Saturday, April 4, 2009


I never had mussels before my year in Paris. Actually, I don't think I would have known to try mussels (moules) if my former TA hadn't requested to meet up with me at Léon de Bruxelles on Champs Elysées. The Champs Elysées location is better than the one near Saint Germain. I've been to the one at Saint Germain twice, and I felt queasy after both meals. Everytime I went to the one on Elysées, I would walk out in a satisfying state of lethargy.

Bucket o' moules with fries and mussels baked with marinara sauce and cheese

After I got back to the states, I tried my hand at cooking moules with the help of my stash of Monoprix's sauce Nantua. I thank the Electricité de France (EDF) for making it so difficult for me to end my service. I made countless trips to the EDF office where I opened my service, but each time I went, the office was closed contrary to the working hours posted on its door. I acquired various awesome sauces from a nearby Monoprix, including sauce Nantua, while waiting for the EDF office at a different location to reopen from their lunch break, which of course went way beyond the hours marked on their door.

My recipe is super simple, but contains more ingredients than the traditional cocotte de moules.


fresh mussels washed and scrubbed (available in months that have the letter "r")

1 can of lobster sauce or lobster bisque

half a leek (sliced)

minced garlic

some olive oil

salt to taste

as much white wine as you want

Heat a deep pot with some olive oil. Sauté the garlic and leeks; then add the mussels. When one or two start to open up, add wine and the can of lobster bisque/sauce. Stir and cover, letting it simmer on low-medium heat.

You can virtually dump anything you want into your pot of mussels. Bacon, crème fraîche, mustard, tarragon, even absinthe like the moules at Péché! Just add white wine and pair the finished product with a baguette for absorbing the liquids.

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