France is hailed for its culinary expertise and joining the Franschhoek Valley’s July celebrations of our French heritage, we bring you recipes from countries who just like us, share some French culture. First up is Belgium.
Bordering France on the northern side, Belgium’s southern Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital regions are mainly French-speaking. Just as the language, the cooking culture also crossed borders. Moules Frite, although enjoyed all over Europe and especially in France, is like the official dish of Belgium!
According to Saveur.com, the people of Belgium fried potatoes in the shape of small fish during winter time when river fish was not available. In this lies the origin of their famous friteries (fry shops). Combining frite with a Belgian staple, the plentiful mussel, was a given. Introducing: Moules Frite.
Easy and comforting, this simple dish is bang full of flavour and delicious when enjoyed with a fuller white wine such as our 2016 Culinaria Chenin Blanc.
Moules Frite Recipe
3 kg live mussels, scrubbed and bearded
150 g butter
1 onion, chopped fine
½ bottle white wine
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
4 potatoes, sliced into thin chips
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying – heated to 180 °C
Place the cut chips into the medium hot oil, and fry until golden and crisp. Keep warm.
Heat ½ the butter in a large pot with a lid.
Once the melted butter is foaming, add the onion. Sauté until soft. Add the wine and bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Now, add the mussels to the pot, cover with a lid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mussels open up. Discard the ones that are not opening.
Add the remainder of the butter and the parsley.
Pour the whole pot into a deep bowl and serve with crispy fries.
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