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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Moules Mariniere - Blue Mussels - Blue Monday



Blue Mussels

This photo courtesy of Andreas Trepte

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely dish is another that comes from the French peasant kitchen and it is one for which I have a special fondness. Julia Child introduced Bob and I to moules mariniere the year our eldest daughter was born. At that time mussels had no cache and could only be found in ethnic markets where they sold for pennies on the dollar. The first time I made this dish I bought three pounds of mussels for a dollar. That same quantity cost fifteen dollars this afternoon. Once the mussels have been cleaned and purged of sand, the dish can be on the table in ten minutes. Fortunately, most of the mussels available in the supermarket today are farmed and not harvested in the wild. That makes the task of cleaning them much easier. Farmed mussels need to be scrubbed before being debearded and set to soak. The "beard" is the fibrous hairy thing hanging from one side of the shell. Pull it off with a side-to-side motion. Most experts recommend soaking mussels for about an hour to assure they will disgorge their sand. Should you have wild mussels, add 1/4 cup of flour to a container of salted water and allow the mussels to soak for two to three hours before cooking. The thought here is that the mussels will eat the flour and purge themselves of debris, as well as plump up. Discard any mussels that refuse to close when pressed. Nowadays, it's also important to know where your mussels have come from. Be sure to ask. I use a really good dry French vermouth to make this dish. There are three that I can recommend to you. My preference is Dolin, but Lille and Noilly Prat also work well. This makes for a lovely light supper. I served ours with a romaine and watercress salad and a crusty baguette to help mop up the sauce. Our meal ended with a warm lemon pudding. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. You won't regret it. Here's how I make moules mariniere. Bon appetit.

Moules Mariniere...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup dry white French vermouth or 1 cup dry white wine
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds scrubbed, soaked mussels
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

Directions:
1) Melt butter in a 6 to 8-quart stockpot set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vermouth or wine and stir in bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
2) Add mussels to pan. Cover and boil over high heat for 5 minutes, shaking pan occasionally to redistribute mussels and assure even cooking.
3) Transfer mussels to a large serving bowl or to shallow soup bowls. Ladle cooking liquid over mussels, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

This recipe was featured in the Food News Journal Best of the Bogs feature on August 2, 2010.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Coconut Curry Mussels - Simply Recipes
Cedar Planked Mussels - Steamy Kitchen
Steamed Mussels with Coconut Milk and Thai Chiles - Food and Wine
Mussels in Red Chili Sauce - Rasamalaysia
Salmon Soup with Tomato and Dill - One Perfect Bite
Spring Salmon and Leek Soup - One Perfect Bite
Salmon Chowder - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

68 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

One of our favourites also, moules mariniere. They are so cheap here at the markets we have them often. Diane

Chele said...

I love Moules Mariniere! Heaven on a plate, especially when served with a huge slice of crusty bread to mop up all those wonderful juices.

Angie's Recipes said...

Can't remember when I last had mussels...looks so fresh and delicious.

♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

this is one of my hubby's favorite. and yeah this is usually cheap in the market is it's a double treat, haha!

Michael Toa said...

Moules Mariniere is one of my favourite meal. A big bowl of it with crusty bread and white wine. Perfect. Enjoy your Sunday Mary. Michael

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary,
essendo mia madre nata in Francia, la cucina francese era di rigore in casa mia.
Le cozze le cucinava benissimo.
Mio cugino vive ad Arcachon e quando vado a vargli visita, cozze ed ostriche sono il mio piatto fisso.
Ciao Myriam

Martha said...

I love moules but have never fixed them -- sometimes I leave things to the experts! But you have me wanting to try!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Mussels are so good in summer especially when a glass of bubbly or two ;)

Joanne said...

THREE POUNDS of mussels for a dollar? That is just crazy! I've never had this dish before but it sounds delicious.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I've never made mussels before but I would love to try your moules marinere. My daughter Ashley loves mussels and I'm sure that she would appreciate this dish.

From the Kitchen said...

I am encouraged by your recipe and prose. In my years of teaching cooking classes, especially seafood classes--and years of trying many foods and styles, I have always been somewhat intimidated by moules and have never done them. Just yesterday, Andrew came home from Costco and announced that he had planned (??) to pick up mussels but there were too many in the package for us. Instead of just enjoying at a restaurant, I think they may appear on our table soon.

