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Moules Provençal

French chef Raymond Blanc shares his recipe for Moules Provençal in his latest cookbook (2021) Simply Raymond: Recipes from Home. I have adapted it slightly to work what was available in my garden and what worked best for entertaining. Simple, easy to enjoy and easy to clean up. :)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Simply Luxurious

Ingredients

Herb Butter

  • 2 small shallots (or one large shallot) roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 handfuls fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 60 grams panko (or bread crumbs) Keep a handful or so extra for sprinkling on top of the mussels before you place them under the grill to brown.
  • 180 grams unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 2-4 Tbsp water depending upon the viscosity of the spread

Moules (Mussels)

  • 3-4 sm shallots or 1 small white or sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 lb moules, fresh (mussels)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 100 ml (or 1/2 cup) of dry white wine

Instructions

Herb Butter

  • Using a food processor, place the parsley, garlic clove, shallots, breadcrumbs and butter into the canister and pulse to combine and chop finely. Add the water last, one tablespoon at a time to determine when the spread reaches the consitency of butter (don't let it get too easily spreadable).
  • Set aside the herb butter. Keep at room temperature so that it is easily spreadable when the moules are ready to be prepared.

Moules

  • Preheat the oven to Broil.
  • Using a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, bay leaves and thyme. Cook for about one minute. The shallots will have just begun turning transculent. They will continue to cook once the moules are added.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the moules. Add the white wine and cover for 2-3 minutes. The moules will begin to open up prompted by the steam. After 2-3 minutes, remove the lid. Most, if not all moules should be opened. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and remove any moules that did not open.
  • Strain out the liquid (using in a later recipe as broth - risotto for example). Remove the top shell from each of the moules (or the shell that is not connected to the moules itself. Discard. Place the moules in their half-shelves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Separate each moule from its shell, so that it sits in it, but can easily be enjoyed when eaten.
  • Using a small spatula, spread the herb butter over the top of each moule in its half shell. Leave just enough uncovered to reveal what is underneath. Sprinkle with a dash of more bread crumbs and place in the oven under the broiler until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Place on a large platter. Enjoy with the white wine you cooked the moules in over the stovetop or a crisp Provençal rosé. Freshly made crusty artisan bread would be delicious to clean up any extra melted herb butter.