March 30, 2011


And now to the main course of the Moules Frites!  I made a version with white wine, garlic, and cream, called Moules Poulette if your French - and the recipe came from Jaques Pepin's cookbook, so I guess that makes sense.  It was going to be hard to beat the french fries, and I think these may have done it.  When I made the decision to take on mussels, I thought it was going to be hard, strenuous and difficult to get anything close to what I ate in France.  But, you know what, they were a thousand times easier than the fries and really took no time at all.  The hardest part for sure was making sure they were all clean and beard-less.  We got ours at Costco and therefore had a gabazillion, I am sure even the cleaning would be easier with fewer mussels.  The cleaning is an important step!  A lot of silt came off.  I just soaked them in cold water a few times until there wasn't anything coming off in the water.

Mussels in a Cream Sauce
5 lbs cleaned mussels (feeds 6)
1 medium chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/2 t. ground pepper
Dash of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Dash of salt
1 c. dry white wine
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. heavy cream

Add all ingredients except the flour, butter and cream to a large pot.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Cook for approximately ten minutes, shaking the pot twice during the cooking process.  After ten minutes, check on the mussels.  If they are all open, you're ready!  What's nice is you can add the butter and eat the mussels as is right now.  Crazy easy right???  But I wanted the french creamy version so I had to complete just a few more steps.  Melt the butter in a small bowl and add the flour and whisk to combine.  Once the mussels are finished, remove from the pot and add in the butter and flour mixture.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about two minutes, whisking frequently.  Add in the cup of cream and bring back to a boil.  You can add the mussels back to the pot, or ladle the sauce over the mussels.  And now you can enjoy your creamy mussels!

Stud and I had some friends over to enjoy all of the mussels and this was such a great sit around the dinner table and laugh and drink wine kind of meal.  We sat around the table for a long time, and despite the fact that we only had four, we managed to finish off all of the mussels.  It was so tempting to keep snacking despite the fact that I was stuffed with mussels and french fries.  We served this meal with a big salad, some french bread to sop up all the delicious sauce, and, of course, red wine.  The sauce was so amazingly tasty.  Rich, but paired with seafood it was a great match.  I considered (but I was too lazy), removing all the cooked mussels from their shells and tossing the meat with the cream sauce in a pasta.  That still might happen.  Will happen.  Can't wait.

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