Moules a la Normande – Normandy Mussels with Bacon
What Does It Mean to Be a Foodie?
I have wondered recently what it means for me to be a foodie. The easiest answer would be that it is all about enjoying the food. But there is so much more to it. Being a foodie is about trying new food, ingredients, and combination of tastes. And reading culinary books, articles as well as watching cooking programs on TV. It is also about not being able to fall asleep when you think which combination of flours to use to make a gluten free cake taste at least equally well as its original version ;). And it is unfortunately about being on a diet from time to time… (Because you love food, there are so many dishes you would like to try, but you still want to fit into your usual size clothes ;)).
Holiday is a particular time for foodies like me. It is a continuous opportunity to taste new food and get new inspirations. During each vacation, I always try at least a few dishes I want to make at home. But then when I am back, I get busy, try some other delicious meals and often forget about all the food I was supposed to prepare. However, there are always one or two very memorable dishes from each holiday I end up cooking at home like the Boozy Bread and Butter Pudding we had in New Orleans. But we tried another incredible meal during our American holiday.
Moules a la Normande (Normandy Mussels with Bacon) – a Bit of Paris in Washington
When we arrived in Washington, we had already been travelling in the US for over 3 weeks. By that time, we had eaten in many restaurants representing diverse cuisines and different quality levels. Which means that on the one hand, we were a bit spoilt (all that great food we had) but from the other – also a bit sceptical. Naturally, we always had checked at first reviews of restaurants we were planning to go to but eventually not always we agreed with the positive remarks. So, when my husband suggested a French bistro, we really didn’t know what to expect.
When we arrived there, we straight away felt like we were taken from Washington directly to Paris. The decor was so French! And when it came to food, it got even better. We all decided to have mussels. Although each of us ordered a different dish and enjoyed it tremendously, we all agreed my husband’s choice – Moules a la Normande – was the best. Apart from perfectly prepared mussels, there were plenty of various vegetables there. But what gave these Normandy Mussels delicious taste was bacon and cream. For me, this combination wasn’t that obvious in connection with mussels, but it worked perfectly. The bacon gave saltiness and the cream – sweetness and velvety finishing to the wine sauce. What can I say, Normandy Mussels with Bacon and Vegetables was a meal to die for. No wonder then I remembered to make Moules a la Normande back at home.
Dry fry the bacon until the fat has melted away and the bacon is crispy. Remove from the frying pan.
Pour the olive oil, add the leek, celery potatoes and carrots, fry on a medium high heat for 3 minutes, add the stock, when it boils lower the temperature to medium, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are no longer hard, add the mushrooms.
In a big pot heat the wine, when boils put in all the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 4 minutes shaking the pan a few times.
Remove the mussels from the pan (keep them in a bowl covered, so they stay hot) and strain the wine through a cloth to remove sand and grits to the vegetables. You may not have to use the whole wine
Increase the temperature and boil for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream, followed by the mussels and bacon.
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Hi, I am Agnieszka, and I am passionate about delicious but healthy food. Many healthy dishes are bland and uninteresting. I reject this. So I created my blog Tastes of Health to share my yummy recipes for healthier (often plant-based and gluten-free) versions of family favourites.
I look forward to receiving your feedback after you try them.