious creamy sauce. Honestly, it was the preparation and cleaning of the mussels that was hard part.
For the frites, I was lazy and went for the store-bought-frozen-kind and popped them into the oven (I tried Alexia’s Yukon Fries). I haven’t made oven-baked frozen fries since my high school days, so I’ve forgotten how simple they are to make and how crispy and non-greasy they can be.
Instead of fries, you can soak up the sea-salty, wine-infused cream sauce with crusty bread. We had both!
1 kg mussels (I used Tasmania Spring Bay)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
15 g unsalted butter
a bunch of parsley, few sprigs of thyme & 2 bay leaves, tied together
100 mL dry wine (I used Chardonnay)
120 mL double cream
handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
crusty bread and/or fries to serve
Clean the mussels under running cold water, soak for 20 mins, scrape off any barnacles and remove the beard. Remove any chipped or broken mussels or any that won’t close when lightly tapped.
In a large pan (large enough so that the mussels should only fill halfway) add the butter, tied herbs, garlic and shallots over medium heat. Stir the until the garlic and shallots soften.
Add the mussels and wine and turn the heat to high and cover. Steam the mussels for about 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan a few times while cooking.
Once all the mussels open, remove the tied herbs and add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat immediately.
Serve in 2 bowls, and dip your crusty bread into the creamy juices. Having a plate of fries completes this meal!