Lonely Planet (UK) - - French Food Tour -

2kg (4½lb) mus­sels (moules de bou­chot, prefer­ably) 40g (1½oz) shal­lots 40g (1½oz) pars­ley, plus ex­tra to gar­nish 80g (3oz) but­ter 1 tbsp olive oil 1 sprig of thyme ½–2 head of gar­lic, peeled 800ml (1½pt) dry white wine freshly ground black pep­per, to taste

1 Scrub the mus­sels, pull off the ‘beards’ and wash in sev­eral baths of cold wa­ter. 2 Dis­card the mus­sels that are al­ready open or dam­aged. Drain the re­main­ing mus­sels. 3 Peel and finely chop the shal­lots. Wash and blot the pars­ley, then chop finely. 4 In a large casse­role pot, melt half the but­ter with 1 tbsp olive oil, and fry the shal­lots un­til soft. Add the mus­sels along with half of the chopped pars­ley, the thyme and whole gar­lic cloves. 5 Deglaze the base of the pan with the white wine, add freshly ground black pep­per. Bring to the boil on a high heat, and cover for six to eight min­utes. Stir the mus­sels gen­tly. 6 As soon as some of the mus­sels start to open, take off the heat. 7 Drain the mus­sels over a bowl and sieve to elim­i­nate any bits of sand and shell, re­serv­ing the juice. Dis­card any mus­sels that haven’t opened. Add the fil­tered juice back to the pan and sim­mer over a high heat un­til the liq­uid has re­duced by a third. 8 Take off the heat, and add the rest of the but­ter, cut into pieces. 9 Pour the sauce over the mus­sels, and sprin­kle over the rest of the pars­ley.

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