Eating The Tour de France – Stage 2: Moules Mariniere
The first part of the second stage hugs the seafront and although the route is not mountainous, the rugged coastal terrain could make this a spirited stage. Cycling west of Monaco en route to Brignoles the riders will be cycling through the heart of the Cotes De Provence. This sunny corner of the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) is famed for its rose wine but also its seafood. Brignoles, the seconds days destination, is not a coastal town, but it’s close enough the warm waters of Mediterranean to gurantee that after enjoying Stage Two those lucky enoug to be in town will be enjoying hearty bowls of Moules mariniere.
- 1kg/2.2lbs fresh mussels
- 115g/4oz unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 200ml/7fl oz dry rose
- 1 bay leaf
- large handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Pull away the beard around the shell of the mussels and scrub under cold running water. Chuck out any that are open.
2. Heat 50g/2oz of the unsalted butter in a large saucepan. When the butter is foaming add the garlic, shallots, wine and bay leaf. Cook over a medium heat until the shallots are translucent.
3. Bring the shallots and wine mixture to the boil. Add the mussels, cover the saucepan, gently shake the pan and cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that remain closed after cooking or are shriveled.
4. Strain the mussels over a large saucepan using a colander and set aside. Place the mussels into a large bowl. Retain the mussel juice in the pan and return to the heat. Add the parsley and remaining butter and bring to the boil.
5. Pour the mixture over the mussels and serve immediately with plenty of fresh crusty bread.