Moules Frites, or steamed mussels with a side of fries, is such an elegant dish. It may seem intimidating to prepare, but it really couldn’t be easier. All you need is a liquid, preferably something with alcohol (wine or beer), herbs (parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, thyme, and marjoram are all delicious options), shallots, and garlic. Be sure to serve the mussels with a loaf of crusty French bread to sop up the cooking liquid.
For the Mussels:
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-3 lbs fresh mussels
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1. Before cooking the mussels, look through them and remove any with shells that are cracked or broken. If any have shells that are open, tap them. If they don’t close, throw them out as well. Place the mussels in a large bowl and sprinkle them with a tablespoon of flour. Cover the mussels with cold water and set aside for 30 minutes. Strain the mussels in a colander and rinse off any flour residue.
2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots to the pot and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the mussels, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, wine, and herbs to the pot. Cover and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the shells open. Discard any that did not open. Serve immediately.
For the Fries: