Simple Moules-Frites Recipe

Jul 14, 2011 9:01 am

The bistro favorite of mussels and french fries

Moules frites is a serious classic in Belgian and French bistros, and for good reason: Mussels and crispy fries go together like chicken and grits, spaghetti and meatballs, ebony and ivory — well, you get the idea.

The moules part — the mussels — are easy to make. The key is to clean these bivalves thoroughly. Plunge them in cool water and then remove the beards — those stringy, fuzzy bits attached to the shells — then run under cool water for good measure. Nothing ruins a big bowl o' mussels faster than the crunch of grit between your teeth. 

If you don't have a fryer, don't despair; the main point of frites here is to dip in the briny, beer-soaked juices of the moules, so our baked French fries recipe should do the trick. Sopping up can get especially tasty if you trick out your mussels with bacon!

photo: <a href="">fred_v</a> on Flickr
photo: fred_v on Flickr
Moules-frites: Love at first bite.
Servings: 6 servings


6 dozen mussels, cleaned and de-bearded (scrubbed and remove the fuzzy part)
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for cooking
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 beer, we recommend a wheat beer
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large pot over medium to high heat add the butter. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft.
  2. Add the beer and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the cleaned mussels and cover. Steam until the mussels are open, about 3 to 5 minutes.  
  4. Add the herbs and season the broth with salt and pepper. Serve with French fries.
Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
15 minutes
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