Fireworks and Moules Frites

09Oct08

I learned a new dish this weekend. Actually I already knew it existed, just didn’t know you had to know the name in French to officially know what it is. Leave it up to two veritably charming assholes in matching periwinkle Keds to introduce me to a new kind of Sunday Funday.

After wandering the city looking for an affordable French bistro that offered moules (pronounced mouuh?) frites, it was decided that putting Amy to labor in the kitchen would be much cheaper (and personally, tastier). For $20 (FOR $20!!) we managed to get all our ingredients (minus the wine) for our grand meal. Who knew an entire bag of mussels (even at Whole Foods) cost only $4.99.

I love getting in line at a supermarket and seeing someone hold all the ingredients to one dish. It makes me smile imagining how their night is going to pan out. Except when the person is buying 5 lean cuisines, a pint of supermarket-brand ice cream, and 3 for $0.99 chocolate bars. But no one in line could guess what we were making. No, we’re not making seafood soup man with a teethy smile in the next line, we’re making MOULES FRITES! Some people….

While some people think a Moules Frites has cream in it, others prefer it left out. 😉

Other than getting yourself to buy a bag of large bag of mussels, every other step in this recipe is pretty unintimidating. I added some revisions to the recipe after the fact (see below), but the dish is so forgiving you could do as I did and literally steam the cleaned mussels in garlic, parsley and white wine and serve in the pot itself.

Wash/scrub your mussels and toss any opened ones out. Mince roughly 2 garlic cloves and some shallots, if Whole Foods doesn’t run out, and gently sautee in butter in a large pot. Pour in about a 1.5 cups of dry white wine and toss in some chopped parsley. Toss in 1 bag of mussels or however much fits in your pot and put the lid on, allowing the mussels to steam. Cook until mussels have opened and remove from pot. Allow for the sauce to reduce if the alcohol hasn’t already evaporated. You can add creme fraiche if you want at this point.Then pour sauce over the mussels and serve with lemon.

The pomme frites were a bit trickier. I re-used the oil I used to deep-fry the salt cod fritters but they didn’t seem to crisp up as I hoped they would. Not sure what happened but the potatoes just kind of sat there, enjoying a bubble bath of hot oil and getting all mushy. So I roasted the rest of them in the oven, like here, making sure to coat the cookie sheet with enough butter so the fries didn’t stick to the pan and had a nice caramelized crust to them.

Oh… and I still haven’t figured out what the fireworks were for (anyone?). But just happened to walk past a large fireworks show on our way to Whole Foods. Only in New York…

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