Mussels Normandy

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Hands down the best part of the winter season in Belgium is the abundance of fresh mussels. This time of year they are highlighted on just about every restaurant menu but personally I love to make them at home because they are so easy. This recipe was inspired by our trip to Normandy France. In Normandy,  the apple cider (the hard kind), crisp, light and refreshing, seems to be the regional drink. People drink and cook with it and while I enjoyed drinking it, I loved what it did to the food it was added to. When it was used as the broth for steamed mussels I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was that good. So naturally I’ve been replicating this dish at home.

I prefer to use a dry apple cider for this dish since sweeter ones over power the delicate flavor of the mussels. And while I initially eschewed the idea of cream being added to the mix I’m now a convert. Be sure to serve these mussels with a good crusty French bread so you can sop up all of the delicious sauce.

MUSSELS NORMANDY

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

3 cups hard apple cider

4 pounds fresh mussels, cleaned

1/2 cup heavy cream

 

  • Rinse and clean mussels, discarding any that will not close. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large pot set over medium-high heat.
  • When the butter is melted, add the shallot and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes.
  • Raise the temperature to high, add the cider and bring to a simmer.
  • When the cider simmers, reduce the temperature to medium high then add the rinsed mussels to the pot, cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking occasionally, until the mussels open.
  • Discard any mussels that don’t open.
  • Pour the cream over the mussels allowing it to drip down to the bottom of the pot.
  • Use a large spoon and divide the mussels between four shallow serving bowls.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

 

 

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