You might think that mussels are something only to be ordered up with a side of frites at the bar of your favourite fish house, but making them at home is easy, quick, and equally as delicious. From start to finish this dish takes no more than 15 minutes and has all the complexity of flavours promised from a classic French dish. Be sure to get fresh mussels and have your fishmonger save you the irritation and de-beard them before you take them home. Serve with a crisp dry white wine and some crusty bread and Voila! a meal fit for the best bistros served up fresh in your own kitchen.
- 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red bell peppers
- 4 lbs (1.8 Kg) mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 3/4 cup (187 mL) whipping cream
- 5 tbsp (75 mL) Pernod or other anise liqueur
- 5 tbsp (75 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Combine sliced leeks, dry white wine and red bell peppers in a large pot. Add mussels. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot and cook mussels until open – about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to medium bowl (discard any mussels that do not open) and keep warm.
Add whipping cream and Pernod to pot; boil until liquid has slightly reduced – about 4 minutes. Mix in 1/2 of the chopped parsley. Return mussels and accumulated juices to pot. Simmer until mussels are warmed through – about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Place mussels in serving bowls with broth and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dipping