Moules marinière with garlic and parsley breadcrumbs and French fries
This classic bistro dish needs nothing more than finger bowls and a pile of napkins.
- oil, for deep frying
- 2kg/4lb 8oz fresh live mussels
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250ml/9floz white wine
- 250ml/9floz double cream
- 50g/2oz butter
- 12 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
- 6 tbsp flat leaf parsley, half finely chopped, half chopped
- 4 large chipping potatoes, peeled and cut into fine julienne
- Heat a deep fat fryer to 190C/375F.
- Rinse the mussels thoroughly under plenty of running water and pull off the beards, throwing away any broken ones and any which don’t close tightly when you tap them.
- Heat a large sauté pan or saucepan until medium hot, add the oil, shallots and thyme and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add half the garlic, the mussels and the wine and bring to a boil.
- Cover with a lid and let the mussels steam; they are cooked when the shells have opened.
- Add the double cream to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot, add the butter and heat until just foaming.
- Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly to cook evenly.
- Add the remaining garlic and cook through for one minute then add half the chopped parsley and stir through.
- Carefully drop the potato julienne into the fryer in batches and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto kitchen paper then season with sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.
- To serve, pile the mussels into a large shallow bowl, spooning the juices over the top.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and serve the fries alongside.