Moules Marinière (Steamed Mussels) Makes: 10 Portions
7 lb. Mussels, in shells
3 oz. Shallots or onions, chopped fine
6 Parsley stems
¼ tsp. Pepper
1 cup White wine
¼ cup Chopped parsley
3 oz. Butter
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
- Scrub mussels well with a stiff brush and remove the beards. Clean well by soaking them in a salt brine of 1/3 cup salt per gallon of water and soaking for 20 minutes. Drain and repeat this step until they are free of sand. Rinse them in clean water before using.
- Place mussels in a stockpot or large saucepot. Add the shallots or onions, parsley stems, pepper and wine.
- Cover the pot and set it over moderately high heat. Cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes.
- Drain the mussels and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a broad saucepan. Bring the strained liquid to a boil.
- Add the chopped parsley and butter. Swirl the liquid in the pan until the butter melts. Season to taste with salt and a few drops of lemon juice.
- For service: remove top shells of mussels (or leave them on, if desired). Place mussels in broad soup plates and pour the sauce over them.
To Steam without Wine: Substitute water for the wine and add 2 fl. oz. of lemon juice. Increase the onion or shallot to 6 oz. and add 3 oz. sliced celery.
For Mussels with Cream: Prepare the basic recipe above. Reduce cooking liquid by half and add 1 cup heavy cream or a liaison of 2 egg yolks and 1 cup heavy cream.