California Central Coast Recipes
Steamed Mussels French Style (Moules a la Mariniere) is one of our favorite seafood recipes. The first time I remembered having mussels this style was in Lyon, France. We had just arrived after a long flight and our French hosts took us out to their favorite local Bistro. Moules a la Mariniere was on the menu as an appetizer for the day. After ordering, our waiter arrived with a gigantic mound of steamed small mussels. Though ravenous, we were overwhelmed! However, the actual "meat" of the mussel was just a small delicious morsel so we soon made short work of the stack.
Although our Pacific Mussels are both larger and sweeter than their French counter parts, this is still a dish best leisurely consumed. Set out a big bowl of the steamed mussels, lots of crusty French style bread, lots of napkins and a dry fragrant white wine and let your guests dig in.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup Chopped Parsley leaves - the stems tied in a bundle and saved
1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 cups Chopped Shallots
2 cloves Chopped Garlic
1 cup Dry White wine
2 pounds Fresh Mussels
Fresh Ground Black Pepper.
1 De-beard (by pulling the beard along the mussel edge until it pulls clear) and scrub the mussels clean of any barnacles or soil. Tap any open mussels to see if they close. Discard any that remain open. Discard any unusually heavy mussels -they are probably just shells filled with sand. Set the cleaned mussels aside for later.
2 Place a stockpot large enough to hold all the mussels over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted and begins to foam add the chopped shallots. Saute over medium heat until the shallots are soft and translucent.
3 Add the chopped garlic and continue to saute until the garlic is just fragrant.Add the white wine and parsley stems to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook over high heat reducing the liquid by one third.
4 Add the mussels to the pot and cover. Bring the heat up to high and cook, occasionally shaking the pan for 5 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened. Remove the mussels from the pot discarding any unopened ones.
5 Place the mussels in a warm serving dish. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth and pour the liquid over the mussels. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top and serve immediately
Serve with a dry fragrant white wine. In France this dish is traditionally served with a Muscadet, but a fragrant, citrus-y dry white like a dry California Pinot Grigio will do quite nicely.