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moules frites en estilo español.

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.

shoppings list.
(serves two)

for the mussels
♥ one white onion
♥ two garlic cloves
♥ a knob of butter
♥ 150g chorizo sausage
♥ half a red pepper
♥ 1 tbsp smoked paprika
♥ 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
♥ 50g double cream
♥ 500g live mussels, or cooked but unflavoured
♥ parsley to serve

to accompany

♥ 200g potatoes
♥ olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper to season
♥ your favourite crusty bread

step one. if you would like to serve with chips (perfect for dipping!) thinly slice your potatoes and scatter on a baking tray. drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a liberal amount of paprika, salt and pepper. place in the oven at 180 degrees c and cook for 30-45 minutes depending how crispy you like them. these can be kept warm or heated up ready to serve at any time.

step two. to begin the mussels, slice up the onion as rings, dice the red pepper, crush the garlic and slice the chorizo.

step three. soften the onion and garlic together on a very low heat in a large saucepan.

step four. add in your chunks of chorizo and red pepper and allow the delicious flavours of the chorizo to line the pan for 5-10 minutes.

step five. add in the paprika and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook low for a further 10 minutes.

step six. turn up the heat and cook your mussels until piping hot; 3 minutes for precooked and 5 minutes for live.

tip: if you're cooking live mussels, i find this preparation guide really helpful. always remember to discard mussels which do not open.

step seven. voila! serve up with crusty bread, crunchy chips and a big spoon to scoop up all that delicious sauce. 

i served mine with some tasty fresh olive bread in the mussel pot and bowl which my mum brought me back from france. be sure to pick out a good size mussel shell as a pincer to eat the mussels one by one, too.

bon appétit! or ¡buen apetito! - whichever way you look at it!

what is your favourite national dish? what would be your twist on a classic or fusion of foods?

i'm entering this recipe into the destinology #destinologyreimagine competition to reinvent a classic. wish me luck!


  1. Wow looks amazing - what a great recipe!

  2. Oh my this looks incredible - I love seafood, mussels are one of my faves and the idea of them in a delicious chorizo and tomato sauce is just heaven to me! Will be cooking this as soon as I can find some fresh mussels...!

    1. Thank you Isabella :) Be sure to tweet me a pic if you do xx

  3. I love this idea Emily. It's literally a bowl of all my favourite things!!

  4. Thank you! I might try it out with king prawns too :)

  5. Sounds delicious! I usually cook the Belgian version but the Spanish version seems to be worth the effort.