I am always SO excited when I go to a restaurant and see the following item on the menu: “Moules Frite.”
Because the translation of that is “mussels with french fries,” and I adore mussels with french fries. I adore mussels in general, as you know if you have read this, and this, and this. So when you add french fries to the mix…well, you have me at hello.
This recipe goes a teeny tiny bit over my “done in 30 minutes or less or we ain’t having it” weekday cooking rule, but that is only because the fries need to cook for about 25 minutes to get to that wonderful crispy golden state of done-ness. And while they are cooking you can leisurely go about tossing together the super-simple mussels part of the recipe, which involves steaming them in a bath of white wine and clam juice, and putting together a mixture of onion, chopped pickles, herbs and mustard that gets tossed with the mussels once they were done. The Southern husband couldn’t stop talking about how great the pickles were with the mussels. It’s that whole salty seafood thing…it’s fabulous. And then of course you have the fries on the side as an extra added bonus. Baked in olive oil, tossed with coarse salt and parsley and parmesan cheese…need I go on? I guess so, since you are probably now wanting the recipe, if you are a mussel maniac like me. Here you go…
48 mussels (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and debearded
2 baking potatoes, cut into ¼ inch strips with skin left on
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 500.
2. Toss potato strips with olive oil and lay on greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and toss, bake for another 15 minutes or until golden.
3. Meanwhile, combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
4. Bring wine and clam juice to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add mussels; cover and cook 2 minutes or until shells open. Remove mussels from pan with a slotted spoon; discard any unopened shells. Keep warm.
5. Bring wine mixture to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced to ⅓ cup (about 15 minutes). Pour liquid over mussels. Add the cornichon mixture; toss.
6. Serve with parmesan frites and a bowl on the table for the empty shells.