Moules Frites (Steamed Mussels And Fries)

See the RecipeTodd Coleman

This classic recipe calls for steaming the mussels in white wine, which lends acidity and creates a flavorful sauce. This recipe first appeared in our May 2011 issue, with the article A National Obsession.

Moules Frites (Steamed Mussels And Fries)
White wine lends acidity to a flavorful sauce for steamed mussels—a classic French bistro dish that's perfect paired with crisp french fries.
Yield: serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4"-thick sticks
  • 2 12 lb. mussels, debearded and scrubbed
  • 23 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 12 leeks, light green and white parts, cut into 1/4"-thick slices
  • 12 large yellow onion, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Make the mayonnaise: In a large bowl, whisk mustard and egg yolk. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil in a thin stream until it begins to emulsify; whisk in vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Make the fries: Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2", and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fries to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; chill.
  3. Increase oil temperature to 385°. Working in batches, add chilled potatoes and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, return fries to rack; season with salt.
  4. Meanwhile, make the mussels: Heat a 12" high-sided skillet over high heat. Add mussels, wine, butter, celery, leeks, and onions; season with salt and pepper, and cover skillet. Cook, occasionally shaking skillet, until all mussels are opened, about 5 minutes. Divide mussels between 2 large bowls. Serve with fries and mayonnaise.

Variations:
To take the flavor of moules frites in different directions, omit the wine and add one of the following ingredients to the pan with the mussels, butter, celery, leeks, and onion: 1 tablespoon blanched, minced garlic and ¾ cup heavy cream; 1 tablespoon curry powder; 1 tablespoon piment d'Espelette; 1 tbsp. Pernod; ⅔ cup wheat beer.