We made Moules Frites!! (without fries – moules sans frites?) and going with the Moolie Moolie Moolie theme from yesterday….
We made Moules Moules Moules!! Ha! I crack myself up sometimes… you don’t have to laugh if you don’t want to, my belly laughs for all of us!
So from one famous English Chef’s recipe to another, this time we used Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for Moules Frites and it was DELICIOUS!
We changed something though – you’re supposed to put Pernod but we were too cheap to go out and buy some (c’mon man, we already forked out for the Muscadet!), so we figured, if he just is using it to enhance the aniseed/licorice flavour, we’ll just put a star anise instead 😛
Whether or not it made a difference, we won’t know until we use the Pernod to compare BUT it was still friggin’ tasty. Tones and I cooked this after 7pm yoga which means we didn’t get home until almost 10pm.
Instead of fries (because we only had new/baby potatoes in the fridge) we made roast potatoes with thyme and garlic- they were delicious too (so delicious I forgot to take pictures of them)!
The mussels cooked quickly but the roast potatoes took ages. SO, we ate ALL the potatoes (0.5kg) and ALL the mussels (1kg) at midnight, in one sitting while we watched a few more episodes of Masterchef Australia.
The mussels were SUPER SALTY – I couldn’t believe how salty the sauce had gotten when we hadn’t added any salt at all!! Apart from that, our only complaint was that we didn’t buy more than 1kg of mussels!
Also, we discovered something that you probably will read and go “duh!” which I’m about to share with you. Live and learn!!
I am telling you this not to reveal to you how silly we are but really just to let you know so you don’t do it yourself!! Please ignore the stupidity and just heed the warning!
The discovery: You should buy mussels and cook them on the day!!!!
We thought we’d be clever going to Billingsgate, buying mussels fresh, taking them home, scrubbing them, cleaning them, removing the beards and THEN FREEZING them immediately.
Sounds clever right? WELL!! You know how you’re supposed to make sure all the mussels are closed before you cook them? They’re closed because they’re alive and they’re protecting themselves for dear life. When you cook them, the mussels die, they can no longer hold onto their shell and so the shells open. You can tell if they’re cooked when the shells open up and you see them sitting contracted on the inside of one side of the shell.
When we so cleverly froze them, they all died!!! duh!! SO… when we defrosted them, as beautifully fresh smelling as they were… they were all dead and therefore all the shells were OPEN!!
Since they were all alive before we froze them, we decided it was safe to cook and eat them anyway which proved 2 difficulties.
Firstly, since they died by freezing rather than boiling the mussel itself was splayed (stretched out) and stuck to both shells (as if they were holding onto the shells, got tired and then died holding the shell open). Cooking them this way, didn’t change what they looked like… Definitely was NOT attractive or easy to eat. Lucky we were watching the TV and not each other!
Secondly, if you can tell that they’re cooked by seeing them open – ummm how the hell do you tell if they’re cooked when they’re all open already? We decided just to go by time of cooking and colour of the mussel not ideal but you work with what you’ve got right?
Hey, at the end of the day, they were tasty and we’re still alive so not too much harm done. However, it’s guaranteed that we won’t be doing that again!!
Lesson learned, if you want attractively edible mussels and an easy way to tell if they’re cooked, don’t do what we did!! Just buy them and cook them on the day!