Saturday, March 24, 2007

Moules Frites, Belgian Style

  • 6 dozen mussels, cleaned washed and debearded
  • 2 pieces thick center cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 fresh leeks, washed and sliced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1-2 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 T. dijon mustard
  • 3/4 pint Belgian beer (I use a high-quality Trappist ale, not something too bitter)
  • 1/4 c. cream

Put a very large heavy-bottomed pot with a tight lid on the stovetop, and bring up the heat to medium. Fry the bacon until a light golden brown, but not crispy or dark, you just want to make sure to cook it through. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Discard the extra grease.

Saute the leeks and shallots with the butter, use only enough to keep it from burning in the pan. When the shallots are transluscent, add the dijon mustard and stir to incoporate. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir again.

Pour in the beer and reduce heat to medium-low. Bring the broth up to a good simmer but not near boiling.

Gently add the mussels with a wire skimmer into the broth. Put the lid on tightly and let the mussels steam until their shells open up, about 2-3 minutes. Do not cook them longer, once the shells are fully open they are ready. Turn off the heat of your burner. Use the skimmer and fetch the mussels from the broth, dividing evenly into four bowls.

Add the cream to the broth and stir quickly to incorporate, the broth should still be very hot. Ladle the broth over the mussels.

Serve with frites, hearty and crusty bread and a delicious Belgian beer to keep with the theme. Enjoy!

Thanks to Scrumptious Street

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