Thursday, 14 October 2010

Moules Mariniere

Cleaning mussels:
1.To remove grit from mussels, place them in a big bowl of cold tap water. Using your hand, agitate the mussels in a washing machine fashion, back and forth. When the water gets sandy pour it out and repeat with clean water. Two or three times should do it.
2. A partly opened mussel may be dead. To test, squeeze the mussel shut or tap in a hard surface; if it stays shut the mussel is good; if not, discard it. To check freshness, place the mussels in a bowl of water. If any mussels float, they are dead or empty. Be careful: mussels will die in tap water if left for longer than 15 minutes. 
3. Also check the shell for chips and breaks. If the shell is broken or smashed in any places, the mussels is dead and will not be safe to eat.
4. Most importantly, make sure your produce comes from a good, reliable supplier. 

Mussels are usually sold by weight. Think 0.5-0.7kg per person.

Moules Mariniere 

A classic french Moules Mariniere does not contain cream, however i think one of the best parts of eating moules is to dip some toasted, fresh bread in the lovely sauce.

Serves 2

1kg mussels
50g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
200ml dry white wine
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
100ml double cream, optional

1. Follow the steps above describing how to check whether mussels are fresh and how to clean them.
2. Sautee the finely chopped shallots in the butter in a large saucepan that will fit all the mussels. Do not color the shallots.
3. Add the garlic and sautee for another 30 sec. 
4. Add the bay leaf, mussels and white wine and cover the saucepan and leave to cook for about 5 min. The wine should have reduced and all the mussels opened. Anyones that haven't - discard. 
5. Add the cream and cook for another minute. 
6. Sprinkle with parsley and serve up with some toasted, fresh bread. 

Cooking mussels:

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