BELGIUM- Moules Frites

BELGIUM- Moule Frites

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Paulo likes mussels and french chips , without chips and without mayooo’
Paulo likes mussels and french chips, without chips and without mayooo’
Yo yo yo, yo yo yooo
Yo yo yo, yo yo yooo
Moules Frites by Stromae (Belgium’s Top Rapper)

I thought Brazil ’14 looked like it might just be the tournament when the Belgians would come out of their shells, and finally stop being the perennial World Cup dark horses.

The powerful side were riding the crest of a wave, having gone from 54th to a record place of 5th in the FIFA ratings under boss Marc Wilmots, who also happens to be the nation’s record scorer at World Cup finals with five goals.

After scaling the heights in topping Group H with a 100% record it seemed to be going swimmingly too for de Rode Duivels, however the Argentina proved to be too strong, knocking the Belgians out at the Quarter finals.

My Belgian World Cup dinner had to be Moules Frites (mussels and chips), a meal as intrinsically Belgian, as fish and chips are English, or hamburgers are American. The taste combination is almost perfect, and is really set off with a nice blonde Belgian beer and some mayo!

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INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
Moules:
500g fresh mussels
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
10g butter
Small bunch of parsley
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
60ml white wine
60ml double cream

Frites:
2 large baking potatoes
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS
Moules:
1. Rinse the mussels well under cold water, removing any beards with a small knife as you go. Discard any of the little blighters that are open, but that don’t close when you give them a little tap, or with broken shells, as they are bad! One last rinse and you’re good to go.
2. Sauté the garlic and spring onions in the butter in a pan big enough to hold all the mussels.
3. Add the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves
4. Add the mussels and white wine, and turn the heat up to medium.
5. Cover the pan with a lid to let the mussels steam for around 4 minutes until they begin to open.
6. Give the pan a good shake.
7. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Give it a good shake to mix all the juices, then let it rest for a minute.
8. Serve up in a large bowl, or in the pan itself.

Frites:
1. Scrub and de-eye two large baking potatoes- leave skin on for some extra flavour.
2. Slice into thin fries.
3. Pre- heat oven to 220C.
4. Place frites on a baking tray lined with baking paper, give a good spray with cooking spray, then season with salt and pepper.
5. Cook in oven for 25 minutes, turning at least once midway.

To serve- serve with mayo, wedge of lemon, and a glass of cold beer!

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