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La Belle Cuisine - More Seafood Recipes

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Moules au Gratin
(Baked Herbed Mussels)



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and everything that lives in water is seductive."

~ Jean-Paul Aron

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Moules au Gratin
(Baked Herbed Mussels)

Food Markets of the World
Food Markets of the World

by Nelli Sheffer and Mimi Sheraton, 1997, Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Out of Print, Used & Rare

“Celebrated for such deep-sea provender as sole, turbot, mackerel, langoustine, oysters and shrimp, Normandy is also much appreciated for its shiny, briny
mussels that garnish many fish dishes. In this savory dish, they play a solo
starring role.
Shop for mussels with tightly closed shells indicating they are alive, and avoid
those that are broken or feel heavy for their size as they are probably full of sand.
In these days of polluted waters, it is best to buy farmed mussels, even though
they are blander than the wild.”

To serve about 6 appetizer portions, buy about 4 pounds (about 5 quarts)
of clean, bright mussels
. Soak in ice water for 1 hour, then scrub with a
stiff brush and scrape off the threadlike beards. Steam covered in a wide
and deep skillet in 1 cup water [or dry white wine] for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until all open, shaking pot once or twice. Discard any mussels that do not open, as well as the top shell of each opened mussel. Strain the liquid
through a fine sieve or a paper coffee filter and reserve.

1 pound softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
2/3 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of black pepper
1 tablespoon Calvados

Thin the mixture to spreading consistency with some of the reserved
cooking liquid. Top the mussels on half-shells with the butter filling.
Arrange in a single layer in one or two shallow baking pans in the upper
third of a pre-heated 425-degree [F] oven for 7 or 8 minutes, or until
herb butter has melted and the tops are faintly golden. Divide onto
warm appetizer plates and serve with slices of French bread, so none
of the precious butter will be wasted.

Featured Archive Recipes: 
 Moules au Beurre d'Escargots (Mussels in Garlic Butter)
Portuguese-Style Mussel Stew

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