Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cape Cod Moules Marinières

Finally, I am relaxed... I went to bed last night with the dishes left in the sink... This is the true identifier of me being in a relaxed state and, boy, did it feel good.
After a morning bike ride, we all felt the need to cool off. Shark sightings in the area are becoming common-place around here, and so, with scenes from Jaws flashing before my eyes, I felt that the lake was the only option... much to the chagrin of the hubby...
I wonder if this place floods?
Anyways, I was quick to redeem myself when I found mussel upon mussel in the said lake. Before long, we set our two toddlers to work digging for mussels in the water... I think I've found a new childhood career for them (or would that be illegal??).
Mussel digging
Anyhoo, they were excellent at it and, in no time at all, our little plastic sandcastle pail was filled to the top! As the kiddies were busy working, I noticed two fishermen eyeing up our catch and then it dawned on me that a permit might be needed for such activities... Fearing the long arm of the law, I declared it was time to leave the lovely lake and head back home... mussels stuffed in beach bag, skulking past sunbathers... I could now add 'poacher' to my ever growing list of talents (cough, cough) 
Our bounty!
Back at the beach cottage, the hubby appeared unenthusiastic about eating our haul (I have a seafood allergy and so in this instance could not be the guinea pig). Nevertheless, I pulled up a recipe for Moules Marinières and convinced him that they'd be fine on the grounds that 'People wouldn't be allowed to bathe in polluted waters would they?'
So we cooked them up and, I have to say, I had to stop myself from trying the sauce several times (adult onset allergies are the worst)...
And they all opened up!
As he started his feast, he prefaced it by telling me the directions to the local hospital, just in case (I kid you not)....
20 minutes later, all were eaten and the hubby was still alive and intact!
Still breathing...
I think the quote was, "they were the best mussels I have ever eaten"... So, the kids had a fun activity for the day, I found the 'poacher' within, and the hubby had a full belly!
Oh yeah, and I left the dishes until the morning...

Our Cape Cod Moules Marinières
Pail of mussels
¾ stick unsalted butter
3 shallots sliced
Small glass of white wine
1 tbsp beurre manié (2 tsp of soft butter and 1 heaped tsp plain flour mashed to a smooth paste)
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
200ml double cream
1 De-beard the mussels (tug out the little hairy bit of string that hangs from the closed mussel). Throw away any open mussels and those that don’t close while being prepared. Leave submerged in cold unsalted water for 20 mins. Then, wash under running cold water and set aside in a colander.
2 Take the butter and melt in a large, heavy pan. Add the sliced shallots, season with black pepper, cover and cook gently for at least 20 minutes or until the onion is completely soft (don’t allow to brown). Add the wine and simmer for a further 5 minutes to reduce the wine volume by half.
3 Add the mussels to the wine mixture, cover and cook on a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until all the mussels are open. Lift out the mussels with a slotted spoon and transfer to a pair of bowls. Keep the mussels warm.

4 Turn up the heat on the wine-mussel liquid. Once boiling, whisk in the beurre manié (butter and flour paste) and cook briskly for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and cream, cook for 30 seconds and spoon the mixture over the mussels.

5 Serve with a chunk of fresh bread (for mopping)… Delish!

1 comment:

  1. Hubby and I dined on many-a-mussel this past summer (our children haven't quite acquired the taste for them yet). Mussels here are sometimes referred to as "the poor man's clams"! lol


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