Posh Fast Food – Mussels are the Answer!

Name the dish that is both a true classic written about by the greats and a genuine fast food dish?

Moules Marinières - Mussels steamed in White Wine

Mussel Pot for cooking & serving

A true classic French recipe, which is ready in moments a real salute to our busy lives, fast culture but results in top notch fast food!

Sometimes these jewels of the sea are disregarded as the poor man’s option but when prepared in rich cooking liquor that you can dunk bread & slurp how can these be overlooked?

The information on the Marine Conservation Society website (http://www.fishonline.org/fish-advice/eat) tells us  “Mussel farming requires no feed inputs therefore farming of mussels is a good way of producing seafood. Also there are no chemicals used in mussel farming.”

When you leaf through various classic cookery books ranging from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking to the more up to date River Café versions these writers and chefs all sing the praises for these delicious morsels of shellfish that are quick and comforting.

There are many options as the mussels themselves are great carriers of all types of flavours, easily coping with hot chilies to aromatic curry but in my opinion the French classic recipe from Robert Carrier’s Great Dishes of The World published in 1963.

My only tweak is to finish this dish with a glug of whipping cream the sauce for me is the richer the better!
So this Valentine’s Day or any day indeed cook mussels, don’t get in a sweat they are quick, good value and very tasty.

At Whisk Hampers we have two sizes of enamel mussel pots as well as mussel eaters. So check out our accessories on the Whisk Website.

Silver Plated Mussel Eaters and presentation box

My perfect mussel recipe

1kg mussels

2 shallots

1 bay leaf

150ml dry white wine

50g butter

A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

50ml Whipping cream to finish

  • Empty the mussels into a colander and run the cold tap, then fill the sink with fresh cold water, scrape the shells to remove any barnacles or dirt. Discard any with broken or cracked shells. If you find any that are open give them a sharp tap on the side of the sink, if they remain closed then discard. You can clean these earlier before you need them you can leave them to sit in cold eater until ready to use.

  • Ensure you select a large enough pan to house all the mussels. Start on a medium heat and add the butter to the pan, add the shallots and bay leaf to this and soften over the heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and turn the heat up to simmer cook gently for 10 minutes then turn the heat up to medium high.

  • Drain the mussels and add them to the pan, cover and cook for around 2 minutes then add the whipping cream and put the lid back on and give the pan a good shake, and cook for a further minute.

  • Spoon into bowls and pour over the creamy sauce and sprinkle on the chopped parsley.

  • For me there must be crusty bread on the table it is a must but you can also go for frites & mayo and add a green salad for a main course.

As Matthew Jukes the wine expert suggests “this is ideally paired with Clare or Eden Valley Riesling, South Africa from the 2012 or 2013 vintage fresh. Lemony & vital with cleansing acidity!” Or push the boat out and head for Champagne!

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