Moules Marinières

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Why not nip down to your local market, where you are sure to find some local mussels, and whip up this lovely recipe for moules marinières.

Ingredients

1.75kg mussels
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
50g of butter
4 sprigs each of parsley and thyme
1 bay leaf
250ml/1 cup of champagne, dry white wine
Handful of parsley, coarsely chopped

Crusty bread to serve

Options:

120ml double cream
Curry spice

Method

Clean the mussels well by first washing them under plenty of cold, running water.  Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.  Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then scrape off any barnacles with a large knife.  Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.

Heat and soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the herbs in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels (it should only be half to three quarters full).

Add the curry spice (if using) and wine/or champagne, then the mussels.  Turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open their own juices for (5 to 6 minutes). Give the pan a good shake every now and then.

Remove from the heat and add the cream (if using) and chopped parsley.

Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread, salted butter and a dry white wine or champagne.

NB – Do not eat mussels that have not opened.

By Leo Teatero