Daily Archives: 24 January 2014

moules marinière {ffwd}

Mussels

We are no strangers to mussels at our house. We eat them a few times a year and always enjoy them. When I saw that this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was Moules Marinière, I knew we’d be having at least one simple dinner this week. I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t typically put mussels on the grocery list. I’m usually out shopping, see them, and bring them home for dinner. I’m not sure why I don’t plan to eat them more often because they are always surprisingly quick, easy, and satisfying.

The name marinière reminds me of marinara sauce. However, marinara sauce is always a tomato sauce and the marinière had none. Marinière is more of a white wine based sauce. According to Wikipedia, the origins of the names are the same, “Mariner’s Style”. I suppose Italian and French seamen have different cooking tricks up their sleeves.

Aromatic Broth

For moules marinière, onion, shallot, and garlic are sautéed in butter. White wine is added along with herbs and some lemon peel, and a speck of chicken bouillon cube (Dorie’s secret ingredient). The mussels are added to the pot and cooked for just a few minutes, until they open. With some crusty bread, this makes a hearty meal. Reasonably priced, too, at least where I live. I paid $6 for a two pound bag of mussels from Maine. Not bad for a seafood dinner for two.

Mussels from Maine

As I said, I can’t remember meeting a version of steamed mussels that I didn’t like. Moules Marinière was no exception. We both enjoyed this version.

I made my own no-knead bread in the bread dome my sister gave me for the holidays. It was crusty and airy and perfect with the mussels. I hope to share my results in more detail soon. The second loaf is rising on the counter as we speak.

Bread

As I said, I used half the mussels called for, though I made the full broth recipe. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any leftovers. When we do have leftover mussels, I enjoy using them to make something like linguine with clam sauce. I pick the mussels from the shells and save the leftover broth (along with any aromatic vegetables). The next night, I cook a box of linguine, gently reheat the mussels in the liquid and pour it over the cooked pasta. All this dish needs is a little fresh chopped parsley to finish it off. I think leftover moules marinière would work well with pasta too.

I’m looking forward to reading about what my fellow FFwD bloggers thought about this week’s recipe. Check out their links at here. We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. It is well worth it.