Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moules Mariniere

The English translation for Moules Mariniere is Mussels in White Wine and these are delicious.  Tonight's dinner was the ultimate in simplicity:  Romaine lettuce leaves with a simple vinaigrette, Mussels in White Wine and baguette slices.  Some of the best meals are the ultimate in simplicity.  I started the mussels by sauteeing some finely diced onion, shallot and garlic until just glistening.  I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and continued to saute for another few minutes until the onion was softened.  I added white wine, herbs, and lemon peel and simmered for a few minutes before adding the mussels.  The mussels were heated to a boil and then simmered for a few minutes.  The heat was turned off and allowed to set for a minute or so.  Then you have perfectly steamed mussels.

Once all the mussels have opened, they are ready to be served immediately.

Moules Mariniere (or Mussels in White Wine)
Makes 2 servings

1/2 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 thyme sprig
1 parsley sprig
1/2 bay leaf
1 strip lemon zest
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded if necessary

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed casserole, warm the oil or melt the butter over low heat.  Toss in the onion, shallots, and garlic and turn them until they're glistening.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, just to soften the onion.  Pour in the wine, increase the heat to medium, add the herbs, and the zest and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the mussels and stir them around in the liquid.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover the pot, adjust the heat so the liquid simmers steadily, and cook for 3 minutes, (I sometimes give the mussels a stir during this time). 

Turn the heat off, keep the lid on the pot, and let the mussels rest for another minute (or more, if need be) so they finish opening.  Once they're opened, they should be served immediately.

Adapted from Around my French Table

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