Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moules Marinière à la Crème with Leeks & Thyme

The clean cold waters of Newfoundland and Labrador have the perfect conditions for harvesting mussels, with ideal temperature, salinity and depth that result in some of the world's most succulent and sweet tasting mussels. Superior in taste and quality compared to mussels raised in warmer waters, or wild and bottom-cultured mussels, not only are they unbeatably plump, juicy and flavourful, they're also high in protein, low in fat and with above average levels of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, one serving of mussels provides close to 100% of the daily-recommended intake of zinc, promoting good growth, brain function, and enhanced immunity to guard against flu and colds. This recipe for Moules Marinière à la Crème is based on classic Moules Marinière, but with a little cream added, creating a rich luscious broth ideal for mopping up with a crusty loaf of French bread or piping hot pommes frites — délicieux!

Moules Marinière à la Crème
Serves 4

4 lb mussels
1 leek, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 handful of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
kosher salt and white pepper
1 crusty French baguette, for serving

In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the leeks, season with salt and white pepper and sauté until translucent, about 5 or 6 minutes. Then add the wine and fresh thyme, and stir to combine. Once the wine is bubbling, add the mussels and give them a stir to coat. Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high, and continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened up. Those that haven't, you should discard. Add the cream and give it all a good stir. Pour the moules in one large serving bowl or portion into four individual warmed dinner bowls. Ladle the sauce overtop and garnish with some additional chopped thyme. Be sure to mop up the sauce with a loaf of warm crusty bread.