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Seaside Hike Recovery Menu

1 August 2007

Moules et Frites
white wine broth, bacon & onion garnish

Moules et Frites
After missing out on moules and frites while in Antwerp, I’ve been determined to have mussels at home. Since supermarket selection is poor, I bullied TB into getting up early (!) on Saturday (!!) to go to Billingsgate, the biggest fish market in the UK and disgracefully close, considering we’ve never been before (I blame the punishingly early hours). I’ll definitely go again though: the freshness and quality of the mussels we brought home was worth the effort. If you do go, don’t wear any shoes you don’t want to smell fishy or that have open toes — unless you like walking in fish guts.

    For 2 hungry people:

  • 4 large baking potatoes, well scrubbed but not peeled
  • 4 t olive oil, divided
  • ~3kg/6lb mussels, well scrubbed,byssal threads removed (remember to discard any that are broken or open)
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 pieces extra lean bacon (UK) or ham (US), chopped
  • 1/2 C (100 mL) white wine (I used a fairly fruity riesling and was very pleased)
  • handful of roughly chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer until just barely tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly (you can wait for them to cool completely, but I’m working off of the assumption that you’re hungry). Carefully slice potatoes into wedges and toss with 2 t of the olive oil and lots of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spray a heavy baking sheet with non-stick spray and arrange wedges carefully. Do NOT crowd or you’ll have soggy frites. Bake at 180°C (fan)/200°C/400°F for 20-30 minutes until browned.

Wait until the frites are almost ready, then heat remaining 2 t olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan with a cover (large enough to contain all of the mussels). When hot, add onions, garlic, and bacon. Saute until onions are softened (don’t let them brown), and then add mussels, wine and parsley all at once. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes until the mussels open.

Serve mussels in a bowl with some of the broth. Dip frites in broth for excellent yummyness.

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