MOULES FARCIES

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This recipe is usually for ‘Escargots farces’ (stuffed snails), but as this blog is about ‘Franglais’ cooking, I have substituted snails for mussels, which are more readily available and indeed more palatable in the UK. I have tried both, but my personal opinion (and that of monsieur le frog also) is that the mussels are lighter and more digestible.

Mussels of course are more traditionally eaten as ‘moules mariniere’ or ‘moules aux curry’ and I have enjoyed both dishes with gusto whilst holidaying in Normandy, and whilst living for five months in the lovely northern city of Lille, before moving to Paris. (Moules frites is almost the ‘national’ dish in Lille).

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Some of the many restaurants serving ‘Moules Frites’ at lovely Lille

I will include a recipe for Moules aux curry at some stage (maybe frogs legs also, but I have yet to cook them!)

I serve them in individual dishes as an entrée, or as part of the apero.

Be sure to have some nice crusty baguette ready to mop up the delicious melted butter – naughty, but very very nice………Bon apetit!

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Honfleur – the perfect place to eat Mussels……

Ingredients
Serves 4

1kg mussels

80g (3oz) of salted butter

1 large clove of garlic crushed or very finely minced

1 small shallot very finely chopped

The zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

A good pinch of turmeric

Method

Make the filling by mixing together the butter, shallot, garlic and lemon zest into a soft paste

Add the turmeric and mix well, then stir in the parsley

Clean the mussels and discard any that are already open and do not close when tapped on the work surface

Place them in a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil and simmer for around 3 minutes, drain and discard any that have not opened.

Remove one half of the shell, leaving the mussel resting in the other half

Distribute the mussels between four oven proof dishes (I use crème brulée dishes)

Fill each shell with butter and bake in a pre-heated oven for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees/gas mark 6, until the butter is melted and the mussels slightly golden.

The smell while they are cooking is mouth watering – baguettes at the ready………….

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