A few days ago, my sister served Mussels for dinner. She served them with Pommes-Frites ( fries). It is customary to serve mussels with fries in France. Mussels and fries is a regional dish from Belgium, and the North part of France. Actually THE National Belge Dish is Moules Marinieres with Pommes-Frites ( fries- I will not call them French fries since “French fries” are not originary from France, but rather from Belgium. Belges were the first ones to cut potatoes in long thin strips, and to fry them in 1680. Even though Thomas Jefferson was the first one in fact to attribute the word “French fries” to his fried potatoes, the term and the “thin fried potato” did not come popular in the Us until soldiers from World War I came back home. Indeed, when American Soldiers came into France during World War I, and were served Pommes-frites (long thin rectangular fried potatoes), they assumed that they were French and gave them that name on their return to their homeland).
There are many ways to serve Mussels, but today I will offer you the recipe of Moules Marinieres.
Ingredients: 2 lbs of Mussels, 1 carott, 1 onion sliced thinly, 1 shallot thinly sliced, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp of fresh thyme, 2, 3 laurel leaves, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, 4 tbsp of butter, 1 cup of white wine, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp of flour, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute onions, shallots and garlic, thyme and laurel. Add the wine and bring to boil. Add the mussels and stir. Cover for a few minutes, and cook the mussels until they open up. Set aside. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter, add flour and make a roux ( cook until the flour turns golden), add 2 cups of the mussel liquid, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the juice of half of a lemon, 1 tbsp of melted butter and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Add the mixture to the sauce above, and stir. Pour the content over the mussels, sprinkle the parsley over the mussels and serve.
Serve the mussels in soup bowls, and accompany them with Pommes-frites, and a Riesling or a Golden Ale Beer.
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!