moules à la marinière

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Moules à la Marinière
Fresh Mussels Steamed open in Wine and Flavorings
Recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

2 cups light, dry white win or 1 cup dry white vermouth
An 8- to 10-quart enameled kettle with cover, though I’ve made this in many other pots successfully
1/2 cup minced shallots, or green onions, or very finely minced onions
8 parsley sprigs
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons butter
6 quarts scrubbed, soaked mussels
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley

Bring all but the last two ingredients to boil in the kettle. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate its alcohol and to reduce its volume slightly.

Add the mussels to the kettle. Cover tightly and boil quickly over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands, your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle and an up and down slightly jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly. In about 5 minutes, the shells will swing open and the mussels are done.

With a big skimmer, dip the mussels into wide soup plates. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Baked Pommes Frites
Adapted from Michael Chiarello

6 russet potatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel potatoes (if peeled fries are your thing, skip it if you couldn’t care) and cut into half-inch thick slices (lengthwise) cut again into 1/2-inch thick fries. Place the potatoes into a pot with cold water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring up to a gentle boil and simmer until a paring knife tip goes through easily, cooked about 3/4 of the way through.

Drain carefully and put potatoes a bowl. Add olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well and lay out in 1 layer on baking sheet. Bake until light brown.

* I used less this time, oiling the baking sheet first to limit sticking. He suggests you use a non-stick baking sheet if you have one. (I don’t.)

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