September 1, 2014

Moules et Frites


I've been reading about French cooking lately, and one of the reoccurring themes is how the French cook au pif ("by the nose"), meaning they cook by feel and trusting their instincts.

The mussels - right before I put the lid on the pot
It seemed only fitting to embrace this French attitude when I decided to make moules et frites for the first time.  When I have ordered them at restaurants, the mussels have been served in an addicting good buttery garlic flavored broth made with wine.  You know, one of those really phenomenal broths where you just have to soak up the every last bit of the broth with bread, because it is that good.  :)  I played around to come up with my own version--trusting my instincts.  I cooked garlic and shallots in butter, and then added the mussels with wine, parsley, and some salt.  The mussels cook with steam, so I covered the pot and let them cook for ten minutes.  And, then, voila, I lifted the lid of the pot, and the mussels were open--meaning an incredibly elegant dinner was ready!

This was my first time making mussels.  I was surprised at how inexpensive they were, considering that they are usually a more pricey item on restaurant menus.  (Even better, Tony's Market cleaned the mussels for me!)  After making them, I was even more surprised at the ease and speed of making them.  I sort of felt ashamed that I only just started cooking mussels now, given that they are so fast and delicious.  You can prepare them with the simplest of ingredients, and you know exactly when they are ready because the shells will open up.  Fries pair so well with this, and make sure you have some good bread on hand to soak up the broth.  Does it get much better than that?

To those who haven't made a meal like this before, give this a try!  Trust me, it's worth it.

Moules et Frites
Yields 2 servings

Ingredients:
2 lbs. fresh mussels
4 tbsp. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
Salt, as desired

Directions:
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and shallots, and cook until softened (almost wilted), for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add the mussels, wine, parsley, and salt.  Stir, and then cover the pot.  Cook for about 10 minutes, and open half way to stir the mussels.  Remove from heat and serve with pomme frites (French fries!), good crusty French bread, and a glass of white wine, if desired.

Source: A Simply Sweet Justice Original

10 comments:

  1. These look wonderful. I bought some recently at Whole Foods. Like you I was surprised that they were so affordable. I'll have to try your recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum, what a coincidence- I just had some Moules et Frites at St Malo, France two nights ago. Yours look just as good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, I think you need to start a French culinary adventures business :) I'll sign up!

      Delete
  3. Wow, you have upped the ante with these. My French grandmother could never understand why we needed recipes. Seriously. She never ever used one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a classy recipe, I have heard a lot about moules et frites (especially because my french teacher adored me!) :D
    Great photo!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could your French teacher not adore you?

      Delete
  5. Have you ever had them at Le Central? I think they're the best. I remember the first time I cooked mussels and realized they were alive! Took me aback a little. I really should make them again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not been to Le Central since college - I will need to get back there again soon!

      Delete
  6. What a great description of cooking - so true! When you visit the desert next time make sure to check out Whole Foods - they had fresh Sea Urchin, Mussels, Oysters and clams! I almost forgot I was in the desert -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to check it out! I heard they have a bar, too!

      Delete

Free Blog Template by June Lily