Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Apple 5

Apple 5

Well today I picked up my friends Sharon and Dave from their Belgian tour. They loved the medieval city of Bruges -- drank incredible beer, ate Moules Frites and strolled along with cobble stoned streets and meandering canals. Man, nothin' better than that !!

The classical way to cook mussels is Moules Marinières. This does not mean "marinated" but "sailor style". I don't know why steaming them in white wine, garlic and shallots is typical of sailors, but there you are. And this is the best part. If you ever eat mussels, heed this piece of advice: the sauce left at the bottom of the pot is the most delectable thing you will ever taste. You may need to tip the pot to get a deep layer of juice, because there will probably be sand and you want to let it sink to the bottom. Dip your fries in it, ask for more bread, or just do what I do: use the spoon and make like it's soup. But whatever you do, do not waste this delicious sauce.

Moules Marinières

3 pounds of fresh mussels, scrubbed as well as you can and beards removed
1/2 bottle of dry white wine
3-4 shallots, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup crème fraîche

Put the wine, garlic and shallots in a deep pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for a couple of minutes to cook the shallots and garlic and then add the washed mussels. It's impossible to scrub them too much - inevitably you will get some sand in the finished product. A sad fact, but here's a tip: "washing" the cooked mussels by swirling them in the sauce at the bottom of the pot while eating will get rid of much if not all of the residue sand. I digress. Cover the pot tightly and cook for about ten or fifteen minutes. If you have a glass lid, you can see when the mussels open and leave them on the heat for a few minutes more. Put the mussels in serving bowls. Mix the crème fraîche and chopped parsley with the remaining sauce, strain it and pour it over the mussels. Serve with lots of bread and (if you are not dieting) fries. Oh, forget the dieting ... go for the frites as well !!!

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