Moulles Mariniere is an absolute classic. Whenever I'm near the see it's what i search out, usually with a bowl of chips or bread on the side to soak those juices up. The proper way to eat moulles mariniere, and I won't be swayed on this, is to eat all of the mussels first then completely submerge all of your bread and chips in the liquor so they go soggy. If that's not the way you eat them then I don't want to hear it!

Haven't had a chance to get to the sea side in a while, so I thought I'd bring the seaside to London. 

This one is massively easy and very quick. You'll look like a cooking don without much effort. 

Ingredients for two:

  • 1kg mussels 
  • Half a bulb of fennel
  • Half an onion
  • 75g butter 
  • 300ml White wine 
  • 150g single cream 
  • Loaf of crusty bread 
  • Handful of chopped parsley 
Start off by de-bearding your mussels, by simply pulling this from the mussel itself. This is what the mussel uses to secure it to rocks and keep it safe. Some are easier than others to remove! Do this into a bowl of cold water. Also remove any large barnacles and give any suspicious mussels a tap to see if they are still alive. The shell should slowly close. Remove any broken mussels. 

Melt 3/4 of the butter in a big pan and throw in your diced fennel and onion. Dice these relatively small so that they cook quickly. Add a small pinch of salt to help the veg sweat, but go easy as the mussels will release some of their salty juices. 

Once your veg is nice and translucent, throw in your mussels and wine, whack a lid on and simmer for 2 minutes. Once you open the lid the mussels should have opened and be just cooked. 

Okay, here it is. The next bit is a bit of a pain in the arse but it's so worth it. So stick with me. 

Strain what you have through a colander into a clean pan and get your liquid on to reduce. You have to work quickly as your mussels will go cold very quickly. 

Reduce the liquid very rapidly until reduced by 2/3 then take it off the heat and stir in your cream, parsley and last of the butter. Throw the mussels back in and toss around and serve with crusty bread. 


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