Mussels and French Fries

Moules Marinières et Frites

Serves 2

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When shopping for mussels, take note of the origins and also of the smell. Good mussels should have the scent of the sea. Salt sparingly, if needed.


INGREDIENTS

2 liters or 8 cups of fresh mussels

2 green onions, chopped including the stalks or 2 shallots if preferred

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 stalks of chopped fennel including the leaves

2-3 cloves of freshly crushed garlic

3 branches of fresh parsley

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp butter (optional)

1 medium glass of white or rosé wine

1 tbsp crème fraîche

herbed sea salt to taste

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish

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Remember that the choice and quality of your wine selection for cooking should always be equivalent to the quality of what you would also enjoy with your meal.


PREPARATION

•• Soak the mussels in the sink for about 20 minutes. •• Using a small scrub brush or small sharpened knife to scrape, remove the algae and any debris. •• Check each one individually and discard any mussel that is opened, partially opened or cracked. •• To prepare the broth, slowly heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium to large cast iron pot. •• Add the green onions or shallots, garlic and fennel stirring slowly and occasionally over a low flame until the mixture is golden. •• Do not cover. •• Adding 2 tbsp of butter is optional. •• Add the fresh herbs and one glass of white or rosé wine. •• Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, being mindful that the mixture does not reduce down too far. •• Add the mussels and turn the flame to high, cooking for approximately 6-7 minutes. •• To mix the mussels, use a pair of heavy duty kitchen mitts and shake the covered pot of opened mussels over the sink. •• Once cooked to your preference, set the mussels aside in a serving dish, discarding any stray herb branches. •• Using the same pot, combine a liberal amount of the broth with 1 to 2 tbsp of crème fraîche. •• Let it reduce further and pour the broth over the mussels. •• Garnish with finely chopped parsley. •• Any remaining broth can be saved for future use in chowders, etc. •• Store the unused broth in a glass jar with a tight lid and freeze. ••

•• Bon Appétit ••

 

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Frites

French Fries

Serves 2


INGREDIENTS

6 medium sized potatoes

(Charlotte, New, Fingerlings or White Round varieties)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large clove of garlic

sea salt to taste

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish

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PREPARATION

•• Preheat your oven to 350°. •• Using a small scrub brush, rinse and scrub clean the potatoes, leaving the skins on (if they are fresh from the farm, organic or bio). •• Cut the potatoes thinly and vertically. •• Soak the potatoes in a large bowl of ice cold water for approximately 10 minutes then towel dry. •• Using the bottom portion of a broiling pan or a cookie sheet, arrange your potatoes in a thin layer, with each potato slice resting separately. •• Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes and mix using your hand. •• Crush a large clove of garlic, retaining the skin and place it in the center of the baking sheet. •• Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes start to become gold and crispy. •• You can also flip the potato slices over, but doing so too early will yield overly softened slices. •• Optional is broiling the potatoes at the end for another five minutes. However, you must stay on it to avoid burning. •• Place the potatoes into a serving bowl lined with paper towels and sprinkle with course herbed sea salt and finely chopped fresh parsley. ••

•• Voila••


 

Cooking Up Coquilles St. Jacques

Coquilles St. Jacques

Scallops Sauté

Serves 2

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This recipe demands a bit of extra time and attention, but is well worth the effort. With the weekend upon us, you can dazzle your dinner guests or simply enjoy this sumptuous dish, just for two!


 

INGREDIENTS

 8 large scallops rinsed and drained

 2 shallots finely chopped

 1 garlic clove crushed  

 1 tbsp butter 

  1 lemon divided in half   

 2-3 tbsp white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)

sea salt on hand

1 sprig of fresh rosemary 

1 bay leaf 

 few sprigs of finely chopped chive   

 1-2 tbsp crème fraîche 

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 bouquet of freshly chopped parsley to garnish 

  1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock

 4 boiled potatoes 

scallop shells from the poissonnière, fish monger or seafood merchant 

alt=“Glass of French white wine food photography Bruno Gaget”


The choice and quality of your wine selection for cooking should always be equivalent to the quality of what you would also enjoy with your meal.


PREPARATION

•• Begin by preparing the rice, rinsing the scallops and setting aside. •• In a small-medium size sauté pan, add the shallots, garlic and butter. •• Cook over a low heat for approximately 15 minutes. •• Once golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside. •• Déglacer the same sauté pan with the juice squeezed from half of a fresh lemon, a pinch of sea salt and 2-3 tbsp of white wine. •• Let it reduce until it slightly thickens. •• Add a sprig of rosemary, bay leaf, chive and the onion and garlic mixture back into the sauté pan. •• Let it thicken but not to a paste consistency, leaving some liquid to be absorbed by the rice. •• Combine a tbsp or 2 of crème fraîche and a tsp of Dijon mustard. •• In a separate sauté pan, on high heat, sauté the scallops until slightly browned, while squeezing another half fresh lemon over the scallops as they cook. •• Add a tbsp of butter and some sea salt while slowly moving the pan about. •• Using tongs and a spurtle, gently flip the scallops once only. •• Remove from the heat and add the scallops to the sauce pan. •• Stir gently to coat. •• Serve over a bed of brown rice with boiled potatoes as an accompaniment. •• Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. ••

•• Bon Appétit ••