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Moules ... How do you eat yours?

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  • Moules ... How do you eat yours?

    For me, classic Moules & Frites.

    Practically an institution in Belgium where there are a number of set recipes: Moules Marinière, Moules Parquées, Moules à l'Ail and so on, then the range of Chef's Signature pots of mussels.

    I have my own favourite, which is a blend of Moules Marinière and Moules à la Crème: butter, onion, fennel, garlic, parsley, white wine and cream.

    Frites should be Skinny Chips, or "fries", par-boiled to fluff up a little and fried off in duck fat for that authentic Belgian flavour. I love goose fat, as you know, and that will be my fat of choice.


    Take a couple of potatoes, peel and cut into "fries". Skinny Chips, for us Brits.

    Par-boil for three to five minutes, drain and allow to cool a little.

    Don't "do" white potatoes? Well, pretty much any root will do the trick. For lower carb, leave 'em out and enjoy some greenage alongside - tenderstem broccoli would be ideal.


    Take your mussels, wash them and discard any that are not closed.

    Remove the beards and set aside.

    Prepare your mise en place - getting all the ingredients cut and ready on a board: onion, fennel, garlic, parsley, white wine and cream. I tend not to drink white wine and didn't have a complimentary one in, so use Noilly Prat; posh Vermouth.

    Don't "do" wine? Well, water will do just fine. It'll just be a bit bland, but you will get the real taste of the mussels as is, not enhanced.


    You need a skillet and a lidded pan.

    In the skillet melt some of your favourite paleo fat - goose fat, for me - and drop the frites in. Keep the heat on medium. Too low and they won't crisp, too high and they'll burn; along with the fat.

    Turn frequently.

    In the lidded pan, drop in a generous slab of your favourite butter. Bathe the onion and the fennel in it, dropping in the garlic, and as the heat rises, give the pan a generous slosh of wine (or Vermouth), pour in the mussels and get the lid on fast.

    The mussels will cook through in the steam from the wine, taking on all those lovely flavours.

    Give the pan a shake and toss in chopped parsley. Shake again. After a few minutes, the mussels will be cooked through - they will have opened and they'll be warm.

    Remove the mussels into a bowl and remove any which have not opened.

    Pour some cream into the juices in the pan. Raise the heat and reduce.

    Don't "do" cream? Whisk in butter and reduce. Don't "do" butter? Well, just reduce to concentrate the flavours.


    Once reduced, pour over the mussels, add a grind of freshly milled black pepper (no sea salt, since the flavour is delicate and already salty enough) and some more chopped parsley.

    The sweetness of the mussels will be enhanced by the Vermouth, onion, fennel and garlic with the cream laying down a velvet backdrop, parsley just perfuming through.

    Serve the frites alongside.


    Dig in and enjoy, scooping out the mussels with half of the shell, slurping down the gorgeous sauce and mopping up with frites.


    Absolutely gorgeous!

    So, how do you like yours?

    "... needs more fish!"

  • #2
    Much as you have described! I can't abide Moules Parquet though. I've also had moles done in coconut milk, with lemon grass, garlic, chilli and holy basil. Delicious!


    • #3
      Haha! I tried a sort of "Thai Green" Mussels and hated it! I had no idea really why I did - I can't abide coconut milk

      Living in the Ice Age: Thai Green Mussels

      "... needs more fish!"


      • #4
        I make mussels magnifico similar to the recipe in the link below. I would have never guessed they would go well with fries.

        Mussels Magnifico Recipe by | SparkRecipes
        Last edited by JimenyKrickets; 01-15-2014, 02:44 PM.


        • #5
          Yeah, that is nice ... simple, the tomato just giving that little acid to compliment the sweet mussels. Nice.

          "... needs more fish!"


          • #6
            What do you do with the beards that you set aside? I usually set mine aside in the trash.


            • #7
              Being half Belgian moules et frites and a glass of wine is perfection to me.
              Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


              • #8
                Originally posted by OneDeltaTenTango View Post
                What do you do with the beards that you set aside? I usually set mine aside in the trash.
                What a waste! You must pan fry them ... splash of Tabasco.

                Sorry, by "Remove the beards and set aside" meant (1) remove the beards (from the mussles), and (2) set (the mussels) aside.

                Beards and Tabasco is not fun ... unless you snort 'em.

                Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                Being half Belgian moules et frites and a glass of wine is perfection to me.
                I must be about half Belgian now, too, the amount of their beer I've drunk

                "... needs more fish!"


                • #9
                  You ruined bacon and eggs night for me The store next to my office has live mussels and that was all I could think of all afternoon. Here we go... I'll be right back haha.

                  Yes... I know canned paste faileo.
                  Last edited by JimenyKrickets; 01-15-2014, 06:55 PM.


                  • #10
                    and done... pardon the amateur presentation


                    • #11
                      Bravo! There's no such thing as badly presently mussels - just dump a big, old pile onto a plate and motorboat it

                      "... needs more fish!"


                      • #12
                        Oh yum! I learned how to make my own mussels at home this summer. I always order them at restaurants if they are on the menu. I prefer the classic preparation of garlic, shallots, butter, herbs, white wine and cream. I use a nice crisp white - no Chardonnays allowed I like using Rieslings. And now I want some. Sigh.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zanna View Post
                          And now I want some. Sigh.
                          Post pictures tonight


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JimenyKrickets View Post
                            Post pictures tonight
                            This is from the summer - unfortunately can't make them tonight. Apologies if my picture comes in upside down, they all seem to do that . . .

                            ImageUploadedByMarks Daily Apple Forum1389903718.411846.jpg


                            • #15
                              Being planning to do Indian coconut milk curry with them 4 ages !
                              Think there's good recipe on rick stein Indian cookbook .

                              From London England UK