Moules Marinère

As usual, the sun starts shining and beckoning me out to the garden as I set up a small revision den in the dining room. This year, however, I have forbidden myself from convincing myself that it is possible to revise in the garden, because, put simply, it never works. Usually, I end up closing my eyes, placing my book somewhere near my head (in the hope that the words will seep into my mind) and before I know it, afternoon over, a day wasted. What makes it worse is that it’s never really hot enough to get any form of tan, so what was the point in the first place?!

Anyway, I’ve gone off point slightly. My confinement to the dining room meant that I have been making up for hours staring at my laptop with some summery, tasty food. Mussels!! I found this recipe in ‘the Little Paris Kitchen’ by Rachel Khoo which features a selection of wonderful French dishes. The mussels were so quick and easy to make – the hardest part was giving them a scrub before cooking them! So, as instructed…

  1. Melt 1 tbsp of better in a pan on a medium heat. Add ½ chopped onion with 1 pinch of dried thyme and 1 bay leaf. Cook off the onions until they go clear ensuring the pan is not too hot (we don’t want them brown).

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  1. Add 160ml of dry white wine. I used pinot grigio and they tasted like the real, French deal. Turn the heat up!

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  1. Add the mussels (I used a 1kg bag – a few had to be discarded as they were cracked or opened – and this served two of us for a starter perfectly). Pop the lid on the pan and allow to steam for 3-4 minutes.

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  1. After 3 minutes, check the majority are open. If so, turn the heat down and add 2 tbsp of crème fraiche. Stir in and sprinkle fresh parsley.  Once the wine and crème fraiche have formed a delicious sauce, serve with bread and a wedge of lemon. Slurp away.

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