My husband and I love mussels. It’s our go-to appetizer whenever we’re out to dinner. When we honeymooned in France, one of our favorite meals was at a “Moules-Frites” restaurant where we dined on mussels and french fries while sitting outside on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

When we’re not a restaurant (or in France for that matter) we use the recipe below to make mussels at home. It’s so easy and tastes gourmet. Of course, I recommend eating with grilled bread to sop up the delicious broth.

Spicy Mussels in White Wine
adapted from

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1/3 C olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tsp fennel seeds
1 Tsp dried crushed red pepper
1/2 Tsp salt
1 C dry white wine
2 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices

1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed, debearded

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt; saute until onion is light brown, about 4 minutes. Add wine, lemon slices and 1/4 C parsley; bring to boil. Add mussels. Cover pot and cook until mussel shells open, stirring once to rearrange mussels, about 6 minutes; discard any that do not open. Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large shallow bowl. Boil broth in pot until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes; season to taste with pepper. Pour broth over mussels.


PS. Did you know this is how Parisians eat mussels? They use one empty shell to squeeze and take the next one out of it’s shell. Tres chic…

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