Sunday, 18 March 2012

McMoules with Fries

Cauldron of moules anyone?
Moules, mussels, whatever you call them, these juicy little bi-valves never fail to provide a treat at the dinner table. The key to great mussels is the prep, do this properly and you'll have great success. As with oysters, they say only buy them when there is an R  in the month. I personally think you cannot beat classic moules mariniere, I'm not all that interested in mussels doused in green thai curry sauce, and I much prefer a garlicky white wine sauce to a tomatoey one, but that's just me. The French really know how to do it, and I have fond memories of gorging myself on moules, fresh from the car, after an argumentative, bickery ferry crossing to Saint Marlo with my sisters and long suffering parents. Moules Frites. Pure heaven, crusty bread works too, to suck up the garlic laced liquor, but you can't beat thin crispy chips. And who does thin crispy chips best? MacDonald's. Yes. This Christmas eve, Dad and I made true our mouley dreams, I whipped up the moules while he raced to Macca's to get the chips. I think it might be a new tradition.*

Feeds 2. Take approx 1 kilo of mussels and put them in the sink and cover with cold water. Given them a good swirl around, then one by one, pick them up, pull out their beards (the weird stringy bits hanging out) and place in a colander. Discard any that don't close. Rinse the sink out, put the mussels back in and again, cover in cold water to make sure they are nice and clean, no-one likes gritty mussels, make sure you are thorough. Mussels prepared, in a large saucepan, gently soften one finely chopped onion in a bit of butter for a few minutes. Then add two fat sliced garlic cloves and cook until the onion is soft. Throw the mussels in the pan, add a couple of glasses of white wine, season, stir really well and put the lid on. Let this bubble away for about 5 minutes, as soon as the mussels are open they are done, then stir in approx 150ml single cream and a handful of chopped parsley. Discard any that haven't opened. Serve with MacDonald's fries and munch and slurp away to your heart's content.

*Mum, this in no way is meant to put down your amazing Christmas Eve fish pie, we love it.

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