Moules marinière may be the perfect dish: it’s fast, it’s cheap, it tastes great, it looks fancy and yet it’s easy. I’ve been raving about it for over a decade, based on this old post. Having convinced you of why you need to start making this dish — I mean, who doesn’t like fast cheap tasty fancy easy meals? — there’s a nice recipe for it, here: Mastering the Art of 10 Minute French Cooking: Mussels: Moules marinière.
Like so many things here on this blog, what I also love about this recipe is…it is riffable. (I need a new word.) As I showed in my post, there are a number of ways you can make these mussels. For example,
The recipe I use, from Lucy Waverman**, is slightly different and uses a cup of white wine and a cup of water. Instead of the scallion, it uses four cloves of garlic thinly sliced and two onions chopped. (You could get by with one.) As for herbs, it uses two dried teaspoons of thyme, which I really like. Finally it uses 2 pounds of mussels.
If you want a stronger flavoured broth, use more wine. Pick the allium you have or prefer best. Likewise with the herb. If you have fresh thyme (or chives or parsley or basil or rosemary), use that. Don’t load up on additional ingredients, though: the wonderful thing about this dish is just how simple it is.
One last thing I like about this recipe is that it is relatively light. Especially if you make it without dairy (as some recipes do) or without frites (though it is great with frites and mayonnaise). A serving of 1/2 pound of moules marinière should be under 500 calories (including the wine). So that’s good too.
P.S. You can get a copy of Lucy’s classic cookbook** here. It’s one of my favorites.