Recreating: Moules Marinière

January 10, 2011

Moules Mariniere

One of my all-time favorite dishes is mussels with cream sauce, which I discovered when living in Kansas City. A favorite French restaurant of mine, Le Fou Frog, almost always had these on their menu, and I loved nothing better than sopping up the cream sauce with some crusty French bread.

After leaving Kansas City, not only did I have a hard time finding a French restaurant I love as much as the Frog, but I also hadn’t run across a good recreation of this recipe. So the other night, I was determined to recreate the recipe on my own. Luckily, I didn’t have to try too hard, because one of my favorite cookbooks, The Food of France, had this simple recipe in its seafood section. Given my love of champagne, I decided to use that for the white wine in the recipe so I could enjoy the rest of the bottle with my meal. It worked out wonderfully, and now I can have my mussels whenever I want (well, so long as they’re in season).

Moules Marinière
from The Food of France

Serves 4

4 lb 8 oz mussels
1 1/2 oz butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 2/3 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Scrub the mussels and remove thier beards. Discard any that are open already and don’t close when tapped on the work surface. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat until the onion is softend but not browned.

Add the wine, bay leaf, and thyme to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover the pan tightly and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Use tongs to lift out the mussels as they open, puting them into a warm dish. Throw away any mussls that haven’t opened after 3 minutes.

Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, leaving behind any grit or sand. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add the cream and reheat the sauce without boiling. Season well. Serve the mussels in individual bowls with the liquid poured over. Sprinkle with parsely and serve with plenty of bread.

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One Response to “Recreating: Moules Marinière”

  1. That’s our favorite place, too. I asked Mano for the recipe once and he gave it to me. I’ve got it and the one you have comes pretty close!