Best,
Bonnie

Jay said...

very intriguing recipe, sounds like a must try dear.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

The first time I had mussels...many years ago...was in Paris. Yup, moules & frites....heaven. We make these fairly often at home now. You really have my mouth watering with this post!

Jeannie said...

Lovely fresh looking mussels...delicious! Been a long time since I last ate mussels! They are quite pricey here unfortunately.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Moules are one of our favorites. We would be in heaven.
Sam

Choclette said...

Never having prepared mussels before, I had no idea you did anything to them other than bung them in a pot -oops! I did know about the flour trick with snails though as my husband collected all of our garden snails once to trial how they tasted (not worth bothering with again was his verdict)!

Katerina said...

They look lovely, although I am a bit reluctant with mussels. On the other hand my husband would love this dish.

Adelina said...

Looks gorgeous- can we have the lemon pudding recipe as well? I have been in a lemony mood for a while:)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This is a big hit in our house, but I've always used white wine rather than vermouth. Will have to try it your way next.

Big Dude said...

We love mussels and were just talking the other day about cooking some - yours sound outstanding.

PeggyR said...

Those look yummy!

Gloria said...

Dear Mary, I love seafood always! and thes Moules Marinere look georgeous and other awsome dish! huggs and have a lovely day,

Puna said...

ummm...I think I'm going to do mussels today.

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love mussels but have never actually prepared them myself. They're a bit intimidating to me so I enjoy them in restaurants. One day when I'm feeling adventurous I'll have to try your recipe- it looks lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh Mary, we haven't had mussels in some time. They were much less pricey up north than here in NC so I don't make them as often. Lovely!
xoxo Pattie

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Looks wonderful. I'm sure it tastes just as wonderful.

Carmen

Susi said...

I love mussels and so does my husband. We prepare them every chance we get which isn't very often since we moved to Arizona :o( But the few times we can find them it is a feast, all we need is crusty bread and good glass of wine. Your recipe sounds wonderful and I will be bookmarking for my next mussel "find"!

Pondside said...

This is one of The Great Dane's favorites. I fix it once a year and he eats a pot-full.
I remember the first time I ever had Moules - it was, of course, in Brussels (who doesn't eat Mussels in Brussels?) at Chez Leon in 1981. More than twenty years later we took our daughter for a meal there, and nothing had changed at all - and we had another moules lover in the family!

Brad said...

Three pounds for a buck of that deliciousness? Those truly were the good ole' days. Looks great, Mary.

Pacheco Patty said...

I love this classic preparation of mussels. I remember the first time I tried this dish and how much I liked it..Your moules mariniere with blue look delicious:-)

StephenC said...

In the 60's I had the opportunity to have a couple of dinners of mussels in Brussels. A bucket served with crusty bread was about $2 as I recall it. I make them at home at least once a year.

Monet said...

My husband and I adore mussels. I was scared to try them for years, but after finally being convinced, I couldn't stop eating them. This classic recipe looks wonderful and I'm already planning a loaf of crusty bread to serve on the side.

Ginny said...

Your picture makes these look like artwork, too pretty to eat! I don't eat shellfish, but the warm lemon pudding sounds very good, and what a pefecct accompaniment to this dish! Did you make the pudding?

Lucie said...

I wasn't much of a Moules fan until this year--they're great with some white wine! Yours look delicious, as always, Mary.

Kamalika said...

I love to eat the moules mariniere but nobody in my family likes it...tried your watermelon juice and was a Hit in my family..everybody wants to have again....thanks for sharing,...

Mickey said...

Love mussels! Sadly I have not made them myself- too intimidated. Yours of course look delicious.
mickey

The Good Cook said...

I love mussels and find countless ways to make them! Have you ever tried smashed tomatoes, white wine, bacon and a few daubs of blue cheese thrown over top just before serving? Heaven.

Helene said...

I had not had moules in a very long time. They are so good and so easy to cook.

Emmalene said...

Beautiful! This is my absolute favourite seafood- I just love it! Have a great week Mary.

