Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

April 3, 2010


I had this sudden urge for mussels, my favorite dish on our many trips to Brussels, George’s birthplace. Moules et frites, the twice fried potatoes, is considered to be Belgium’s national dish. It was and still is the signature dish at Café dex Bruxelles in The Village, originally opened by George. To cook frites, whether the twice fried Belgian, or the once fried French, is beyond my present ambition. I decided a good baguette would do.


Moules Marinières
Wine: Hogue Chardonnay
Dessert: Lemon Bread Pudding**


2 lbs. Mussels*
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, cut into small pieces
¾ bottle Hogue Chardonnay
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Finely chopped parsley for garnish

I melted the butter in a heavy sauce pan and sautéd the onions and the celery until tender, but not brown. Next, I poured in the wine, added a bit of freshly ground pepper, and brought the liquid to a simmer. I added the mussels, brought the liquid to a boil, reduced the heat, and covered the saucepan. The mussels opened after 5 minutes. I discarded the few which hadn’t opened.

I served the dish in large soup bowls, together with chunks of crusty baguette.

The mussels were large and plumb and perfectly cooked. In classical style, we used the first empty mussel shell to retrieve the other mussels. The broth, however, lacked flavor. Next time I’ll use shallots instead of onion and eliminate the celery which didn’t add anything. George thought I should have used a better wine, such as a good Riesling.

I’ll definitely cook the dish again soon. Stay tuned.

*Bought at Citarella, which gets them daily from Massachusetts.

**Agata & Valentina

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