Ok, change of plans. Remember how I said in the last post that I was still going to try to cook dishes from Upper and Lower Normandy as two separate regions? Well forget that part. In doing my research for these regions, it has proven to be VERY difficult to decipher between the two. So rather than pass on mis-information by saying that a dish is from one region when it is in fact from another, I'm just going to do two weeks worth of recipes from the larger, joint region of Normandy. Because, well, I'm making this up as I go along and that's what I feel like doing!
So, being situated along a wonderful coastline, Normandy has an abundance of seafood to offer its culinary followers. One of the classic recipes from Normandy is Mussels Mariniere. This is a delicious dish of mussels cooked in a white wine sauce. Another mussels recipe from Normandy, Mussels a la Normande, is basically a more fancy version of Mussels Mariniere, adding cream and sometimes substituting apple cider for the wine. I went with the Mussels Mariniere version though, and I do NOT regret it. This dish is delicious and is absolutely perfect on its own with nothing but a hunk of fresh bread to dip in the sauce. The pictures don't do the recipe justice, since you can't really see the sauce, so just trust that it is worth the time!
Adapted from Big Oven
2 pounds mussels
3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, diced
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Clean the mussels. Let sit in a bowl of water with a palmful of cornmeal for 30 minutes to extract any remaining sand. Discard any mussels that are already open
- Put a large pan over medium to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and let melt. Add the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes until soft.
- Add the mussels, wine, thyme and parsley. Cover and let cook about 5 minutes until the mussels are open. Take the mussels out of the pan and put in a bowl, leaving the broth in the pan. Discard any mussels that did not open.
- Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil and let the sauce thicken to your preference.
- Pour the sauce over the mussels. Serve hot.
Ryan's rating of Mussels Mariniere - 5.