How to Cook Moules Frites

Three Parts:Preparing the MusselsPreparing the French FriesCooking the Mussels

Moules-frites are a dish traditional to Northern France. If you have been afraid to cook mussels, you are not on your own. Many people are reluctant to try to cook these wonderful shellfish yet they are so very easy to cook. If you haven't had the chance to try this great combination of fresh mussels and crispy French fries, you will want to make this for yourself and just see what you have been missing!


Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Mussels

  • 2kg (4.5 lb.) mussels, cleaned and beard removed - closed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup/8 fl.oz.) white wine or beer – pale not dark
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

French Fries

  • 4-6 medium to large potatoes - peeled or unpeeled - rinsed
  • Deep frying oil
  • Salt

Part 1
Preparing the Mussels

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    Clean the mussels first. They need to be cleaned properly - scrubbed with a small brush under running water to remove the grit as you don't want any grit in your teeth.
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    Remove the beard. This is the long string like thing that hangs from the shells.
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    Get rid of any open ones. Mussels need to be closed when you pop them in the pan - throw any away if they are open.

Part 2
Preparing the French Fries

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    Get your potatoes ready. For about 4 - 6 people, you will need about 4 – 6 potatoes, peeled or unpeeled.
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    Cut the potatoes into ¼ inch slices or rounds. Cut the slices into strips about ¼ inch wide or wider if you prefer them a little thicker.
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    Soak them in a bowl of salted water for about an hour to remove the starch.
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    Rinse the potato strips and dry well on a tea towel or kitchen paper.
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    Fry in hot oil until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Part 3
Cooking the Mussels

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    Gather your ingredients.
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    Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat.
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    Add the chopped shallots/onion, and garlic. Cook gently for a few minutes until soft.
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    Add the wine or beer. Bring to the boil and immediately simmer with lid on the pan for about eight minutes.
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    When they are cooked they should be open. Again, throw them away if they remain closed. Please take care with this part!
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    Add the herbs and season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. First, taste to see how much salt and pepper you need, if any.
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    Keep warm as you finish the last stage of your fries.
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    Complete the final cooking. Reheat the oil and fry the potatoes for a few minutes then drain on kitchen paper before serving.
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    Serve your moules-frites in small bowls with a little of the cooking juices. Pair with a bowl of crispy French fries and crispy French bread if you are hungry!

Warnings

  • Mussels need to be closed when you pop them in the pan. Throw any away if they are open. When they are cooked they should be open - again, throw them away if they remain closed. Please take care with this part!

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Fish and Seafood