By Seth Fera-Schanes
Moules and Frites might have originated in Belgium but it is definitely a New York staple. The dish is offered in bars, cafes and restaurants around the city and is a popular happy hour special item. You can try places like B. Cafe, Flex Mussels and Dive Bar and will pay anywhere between $12-$25 for the entrée.
You can also make mussels in the comfort of your own home. It only takes 20 minutes and will cost you around $10. This is also a stellar date night dish if you are looking to impress that special someone. You can pick up Price Edward Island (PEI) mussels (or local if in season) from your fishmonger or Whole Foods along with some white wine, shallots and butter and you are halfway done. I typically pair my mussels at home with a crusty bread as opposed to fries but you can decide what you prefer. Check out the following ‘Easy to Make Mussels’ recipe which originally appeared on The Refined Chef.
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
1 small shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
1 medium tomato
2 cups white wine – I like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Slice garlic cloves into paper thin slices
Dice tomato and parsley and set asideIn large pot or dutch heat olive oil and butter over medium heat and then add shallots. Cook until translucent about 2-3 minutes. Lower heat if shallots start to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if some heat is desired.Drain mussels and then add directly to pot. Pour wine over mussels and cover with lid to allow mussels to steam. Mussels are done when they have all opened about 4-7 minutes. Check mussels and as they start to open, add chopped tomato and parsley and close lid until mussels finish cooking.With slotted spoon, remove mussels and place in large bowl. Continue to cook liquid in uncovered pot for one additional minute and then pour over the top of the mussels.
Serve with grilled crusty french baguette and a tomato, cucumber and feta cheese salad.
Note: Be careful to discard any mussels that do not fully open.