Belgium - Moules Mariniere
Belgian mussels. We toasted the bread, we steamed the mussels. The sauce was rich and buttery and included sauteed shallot, garlic, thyme, and celery. Amazing flavors all throughout.
But with all good things, this includes a stick of butter, so if you're trying to be healthy, then maybe this dish isn't the best for your waistline. However, if you're using REAL butter, then that's significantly way better than the fake stuff.
These are deceptively filling though. Because of how small the meat actually is inside the mussels, it's very easy to keep going and going until you realize that they are all gone, especially with the insanely delicious combination of white wine and butter. Do try it, but save it for a special occasion when you want to impress that special someone.
8 tbsp unsalted butter
5-6 shallots (sliced)
2 celery stalks (thinly sliced)
4 garlic cloves (sliced)
4 sprigs thyme
1 cup dry white wine
Ground white pepper
4 tbsp creme fraiche
2 lbs mussels
1 bunch parsley (roughly chopped)
In a large pot on low heat, melt the butter. When fully melted, add all of the shallots and celery, season with salt, and stir for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute for an additional 5 minutes until the shallots and celery are soft. Careful, we don't want them to be browned, just wilted.
Pour in the wine, season with pepper, and creme fraiche. Raise the heat to high. Once the mix comes to a boil, add in the mussels. Give it a good stir and cover with a lid. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. The mussels should open when they are done with cooking. If there are one or two that remain closed, don't try to pry them open. They aren't good mussels and shouldn't be edible.
Add the parsley and stir it in gently, being careful not to force the meat from the shells. Serve in a large bowl with a side of crusty bread. French fries (frites!) are good too.
Note: to make creme fraiche, mix about 1 cup of whipped heavy cream with either a tablespoon of buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt.
Recipe adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen.