Cooking With Beer, episode 1:‘Mussels in Hoegaarden with Chips’
Posted on 11 January 2008 • 31 comments
Web design, web design, web design. Let’s take a break for a second and have a laugh. Let’s talk about… hmmm… how about cookery?
I’ve been toying with the (rather odd) idea of doing a cookery blog for a while now, and for no reason in particular. I’m not a great cook and I’m not even particularly sure what I’m doing, but the other night I decided to go for it and marry the idea with my obsession for Belgian beer. So today, my lovely assistant Sam and I are proud to present the first of many (depending on how well this goes down) ‘Cooking With Beer’ videos and accompanying blog posts! Huzzah! (More info after the video.)
‘Moules et Frites’, to give the dish its Belgian name, is one of the most popular main courses in Belgian restaurants around the word, and – like many other Belgian dishes – is usually combined with a top quality beer, both as an accomaniment and as an ingredient. What a great idea! Our meal does just this: essentially it’s mussels cooked in Hoegaarden with a side-dish of homemade chips (or fries). Hoegaarden is a lovely white beer with a citrusy flavour, so it works perfectly with seafood (and offers an interesting take on the more regular mussels-with-white-wine).
There’s nothing too fancy in this meal – just your regular supermarket stuff. But get your mussels fresh from the fish counter if you can. The measurements below are a fairly rough suggestion for two people; I never get too bogged down with being exact when it comes to cooking. We ended up with quite a lot of sauce, so cut down on the cream and / or Hoegaarden if you want.
- 1kg mussels
- 200ml Hoegaarden (for cooking; allow more for drinking!)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 100ml (approx.) double cream
- 1 red onion (half for the mussels, half for the side salad)
- Spinach and rocket for the side salad
- 2 regular-sized potatoes
- Sunflower oil (the amount depends on how big your baking tray is; you just need enough to lightly cover your chips)
- (I’ve seen some recipes drizzle the finished meal with a little lemon juice. It’s something we didn’t do but might be worth a try.)
Serve the dish with a glass of chilled Hoegaarden, or – if you’re like me – enjoy a glass or two while you cook! Cheers! :D