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.”

Recipe

Prep Time:

1 Hour

Serves:

4-6 People

Ingredients:

  • 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
  1. Step 1 – Prepare Les Pommes Frites (Fries)
    1. Scrub potatoes to remove dirt. Cut them into evenly sized “sticks” (Watch the video to see the technique)
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. When golden brown, remove fries with a slotted or metal mesh spoon and place on a cooling rack generously lined with paper towels.
    5. 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.
  2. Step 2 – Make Les Moules
    1. Hold live mussels in cold, salted water until ready to prepare. Remove beards and discard any open mussels.
    2. Drain water from mussels prior to adding to sauce.
    3. To prepare sauce, coat large saucepan with olive oil and sauté the onion and fennel over medium heat until softened (not brown).
    4. Add butter, garlic, spices, and cream and stir as you bring mixture to a simmer.
    5. 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.
  3. Step 3 – Twice Fry and Serve
    1. Bring oil back up to frying temperature (275-300 degrees) while mussels are steaming
    2. Add fries back to hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes (1/2 batch at a time)
    3. Remove from pan and drain on clean, dry paper towels
    4. Brush lightly with melted butter, parsley, garlic mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Serve along side mussels immediately and enjoy your French Bistro style Moules Frites!