Mussels are the ultimate fast food. Speedy, simple and so good for you. Accompany them as you wish, with frites or a baguette – either is great for mopping up those delicious juices. I was always told that you should only eat them when there is an ‘r’ in the month so it gives the mussels time to reproduce.
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 shallots/onion, finely chopped
A bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
100ml dry white wine or cider
120ml double cream/creme fraiche (you can leave this out if you wish)
A handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.
Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels.
Add the mussels and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
Remove the bouquet garni, add in the cream/creme fraiche (if using) and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
Spoon into four bowls. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.