EJS logo

Cooking With Beer, episode 1:‘Mussels in Hoegaarden with Chips’

Article illustration for Goals for 2008

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.)

[kml_flashembed movie=“http://www.viddler.com/player/dfc4f115/” height=“339” width=“400” /]

The dish

‘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).

The ingredients

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