Recipe for Mussels

Moules à la crème Normande

recipe for mussels

This recipe for mussels in wine, garlic and cream will make an excellent first course, served in deep soup bowls with a fork to eat the mussels and a soup spoon for the juices.

Provide plenty of crusty French bread to dip into the sauce, some well chilled Muscadet to drink, and you will have a truly French dish.

Preparation time - 30 mins, cooking time - 10 mins

Serves 4


  • 4lb/1.75kg mussels
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ oz/15g butter
  • A bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
  • 3½ fluid oz/100ml dry white wine (or cider)
  • 4 fluid oz/120ml double cream or crème fraîche
  • Handful of coarsely chopped parsley leaves


Wash the mussels in cold water and, with a stiff brush, scrub them to remove any mud on their shells. Discard any mussels which are not tightly shut or do not close if sharply tapped, and any that float or have broken shells.

With a sharp knife, scrape off the tufts of hair, or beards, which protrude from between the closed shell halves. Knock off any barnacles with a sharp knife.

Give the mussels a final rinse to remove any bits of shell.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat and soften the garlic and shallots with the bouquet garni in the butter until soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the mussels and the wine or cider and turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake occasionally.

Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.

Spoon into warmed bowls and serve with the crusty bread.

~Bon Appétit~

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