Mussels are a great healthy, light and fresh way to enjoy a main meal with friends. Moules Marinieres is a classic French recipe that is so simple to follow – you can literally pop the mussels in a pan as your guests arrive. My version has added herbs and a little bit more wine to give more of a kick. The finished dish is fresh, creamy and looks elegant.
Top tip: Mussels are in season September to April (there’s an ‘R’ in the month!).
Mussels – 1kg
Shallots – 5 small
Garlic – 2 cloves
Butter – 25g
Dry White Wine – 400mls
Coriander – 1 handful
Saffron – 4 strands
Parsley – 1 handful
Bay Leaves – 2
Double Cream – 100mls
1. Thoroughly wash the mussels in cold water. Discard any that are slightly open. Some mussels will have fibre-like strands hanging off them – you should pull these ‘beards’ off.
2. Peel and dice the shallots and garlic. In a frying pan over a medium heat sauté the shallots and garlic until softened.
3. In a large high-sided saucepan, add the mussels, shallots, garlic, chopped coriander, whole bay leaves, saffron strands and white wine. Turn up the heat to bring to the boil, and simmer for roughly 5 minutes until the majority of the mussels have opened.
4. Remove the mussels from the pan, discarding any unopened ones, and reduce the sauce for a further 3-4minutes.
5. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves, and stir in the cream, before seasoning well with salt and pepper.
6. Divide the mussels up into 4 serving bowls, pour over the sauce and sprinkle generously with roughly chopped parsley.
Serve hot with cooked chips or crusty white bread, and a homemade mayonnaise.