Mussels Marinières (Moules Marinières)
With autumn comes the mussels season. Mussels Marinières or Moules Marinières in French is the perfect dinner plan for friends or family coming over; it is cheap, extremely easy to prepare and delicious and fun to eat. You can enjoy your mussels with beer or a nice crisp white wine and make an evening of it.
Preparation time: Count 10 minutes for cleaning your mussels + 5 minutes of chopping and dicing a few ingredients and finally 10 to 15 minutes for cooking your mussels.
Count 400 g to 500 g of mussels per person. In this recipe, I will cook for 2 adults.
1 kg of fresh live mussels
2 bay leaves
1 branch of thyme or 2 tea spoon of thyme
1 handful of fresh parsley
1 large clove of garlic
1 white onion
1 glass of white wine
2 table spoons of cooking oil
Step 1 - Clean your mussels and check for dead ones
It is common to find a few dead mussels in your batch, that is why it is important to always wash your mussels and check them one by one.
The first thing you should do is to bath your mussels in cold water in your sink and let them rest for few minutes. Shake them around with your hands, empty your sink and fill it up again with cold water for a second bath.
Now it is time to check your mussels:
If there are mussels with broken shell, do not use them
If you have mussels with the shell opened up, try knocking their shell with a spoon or a knife, if they do not close down that means they are dead and you should not be using those either
All the mussels that stayed closed in the water are good to be used
There is a bit of cleaning to do also:
Make sure you scrap all the dirt from the shells with the help of a knife or brush
Make sure to remove the the mussels' beards
Your mussels do not need to be spotless but it is important to have them a minimum clean as they could carry some dirt and bacteria on their shells.
Step 2 - Cook your mussels
You will need a large pot with a lid.
Fry your diced shallot, white onion and garlic clove
Add half of your chopped parsley
Add you bay leaves and thyme
Stir for 2 minutes
Add your mussels and stir them so they mix well with everything
After a minute, pour your glass of white wine and stir again to mix everything together
Cover your pot with the lid
Let cook for 8 minutes
How can you tell if your mussels are ready? Mussels are ready when the shells are all open and the flesh has a nice yellow / orange color.
Step 3 - A few tips to serve your mussels
Keep the mussels in the pot with the lid on and bring it to the table
You will need a ladle to serve the cooking liquid (broth), it is part of the dish and delicious. With that being said, serve the mussels and liquid in a soup plate so people can enjoy the broth too
Sprinkle your mussels with freshly cut parsley leaves and freshly diced garlic before serving
Have an empty recipient on the table so people can throw away the shells
Which sides with mussels?
These are some of my favorite sides (and most traditional) when eating mussels:
Garlic croutons or fresh bread goes well with the broth
Customized mayonnaise (add crushed garlic, smoked paprika powder)
Tomato salad with white onion, parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar
Enjoy, bon appétit!