This easy Moules Frites is a great seafood recipe simple enough for a weeknight meal but elegant enough for entertaining too! And not to worry about the frites, I'll show you my trick for "Cheater Frites" which saves a ton of time!
But if you have your heart set on homemade frites, I'll show you how to make them in my Steak Frites Recipe.
Although Moules Frites is served just about everywhere near the water in France, the origin of this dish is actually Belgian.
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When is the Best Time to Serve Mussels?
Most people think of Moules Frites as a summer treat to enjoy, but really mussels are best served October through March since that's when they are in season and you can typically find them readily available at your fish counter. I think they also make a lovely holiday recipe for a special occasion like Christmas or New Year's Eve.
How To Store Mussels After They're Purchased?
Mussels are best purchased the day you plan to serve them. As soon as you get home from the market, is the best time to clean them. Mussels are living when you buy them and most often when you buy mussels, they will be put in a plastic bag.
As soon as you get home, remove them from the bag or you'll suffocate them. If you don't have time t clean them right away, just place them in a bowl, cover with a dish towel, and place in your refrigerator. This will allow them to breathe.
How To Clean Mussels?
Place your mussels in a bowl of cold water. Give them a good scrub with a brush, and then remove their "beards". The beards are the fibrous part of the mussel that peaks out from the shell. They look like little hairs which is why they probably call them beards.
Slice them off with a knife and discard them. Depending upon how many people you are serving this can be the most tedious part of serving mussels, so it's good to get this done before your guests arrive. I'll show you how to store them in the next step.
What to Do if Your Mussels Are Open?
If you find an open mussel while cleaning them, discard it. This means the mussel is dead and it is not safe to eat. you can become seriously ill if you eat a mussel that is not safe to eat, so best to not take any chances!
How To Store Your Mussels Before Cooking?
Once all your mussels have been cleaned and trimmed of the beards, transfer them to a colander and rinse them off. Then place the colander in a bowl to catch any water that may continue to drip out, and cover the colander with a dish towel and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
How To Cook Mussels?
Mussels cook very quickly, and the easiest way to cook them is by steaming them in water, wine, and herbs for about 5 minutes or until all the shells open. This is what makes them so easy to serve for a dinner party, they cook so quickly!
You can have all the steaming ingredients measured out and ready to go sitting in your refrigerator. And then when it's time to cook them, place them in the pot, turn on the flame and it will be smooth sailing from there.
How do you cook frozen french fries?
I think there are a few steps to getting a great-tasting "frozen French fry".
- First, look for the "hand-cut" frozen fry style, these are the best tasting and most "convincing" that you may have made them yourself.
- Next, toss them with olive oil, sea salt, and Herbs de Provence before baking or if you have an Air Fryer, fry them in that, they crisp up even more!
- Serve them in shallow white gratin dishes for easy serving and instant charm!
Which are the Best Frozen Fries for Moules Frites?
I really love these Simply Fries by Ore Ida, they are really pretty convincing! And the best-frozen fry I've found. I also love how they still have some potato skin on them which makes them even more believable! Look for the Olive Oil and Sea Salt variety, I think they are the best.
How-to Serve Moules Frites?
Eating Moules Frites Recipe can be a bit messy, but that's also part of the fun! You can either bring the full pot to the table and place it in the center on a trivet or portion out servings into a shallow white bowl. Be sure to include enough sauce in each bowl too!
I like to set the table with brand new blue and white dish towels, as I think they make the perfect napkins for this.
The blue and white mismatched designs will add a fun "nautical theme" to your table and after the party, you can wash them and use them as dish towels.
I think switching the patterns up is a fun way to add a bit of whimsy to your table and it's typically how dish towels are sold too, so why make it more complicated than it needs to be!
How-To Eat Mussels
The best way to eat mussels is in a shallow bowl so you can enjoy the sauce. I typically encourage guests to eat the first mussel with a fork, but then to keep the shell and use that as a pincher for extracting the other mussels.
Be sure to include a large bowl on the table for discarding the shells, and empty it frequently! There will be a lot of shells!
Please let me know if you make this easy moules frites recipe
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- 2 ½ pounds (1130 g) of fresh mussels
- 2 tbsp (30 g) salted butter
- ¼ cup (60 ml) parsley, minced (+1 tbsp (15 ml) for garnish)
- 1 cup (150 g) white onion, diced
- 1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine (muscadet, pinot grigio, chardonnay)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) heavy cream
- 1 ½ lbs (680 g) of frozen fries (Highly recommend the Ore Ida country style Simply Fries with olive oil and salt)
- 1 quick drizzle of olive oil
- 1 tsp (5 ml) Herbs de Provence
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) Maldon sea salt to garnish
- To clean. Place mussels in a large bowl of water and rub them together to remove any sand. Then drain and repeat. Remove the beards off the mussels and place mussels in a colander. Discard any that are already opened. It means they are "dead" and NOT SAFE to eat.
- Keep them in the colander, placed in a bowl underneath to catch any more water that drain, and pop in the fridge until ready to use.
- mins before you are ready to eat, prep your "frites". Take the frozen fries place them single layer on a pan, toss with a good drizzle of olive oil and 1 tsp (5 ml) of herbs de provence. Give them a good toss and pop in a 425F oven. Set the timer for 10 mins. At that point flip them and toss around so they brown on all sides. Set the timer for another 5 mins. And go start on the mussels.
- In a large stock pot melt the butter and parsley. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the wine and cook for 1-2 mins until alcohol mellows.
- At this point, turn your fries again and set the oven to 200F to keep them warm and allow them to crisp up.
- Then go back to your stock pot and add the mussels and place the lid on and cook for 5-6 mins or until or the mussels have opened. Discard any that haven't opened. And stir in 1 tbsp (15 ml) of heavy cream. Leave them in the pot to "hang out" while you get the fries ready.
- Place the fries in individual bowls or gratin dishes and sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt. Place a portion of fries at each table setting.
- Then serve the mussels with a slotted spoon into shallow bowls, and top with some of the sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Add a large bowl to the table for collecting shells. Serve with a light French wine like Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 411mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g