Moules Frîtes - steamed mussels and french fries being something close to a national dish in France, I am more often than not surprised how it is
sloppily thrown together not very well prepared. Just pouring some white wine over the mussels, adding a few onions and a bay leaf just doesn't cut it and then the fries are lukewarm and pale - well, you get the picture.
But there are exceptions. I think we ate the very best mussels ever (à la plancha and marinated in a garlicky herby mustard sauce) on a bull farm in Camargue - a dish we still dream of and never found as good again.
But now we were invited to the Master of the Moules. Moules Marinières - cooked by our friend and neighbor Claude on his BBQ. 15 kilos of fresher than fresh, big, fat and juicy mussels. What a feast! And I was so fascinated by the slow and very precise preparation I never got around taking photos of the fries - dark, crunchy, home made proper french fries. How come we never get them like that in restaurants? Would you believe it - 11 people managed to eat all 15 kilos of mussels. La vie est belle - life is good!
Mussels on the BBQ - Ice and all
Claude - the Master of the Mussels
15 kilos of fresh mussels cooked on the BBQ in a custom made pan
with lots of chopped flat leaf parsley and shallots and white wine
Later there was a bit of trouble with a cork that went into the bottle and had to be filtered....
.... before our host presented the digestif - his home made herb liquor