Saturday, December 13, 2014

M is for Moules

French Village Diaries advent calendar a to z french food moules
French food alphabet advent calendar


Here is the latest post in my French Food Alphabet Advent Calendar series. A foodie’s countdown to Christmas Day with posts including French regional specialities, my personal favourite foods, and some new recipes. I hope you are enjoying your virtual tastings.

It’s the 13th December and M is for Moules.

Moules or mussels are a regular Friday night meal for us during the summer and early autumn months. We always buy them fresh every Friday morning at the market in Melle, from the same lady whose family run an oyster and mussel business just north of La Rochelle. They are local, they are of a superior quality than the supermarkets and they are very fresh, harvested and off to market within hours. Now I know I’m biased, but Adrian cooks 'The Best' moules and here is his recipe;

500g moules (per person)
1 onion chopped finely
Olive oil and a knob of butter
1 clove of garlic crushed
Fresh thyme and parsley
250ml of rosé wine per kilo of moules

To prepare the moules shake the bag a few times (to encourage them to close up) then check through them individually. Discard any that refuse to close as they have died and pull off any beards (threads coming from opening). Rinse and set aside.

In a large stockpot soften the onion, garlic and a few sprigs of thyme in a little olive oil and the butter. Add the glass of wine and ensure it is boiling vigorously before putting in the moules and close the lid quickly. Give the pan a good shake every minute (keeping the lid on), this way the moules are steamed rather than boiled and within 7 minutes should have opened up and be ready – try not to over cook them. Add the chopped fresh parsley and serve. Do not eat those that haven't opened, but enjoy the others. We serve with chips for Ed and homemade walnut bread for us, plus the rest of the rosé wine. See here for the recipe.

If you have missed my previous advent posts you can catch up by clicking on the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K and L. Don’t forget to pop back tomorrow for the letter N, a childhood favourite for French children.