Monday, March 31, 2014

Moules-Frites (Mussels and Sweet Potato Fries)

This week’s theme was Belgian food, so how could I not cook mussels? They’re cheap, simple to prepare and delicious. I served them with sweet potato fries made in the oven, which I left in there for about a minute or two too long. Save for a few which didn't make it to my plate they didn't end up too burnt.

If you’re not familiar with mussels, make sure that when you buy them you use them the same day. Ideally you should cook them right when you get home from the store, but if you need to keep them, remove them from the sack the came in and place in a large bowl covered with a damp towel, then place in the fridge. Also, check for any dead mussels when you do so – If a mussel is open, run it under a bit of cold water and give it a few taps; if it closes back up it’s fine, if it stays open it’s dead, and should not be eaten.
2 lb. mussels
1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
½ cup white wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
Lemon slices
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Bread for dipping

For the mussels:

Soak the mussels in cold water for 10 minutes. Scrub the mussels one by one with a brush, moving them to a clean bowl. If any are open, give them a tap – if they close up they’re fine, but if they stay open they are dead and should be discarded.

Preheat a pot over medium. Add in olive oil, then the diced shallot and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened. Add the white wine and heavy cream and bring to a boil.

Dump in the mussels, reduce the heat to low and put a lid on the pot. Steam for 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened up.

Serve in a bowl topped with parsley, lemon slices, and plenty of bread to soak up that delicious cooking liquid.


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