Recipe of the month – Moules Mariníere

Moules Marinière

Since it opened a couple of months back, The Fish Hotel’s new restaurant, Hook, has proven quite a hit, if we do say so ourselves. Painstakingly put together by executive chef Martin Bruge, its seafood-celebrating menu is brimming with ocean-fresh deliciousness – but one of the hands-down favourites is Martin’s Fowey mussels in white wine and parsley (or, as it’s more continentally known, moules marinière).

And no wonder – a steaming bowl of fresh mussels has to be the quintessential dish of summer holidays, so now the sun’s out and seems to be staying that way, we figured it’d be the perfect opener for our new ‘recipe of the month’ blog series.

Some chefs can be a bit tight-lipped when it comes to spilling their kitchen secrets, but Martin’s a generous sort, so we’re sure he won’t mind a jot that we’ve pinched the recipe from the Hook kitchen and are sharing it here…

Serves 5, as a starter

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg Fresh mussels
  • 25g Chopped parsley
  • 200g Double cream
  • ½ Lemon

For the shallot reduction:

  • 250g Peeled shallots
  • 2g Garlic
  • 1 Sprig of thyme
  • ¼ Bay leaf
  • 40ml Olive oil
  • 175ml White wine

For the mussel infusion:

  • 750g Cockles or mussels
  • 50g Leek
  • 50g Onion
  • 50g Celery
  • 2g Garlic
  • 1g Star anise
  • 25ml Olive oil
  • 90ml White wine
  • 250ml Fish stock

Method:

  1. Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.
  2. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any surplus shell.
  3. Slice the shallots and puree the garlic with a little salt.
  4. Gently sweat the sliced shallots, garlic puree, thyme and bay leaf with olive oil until the shallots are translucent and have no colour.
  5. Add the white wine and reduce by 7/8ths. You should only have a small amount of liquid remaining – set this aside.
  6. Chop the leeks, onions and celery into small, even pieces.
  7. Gently sweat the chopped vegetables crushed garlic and star anise with olive oil until the vegetables are translucent and have no colour.
  8. Add the white wine and reduce by 7/8th. You should only have a small amount of liquid remaining.
  9. Cool the vegetable mixture down over a bowl of ice.
  10. Vac-pack the vegetables, cockles/mussels and fish stock together in a double bag.
  11. Place the vac -packed mussels into a water bath (or saucepan) set at 85 degrees and cook for 75 minutes.
  12. Pass through a muslin cloth and chill in a bowl over ice.
  13. Take a large deep sauce pan and add the mussel infusion, shallot reduction and double cream and bring it up to simmer.
  14. Add the mussels, cover with a lid and continue to simmer until all the mussels are just open – this should take around 3 minutes. Take care not to overcook the mussels as they will become tough to eat.
  15. Add the chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper if required.
  16. Place the steaming hot mussels into serving dishes and serve with crusty white bread or french fries.

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