i remember the first time i tried moules frites on a family holiday in my early teens. we'd rented out a lovely little cottage near le havre in the north of france, along with the car and bikes especially for exploring. one day we took a trip to the seaside town of fécamp; with sail boats dancing along the windy pier and row upon row of blackboards. except instead of fish and chips etched in black and white like on the other side of the channel, they were lovingly dishing out moules et frites.
in fact originating in belgium and hailed as their national dish, the classic creamy moules marinière is loved by the french and europeans alike. this traditional recipe is a medley of luxurious cream, white wine, shallots, garlic and fresh parsley. since mussels are such a versatile ingredient, i wanted to experiment with a recipe inspired by their spanish cousin. taking the flavours from the timeless paella, the moules are infused by smokey chorizo and the frites have a paprika patatas bravas twist.