Mussels in cream, garlic & parsley
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”
Marc Brown, Author
My nephews, James and Bill are inseparable, and like most brothers, fight and laugh with each other all at the same time. Should you antagonise one of them, however, the other will come to his brothers’ rescue in a flash. Upset one of them at your peril! You never see much of these two, until the food comes out; when they swoop in, devour, then they are up, up and away back to the swimming pool or the games room from whence they came.
I first made this in Bonne Alyse Plage in 2010 and it has been Bill’s favourite starter dish on every holiday since. But by Joes, I have to ensure there is plenty of sliced baguette to dip with!
1.8kg (4lb) fresh mussels * 55g (2oz) butter * 1 large onion, chopped * ½ celery stick, chopped * 2 garlic cloves, crushed * 570ml (1 pint) white wine * 1 bay leaf * 2 thyme sprigs * 220ml (7 floz) double cream * 2 tbsp parsley, chopped * baguette bread, to serve
Scrub the mussels and remove the beards. Discard any that are already open and don’t close when tapped on the work surface. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally, over a medium heat until the onion is softened, but not browned. Add the wine, bay leaf and thyme to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover the pan tightly and simmer over a low heat for 3 minutes, shaking occasionally.
Use tongs to lift out the mussels as they open, putting them into a warmed dish. Throw any of the mussels away that haven’t opened after 3 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, leaving behind any grit or sand. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cream and re-heat the sauce without boiling. Season well and sprinkle on the parsley. Either serve in the pot or individual bowls with plenty of bread.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section THE FRENCH CONNECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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