This recipe serves 4.
- 2 kg / 4 1/2 lb mussels
- dry sherry
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic gloves (optional, see note above)
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 200 ml / 7 fl oz Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie
- 150 ml water
- a few tablespoons of cream or creme fraiche
- 45 g / 1 1/2 oz butter
- salt and pepper
- Clean the mussels as explained here (take extra care as the cooking liquid is going to form the “soup”. A little grit at the bottom of the dish is always inevitable, but clean them as best you can and rinse them a few extra times to make them as grit-free as possible).
- Chop the onions and put them in a large pan with half the butter and wilt them for a minute or two.
- Then add the garlic (optional), most of the parsley (reserving some as a garnish), the wine and the water and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 15 mins.
- Then bring the liquid up to a fast boil again and tip in the mussels. Put the lid on the pan for a few minutes, shake the pan, open and check all the mussels have opened. Discard the few that have not, as these will not be good ones.
- Tip out the mussels. If you can’t scoop them out easily and quickly with a ladle, leaving most of the liquid in the pan, you can use a colander balanced over another large pan to drain them, catching the liquid in the pan below.
- Keep the mussels warm while you deal with the liquid: boil it down for a couple of minutes and whisk in the remaining butter; check for seasoning.
- If you are using cream, stir it in now; then pour the liquid over the mussels in a large tureen, garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.
- The simplest version of this classic dish omits the garlic and the cream. Choose whichever way you fancy.
- In cafes and brasseries in France and Belgium, moules marinieres are traditionally served with a plate of French fries (frites) on the side. At home you can serve with crusty bread instead, to mop up the juices.
- Seaweed wrapped rice rolled into a sausage shape, with fillings of cucumber, egg or tuna and Japanese pickles running through the middle. Japanese use raw tuna but substitute canned tuna in brine or spring water, drained. Find Nori in some supermarkets or oriental food shops.
Les Frères Couillaud
La Grande Ragotière
44330 La Regrippière - France
Tél : +332 40 33 60 56
Fax : +332 40 33 61 89
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