Saturday, May 7, 2011

The easiest and Frenchiest weeknight dinner

I love the term 'a la marinière' - it just sounds so...French! What does it mean? Basically it refers to seafood (usually shellfish; especially mussels or 'moules') cooked mariner's style, with white wine and herbs. Katie P from Food Wine & Mod Podge and I have been taking a French gastronomy and culture class together at Loyola, and especially after seeing her recent post on mussels, I was inspired to grab some for myself and whip up a French-inspired 20-minute meal.

A note about buying mussels: I got mine at Whole Foods, and even though the fish guy picked them out himself, unfortunately he didn't do a great job - I had to get rid of almost half of them before cooking because the shells were cracked or they were open. So, lesson learned - next time I'll make sure that they look closer and I get my money's worth! :)

Fruits de Mer a la Marinière

olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups white wine (like sauvignon blanc)
1 tilapia fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
2-3 T fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet (try 12"), heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Breathe in the delicious smell as they cook for several minutes, just starting to soften but not brown. Seriously, does anything smell as good as sauteeing onions and garlic? Add the white wine, and bring it to a rolling boil for about a minute. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the mussels and tilapia and cover the skillet. Wiggling occasionally (the covered skillet, that is), cook until all the mussels are open, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, sprinkle with parsley, and taste the broth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Discard any mussels that haven't opened. Spoon some mussels and tilapia into a wide bowl, and pour some broth over it. Serve with a hearty slice of toasted baguette, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.


  1. Very classy -- but looks good, too!

  2. oh so classy love that it also sounds very delicious perfect for grown up meal
    come see what I shared