Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Moules marinière

Moules marinière sounds so much more romantic than the English translation: Fisherman style mussels. One conjurs up the image of a dish served on silver platters, probably in Paris, certainly with a little ooh-la-la. The other is reminiscent of industrial British dredgers making their way back from the North Sea in cable knit sweaters. Either way, it's a remarkably quick and easy dish, and fantastic with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Serves 2 for lunch


1 kg live mussels (this is no time to be squeamish!)
75g salted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic
a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
a glass of white wine

1) Wash and debeard the mussels. I find it helps to use a small blunt knife for leverage, but if you do this be very careful! Discard any open mussels.

2) Heat 50g of the butter in a large pan which has a lid, then gently saute the shallot for a minute before adding the garlic and bay leaf. When the shallot is translucent, add the wine and bring to the boil.

3) Add the mussels and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels have opened, then decant them into a bowl, leaving the liquid in the pan.

4) Bring the liquid to the boil and then add the remaining butter and the chopped parsley. Pour over the mussels and eat immediately!

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