A couple of weeks ago some dear friends came to visit from the UK. We had a great time skipping around the city (it was beautiful weather then, not like the hurricane of rain we've had this week) and making meals together. One highlight was stopping over to our famers market for some fresh mussels. I'm normally afraid of the fishmongers. (Even it my mother-in-law went with me last time and taught me how to clean a fish.) But with some encouragement from a friend who also recently took on the challenge, we stopped by to buy our own mussels for a relaxing meal in.
You know you have found a heart-friend when you share the same passion for Julia Child. (And obviously we looked to her for the recipe below.) And you know your friend has a ridiculous husband when he can impersonate Julia's voice to the T. Andy and I have found both of these to be true in our weekend guests, so we had quite the time making and enjoying this meal together.
I spoke with our fishmonger about the proper way to clean, store, and prepare the mussels and I suggest you do the same. (Or YouTube works great if you're too shy!)
It was not as hard as I thought and they were delicious! Serve as an appetizer or with crusty bread and salad for a lighter meal.
Moules à la Marinière
Fresh Mussel Steamed Open in Wine and Flavorings
2 cups of light, dry white wine
1/2 cup minced shallots/ green onions/ very finely minced onions
8 parsley springs
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
6 Tb butter
6 quarts scrubbed, soaked mussels (I used around 2.5 kilos.)
- Bring the wine to boil in a pot (I used my large Le Creuset Stockpot) with all the ingredients but the last two for 2 - 3 minutes
- Add the mussels. Cover tightly and boil quickly over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands, your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle with an up and down slightly jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly. In about 5 minutes the shells will open and the mussels are ready.
- Then, with a large ladle, dip the mussels into wide soup plates. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels. sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!