A Word From The Cook
“This is French Bistro cooking at its finest. Pommes frites are twice fried. They are crisp, tender, and delicious when dipped in the mussel wine sauce.”
- Les Frites (French Fries)
- 5-6 Large russet potatoes
- 1 Quart vegetable oil
- (a few tablespoons of duck fat – optional)
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- ¼ Cup unsalted butter
- 5 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1-2 Cloves garlic
- Requires a heavy skillet
- Les Moules (Mussels)
- 2 Lbs. live mussels in the shell
- 1/2 Cup cream
- ½ White wine (or Pernod)
- ½ Chopped white onion
- 1 Roughly chopped fennel bulb (use green tops for garnish)
- 1/4 Cup unsalted butter
- Olive oil for pan
- Italian Seasoning
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 – Prepare Les Pommes Frites (Fries)
- Scrub potatoes to remove dirt. Cut them into evenly sized “sticks” (Watch the video to see the technique)
- Allow cut potatoes to sit in cold salted water for 1-2 hours (rinse and repeat at least once during that time). This reduces starch which causes sticking during frying.
- Dry potatoes thoroughly before frying. Give potatoes their first fry in a heavy bottomed pan (Dutch oven or iron skillet). Oil should be 275- 300 degrees. Fry for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. When you first drop them into the hot oil they will move toward each other and need to be separated. Fry in 3 batches to avoid crowding.
- When golden brown, remove fries with a slotted or metal mesh spoon and place on a cooling rack generously lined with paper towels.
- Continue frying all three batches and let fries drain at room temperature while you prepare the mussels and until it’s time for the second fry.
- Step 2 – Make Les Moules
- Hold live mussels in cold, salted water until ready to prepare. Remove beards and discard any open mussels.
- Drain water from mussels prior to adding to sauce.
- To prepare sauce, coat large saucepan with olive oil and sauté the onion and fennel over medium heat until softened (not brown).
- Add butter, garlic, spices, and cream and stir as you bring mixture to a simmer.
- Add mussels to pan and cover with white wine. Stir and coat mussels with sauce. Cover with lid and let mussels steam until they open and smile at you.
- Step 3 – Twice Fry and Serve
- Bring oil back up to frying temperature (275-300 degrees) while mussels are steaming
- Add fries back to hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes (1/2 batch at a time)
- Remove from pan and drain on clean, dry paper towels
- Brush lightly with melted butter, parsley, garlic mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve along side mussels immediately and enjoy your French Bistro style Moules Frites!