Just thinking about being “à Paris” in the Spring time brings glorious memories and thrilling anticipation.  I’ll be taking a trip to Paris next week and my thoughts turn of course, to food and the incredible taste treats I’ll enjoy each and every day. My first experience in a French Bistro was on the Champs-Élysées.  There, with my husband (he was my boyfriend at the time), I had my first taste of Moules Frites, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  This week, Kevin and I show you how to make this classic French Bistro delight, so you can enjoy it at home and turn your kitchen into “Paris in the Spring time!”

Frites Trivia:  The main difference between French Fries and the French Bistro style, Pommes Frites, is that the latter are twice fried and typically use duck fat for frying.  We don’t think the duck fat is necessary, but it adds a rich and distinct taste to the fries if it’s used. Many markets sell duck fat in pint sized tubs.  It’s not always stocked year round, mostly during the holidays, but you can always request that your grocer carry it.  A deep fryer is completely unnecessary to get the “frites parfait.”  All you need is a heavy bottomed skillet.  I use my cast iron skillet and it works beautifully.  Watch the video to see the technique I use to hand cut the fries so they look tasty and are cut evenly.  Once you try pommes frites, you’ll not only love them, but your friends will too.  So make enough to go around!

If you’re not a moules (mussels) fan, you can make steak frites, or just serve the pommes frites as a side dish with dipping sauces – which is quite common in a Bistro setting.  I encourage you to try the moules part of the Moules Frites recipe this week.  They get infused with the aroma and taste of anise, which comes from the fennel, and also from the Pernod, if you choose to use it instead of, or in addition to white wine.  Pernod is an aperitif made from the essence of star anise.  It adds a lovely flavor to the mussels’ sauce, but it’s not necessary to purchase this specialty item to get the desired effect.  The anise flavor from the fennel will do nicely!

As the French say before they eat, “Bon Appétit!” ( We’ll be posting pics and places from our trip if you want to keep up with our culinary adventures en Paris!  Simply like our FB page or follow TheBrownLounge on Twitte or Pinterest and you’ll see what we’re seeing!!

À bientô – Holly

Get the Moules Frites recipe

Watch the Moules Frites video