Milla Cooks: Moules Marinière
Whenever my husband and I go to the cinema, we stop off at our local moule-frites place for endless fries and several variations of moule marinière – original (my regular dish), Roquefort and curry and Italian (with tomatoes & ham). Given my husband’s “this is really easy to make” casual comment, I decided to give it a try. Yesterday, I went to my fabulous local market and stocked up on mussels and vegetables whilst taking in the Sunday delights. So much is always going on here. We’re so lucky to live in such a cool neighbourhood.
Us Brits know that the only seafood chef worth knowing about is the humble, enthusiastic Rick Stein. I like him for the same reasons I like Nigella - he truly believes in what he is cooking, and loves every second of it. I also admire his “Food Heroes” series and his use of local, seasonal products. He rocks my seafood world! This is his recipe:
- 1.75kg/4lb mussels
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 15g/½oz butter
- a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
- 100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine or cider
- 120ml/4fl oz double cream
- handful of parsley leaves, coarsley chopped
- crusty bread, to serve
- Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.
- Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
- Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels – it should only be half full.
- Add the mussels and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
- Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
- Spoon into four large (we used just 2 but we were really hungry) warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.
I am so proud of this dish!! I told my husband how quick and easy it was, and asked if he wanted me to share the recipe so he could make it (for me) one day.
“No thank you darling, it’s like magic to me and I want it to stay that way”.