Friday, 11 January 2013

Moules Mariniere - Mussels in White Wine

As a child living on the island of Sardegna I remember eating raw mussels.  But Moules Mariniere has also been one of my dad's specialities since I don't know when.

Serves 4 as a main meal
3kg mussels
1/2 glass white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Small bunch chopped parsley
Crusty French bread

When buying mussels, take them out of the bag and into a large open bowl as soon as you can.  Cover with a damp clean drying up cloth and keep in the fridge until you are ready to start preparing them.

When you are ready, take the mussels out of the fridge and fill the bowl with cold water.  Inspect the mussels for any broken shells, those that float, or those that remain open after a sharp tap against the side of the sink.  Remove any beards.  Drain the prepared mussels in a colander.
Soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the prepared mussels and the wine, cover with a lid and cook over a medium high heat .  After 2-3 minutes either toss the mussels in the pan with the lid on if there is space, or take off the lid and try to turn the mussels so the bottom ones exchange places with the top ones.  Replace the lid and return to the heat for another minute.  The mussels are ready when they are all open.  Discard any that stay closed.

Stir through the chopped parsley and serve in bowls with a ladleful of the salty cooking liquid.  Serve with crusty french bread.

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