Karin said...

Yummmmm....I will be craving those all day now! They look divine!

Shug said...

Being from Texas, I have never had Moules Mariniere! It's usually Steak, Beans and Pot. down here. Sounds like we are missing something!

Looks great!
Shug
Confessions of A Razzle-Dazzle Housewife

Susan said...

We absolutely love moules and frites!! I am anxious to try your recipe (and Julia's, of course). My childhood friend who lived in Belgium for many years says that Belgium serves the best moules in the world. Where moules are being served is the best place in the world to me!!!

nannykim said...

I wish I could come eat some with ya! We grew up in Ct and spent summers at the beach . We would eat a lot of them---they were along our jetties. I get them once in a while when eating out...although now they do seem rather rich too me! I do enjoy them!

Ana Powell said...

Moules Mariniere is a very delicious dish.
This month I am going to Portugal and I`ll definitely eat some ♥

Annie said...

Of course I am going to try it.
I love mussels.
Have a nice Sunday

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This is the sort of dish I absolutely love in restaurants, but I've never attempted to make it at home. And, it's really not difficult at all. You've inspired me to take the plunge. Mary! Beautiful photo!

Cathy said...

Yummmm, one of my favorite meals. Your recipe looks wonderfully delicious.

Faith said...

I really enjoy mussels but I've always been too intimidated to try making them at home. Your recipe is straight forward though and I think I might give it a try! Thank you, Mary!

Celeste said...

That is beautiful!

Chef Dennis said...

what a perfect way to cook mussels, we had mussels in a white sauce tonight, and I told my wife she need to try them in a red.......talk about timing!
thanks for sharing your masterpiece!

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

This is one of my all-time avorite dishes! Especially wonderful with a cold beer and a big piece of crsuty bread!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Beautiful mussels! My husband can't get enough of them. I'll have to make these for him!

The Empress said...

I have never tried mussels, Mary, I just can't get myself to do it. Tell me, is it worth it?

My Little Space said...

Your recipe looks simply wonderful! I would add in an extra bird-eye chilies! hehe... yummm.... Have a nice day!
Cheers, Kristy

Debinhawaii said...

I wish we got good mussels here--these look delicious--I love the juicy broth the best. ;-)

Amelia PS said...

love love love... and thank you for posting the reference to mussel recipes too!!!

Pie said...

That looks delicious. My kids love them baked. :)

My Blue Monday.

Becky K. said...

I've never tried mussels. Not sure that I will....but if ever there was a post that made me even think about it, it would be this one. So many comments back up your endorsement of this interesting dish.

Becky K.

SmilingSally said...

Although I love seafood, I have never liked mussels, so I'm passing this one.

Happy Blue Monday, Mary.

LV said...

Just dropped by to see what we were having today for lunch. I am not too fond of mussels, but with your fixing, I might enjoy.

Susan said...

How exciting! This posting made the FOOD NEWS JOURNAL today! Congrats!!!

Valérie said...

One of my all-time favourite meals! I gorge on moules marinières whenever I go to Belgium! Even getting dreadfully sick from them once (an unfortunate incident) has not stopped me!

Joy said...

wow, i have never had these before but they sound pretty tasty! Happy Blue Monday and Have a great week!

Foodessa said...

Mary...these mussels are very meaty. I could only wonder in what water they were raised in? Usually at this time of year, our mussels are not even worth getting...because they're so small.

Great recipe...and greater tip on how to have the mussels clean themselves ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Aunt Snow said...

One of my favorite things, and also one of the first dishes of my young womanhood that I felt sophisticated cooking. I first became acquainted with mussels while living in Greenwich Village in the '70s and shopping at the Italian fishmongers on Bleecker Street.

A far cry it was, from my Cincinnati upbringing!

They are easy to find in the Pacific Northwest; less easy to find in Southern California. We can find the New Zealand green-lipped ones, but I prefer the blue ones.

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Those look delicious!
Annette

PranisKitchen said...

we used to make stir fry with these mussels.This one is so simple and good

Mother Rimmy said...

I haven't cooked with mussels yet. Clams, but not mussels. From the number of comments, sounds like this recipes is the place to start.

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