Belgian Moules Marinieres – Recipe

At Chez Leon, you can have your mussels cooked in 14 different ways, ranging from mussels cooked in different broths to grilled with cheese.  My favourite is Moules Marinieres as the tasty fresh mussels are cooked in a simple white wine sauce and there’s nothing to detract from the sweet taste of the fresh mussels.

The recipe below is provided by Chez Leon, but the big trick is getting their specially sourced Zealand mussels and cleaning the crustaceans.  I’ve had mussels in different restaurants and some of them can be quite disastrous, especially when the mussels are not cleaned properly and it feels like there’s parts of a beach in your broth.

So, according to Chez Leon, this easy, economical and tasty recipe must be followed to the letter with first-class ingredients.  It says that no cream or wine should be included, although I’m pretty sure that the restaurants in France include white wine in their version. The flesh should be cooked exactly right to retain its flavour.

Cooking time: 7 minutes
Ingredients for 4 people include:

2 kilos of Zealand mussels
2 onions
2 branches of celery
butter, water, salt and pepper

Instructions :
- Thoroughly wash and brush the mussels.
- Chop onions and celery into small cubes.
- Take a high-sided and deep receptacle such as a casserole dish or stewing pot.
- Put butter and vegetables in the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add water.
- Bring to the boil and keep boiling on a high flame.
- Throw in the mussels. Allow to cook for 7 minutes exactly.
- Season to taste. Serve scalding hot from the casserole dish accompanied by thickly-sliced French fried potatoes or a salad.

It sounds simple enough but I feel that food like this is best enjoyed in a restaurant.

Helen

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