julia child: moules a la mariniere (with clams instead!)

despite my failure with the garlic soup i decided to go pellmell ahead with trying julia child’s simple recipe for steamed mussels in white wine. there was one little hitch to this plan: i couldn’t find mussels at the grocery store. what to do? i’d already prepared all the other ingredients. so, as julia child would, i improvised. i couldn’t find fresh mussels at either supermarket i went to (are they out of season? i probably should have checked) but i WAS able to find large mahogamy clams.

wash and scrub up the clams as much as possible so that you get rid of as much sand as you can. soak them in water for about an hour, clean and change out the water, and soak for another hour.

finely mince half an onion. i need to start wearing goggles while cutting onions because i never fail to descend into a weeping mess. crying for no reason! so post modern.

we don’t really drink so this is the only white wine in the house, used to occasionally poach salmon. finished off the bottle, giving me about 1.25 cups of white wine. the recipe calls for 2 cups, but it seemed pretty versatile as you could also go with just one cup of a dry white vermouth.

the prepared pot with all the ingredients- the white wine, 6 tbsps of butter, finely minced onion, 8 sprigs of parsley (i put in less as i’m not that much of a parsley fan), pepper, 1/4 tbsp of thyme leaves, and half a bay leaf.

bring the mixture to a boil for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. it’s gonna start smelling reaaal good

add the clams and cover the pot. steam for five minutes, occasionally shaking the pot to help them cook more evenly.

after about 5 minutes the clams should open. if not, ladle out the ones that have opened and let the others cook until they’ve fully “popped” open (you should be able to hear the pop)

the broth is terrific with a good, crusty bread to help sop it up- we heated up an epi from bouchon. this was actually baked into the shape of a heart!

ENJOY!!! unbelievably delicious- the fragrant clams really perfumed the white wine broth with all its buttery goodness and even though i’m not a parsley fan it did really bring out the flavour of the wine and the clams. the minced onions give just a little crunch to the juicy tenderness of the just opened clams. start to finish, including my slow-ass cutting of the onions, this probably took about 15 minutes top- maybe even 10. highly recommended- it’s SO easy and so good! definitely going to make this again when i can find mussels at the supermarket- or clams for that matter.

2 Responses

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  • stephen says so:
    February 16th, 2010 |

    what if you chill the onion before cutting it? it should help cut down on the tears i think

  • Jenton says so:
    February 16th, 2010 |

    OH MAN that looks good!

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