Recipe: Moules Marinere

Isn’t Christmas just the most ridiculously busy time? I’ve been managing to cook at weekends but mid-week seems a bit of a nightmare, we even resorted to a prepared lasagne from M&S (food ponce alert ;-)). Although I wasn’t in charge of that particular meal.

Anyway, last weekend I made time to cook mussels for the first time ever and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was. Very tasty too. As ever we got our seafood from the local fishmonger, T H Carr in Pitshanger lane, which is absolutley marvelous. It  cost around £4 for the mussels which was enough for 2 for a main meal. Here’s the recipe I used. This is adapted from Rick Stein’s ‘Seafood‘.

Ingredients (2 people, main course)

  • 1.4Kg Mussels
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 75ml dry white wine
  • 1 small to medium onion chopped very finely
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped parsley

To cook it:

  1. Spend a few minutes getting your hands  cold while cleaning all the mussels under the tap. Remove any excess fluff, barnacles or other crap from the outsides as you steadily fill up a collander with them. Then give them a good rinse. I have a pretty strong stomach, but having heard horror stories from other people, I just remove any that look dead or seriously broken, as it’s simply not worth the hassle of risking dodgy shellfish
  2. Add all the ingredients to the pan except the parsley; use a a large pan which has a tight-fitting lid. Add the butter, followed by the onion, followed by the white wine and lastly the mussels. If you’re doing something like chips with the dish, you can have this sit on the side to suit your timing
  3. When you’re ready to do the mussels, put the pan on the highest heat you have available and keep an eye on it for about a minute, by which time it should start to steam. Then time it for 3-4 minutes to cook all the mussels – you need to shake the pan from time to time to check they’re all opening and move them about a bit. Say every 30 seconds or less
  4. When the mussels are ready, use a slotted spoon to put  the mussels and not the sauce on the dinner plates or wide bowls
  5. Add the parsley to the broth and boil it for a minute and then pour over the mussels
  6. Serve with Crusty bread or chips or something else to soak up the juice (and don’t forget the rest of the white wine)

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