Another delicious French classic, Moules Marinière is very simple and very quick to make. I’ve found that many people shy away from giving it a try – concerned that they won’t be able to prepare or cook the mussels properly. But, trust me, if you can get decent, fresh mussels…it’s one of the easiest and tastiest meals to knock up in a matter of minutes.
We’re lucky as we have fantastic quality fish available just down the road at The Fresh Fish Shop stall every Thursday at Park Farm Shop in Falmer (East Sussex). They’ve never let us down, and their mussels are always very clean with minimal waste (broken or dead mussels).
The recipe (serves 2)
For the ingredients, all you need is: 1kg fresh mussels, 1 tbsp olive oil, knob of butter, 2 shallots, a few fresh sprigs of thyme, large glass dry white wine, fresh parsley leaves, 1-2 tbsp double cream (optional), crusty bread to serve.
- Clean the mussels in plenty of cold water. Remove the beards by pulling them down firmly. Discard any mussels with broken shells or those that don’t close when gently tapping them.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large pan with a lid. Finely chop the shallots and fry gently in a pan, alongside the thyme, for a couple of minutes.
- Add the wine and mussels to the pan, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes until all the mussels are open (discard any that remain closed).
- Finely chop the parsley and add it to the pan along with the cream (if using).
- Serve into a large bowled plate with some crusty bread.
Just a note about cream – it really isn’t necessary to add it. So, if you’re after a healthier, lighter meal, it’s fine to just leave this out completely. It still works extremely well and the sauce is delicious for dunking your bread.
We used Muscadet in this dish, so this is what we drank with the meal – a very good pairing. Picpoul de Pinet is also a great match.