Moules frites

That’s mussels and chips to you and me! And very tasty they are too…

You’ve had an awesome holiday in the south of France and seduced by the warm sea air and encouraged by that dashing waiter you tried mussels for the first time and they were divine. Just because you’re back in Blightly it doesn’t mean you have to go straight back to fish fingers. Try this simple recipe for the classic bistro favourite of moules frites (or mussels and chips if you prefer).


  • 1kg fresh mussels (make sure they are fresh, black and shiny)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraiche


Tip the mussels into a large bowl of cold water, rinse, drain well and pull away the stringy bits called ‘beards’. Place the chopped onion, shallot and garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil, gently sweat them over a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly soft. Add the chopped herbs.

Add the washed mussels to the pan and cover with dry white wine, bring slowly to the boil, then simmer gently while stirring. Continue until the mussels have opened – discard any that don’t open – this can take between 2 to 5 minutes. Add the crème fraiche mixing through the cooked and opened mussels. Serve in a deep bowl with the frites (or thin cut chips!) on the side.