Moules Marinière

Moules Marinière

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When visiting the Normandy region of France, don’t miss the little picturesque town of Honfleur. About a year ago, my husband, stepdaughters and I visited this wonderful seaport town located on the southern bank of the Seine River, opposite Le Havre and less than an hour from Rouen. Known as a yachting, fishing and tourist center, the town has attracted artists for more than 150 yrs. especially the Impressionists, who helped make it famous. Its charming harbor is surrounded by 15th and 16th century buildings. There are many quaint restaurants all offering fresh seafood — especially Moules Frites (mussels with French fries). Here is an easy and delicious recipe for Moules marinière.


Moules marinière
Mussels in white wine
For: 4 persons
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 4 lbs. mussels

  • 3 tbsp. butter

  • 4 shallots, peeled and diced

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • 1 tsp. thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 sprigs parsley, tied together

  • pepper, to taste

Soak the mussels in water for 20 minutes. They will filter water and expel sand. Discard any that are broken, cracked or opened. Remove from the water and scrub the shells with a brush and “debeard. (To debeard: pull the threads towards the hinge of the mussel and yank out). Heat the butter in a large pot. Sauté the shallots, onion and garlic over low heat for about 5 minutes. (Do not let brown.) Add the wine, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the mussels and let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they have all opened, stirring frequently. Take them off the heat and place them in a large bowl. Reduce the liquid over high heat for about 5 minutes and then spoon over the mussels. Serve with crusty French bread — for sopping up the wonderful garlicky mussel sauce. Note: any leftover sauce can be refrigerated and served over linguine for another meal. Et voilà!

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