Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tasty Bites: Moules Marinieres (1st Course of our New Years Eve Decadence)

Jeremy and I have a tradition of cooking a fancy meal at home every New Years Eve. We buy the kind of ingredients we usually avoid either for health or wallet reasons and spoil ourselves rotten. This New Years Eve we started off our smorgasbord with these delicious monsters served Emeril Lagasse style with baguette croutons for dipping. Moules marinieres is a favorite fancy of ours. A dish discovered during our year in Marseille, moules mariniere is delicious in the way of fond memories. Scented with the salty brininess of the ocean and steeped in the flavors of provence, I can't eat this without being transported. So incredibly yummy. Now you either love mussels or you don't, but if you do, make this. Seriously. Make it now. As an added incentive, although decadent in the sense that you will want to literally drink the broth, we have discovered that fresh mussels aren't really all that expensive and they're pretty easy to cook. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why we don't eat this every night. . .

Such a pretty plate!

Practical tipsy:
When you bring your mussels home, put them in a bowl with a small bag of ice and cover with a damp cloth. Clean them right before cooking and dispose of any mussels that do not close when tapped together. Here's a good link with a solid demo on how to clean and care for these little gems.

Fun tipsy:
Eat these little guys like the locals---after emptying your first shell, use it as a pincer to grab the rest of the delicious mussels from their shells. From shell to mouth. . .no utensils necessary!

Stay tuned for course 2 of our New Years Eve feast---seared scallops avec une sauce a l'estragon served with arugula, fennel and grapefruit salad.

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