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Smoked Moules Frites


smoked mussels in a white wine sauce with crispy fries on top garnished with parsley

I really have been having the most fun experimenting and cooking with my Alchemy Grill. I’ve been loving thinking up traditional recipes and reimagining them to be cooked on live fire or smoked. Turns out, most things, if not everything, tastes amazing smoked. I recently discovered this when I made smoked mussels, in particular, smoked moules frites, Belgium’s national dish, but with a smoky twist.


Usually mussels are done on the stove top and the steam from the closed pot cooks them. Mussels take no time at all to cook, so you want the sauce to be pretty much cooked before the mussels go in. Using a smoker, I had the top of the pot open to make sure the mussels get hit with that smoke flavour. Since they do take a short time to cook, I used a higher temperature on the smoker to make sure they cook through, but still get that smoke flavour. Once the mussels are open, you know they’re done and can be pulled out.


Classic moules frites are made in a wine sauce, so I did keep to that tradition and used leeks, garlic, shallot, white wine and a bit of crème fraiche. Moules Frites are not supposed to be soupy but still have a nice sauce to it. What’s great too is that your spoon is basically the mussels; when you break open the mussels you get some of that sauce too and can eat them straight out of the shell – so tasty. What’s also great is that you can dip your crispy fries into whatever sauce you don’t pick up with the mussels. Speaking of fries, I made the crispiest fries on the Alchemy plancha. They are so simple to make, just cut up your russet potato into thin matchsticks, fry in canola oil and season with salt. That’s it. You do need some patience though because it takes time for them to turn golden brown and crisp up, and they do need to be flipped regularly to not burn, but it’s so worth it. Typically the fries go on the side for this dish, but I decided to pile mine on top of the mussels. It was delicious. If you want to find out how to make my Smoked Moules Frites, keep reading or jump to the full recipe.


a pile of mussels on a work surface to start cleaning them before cooking

Set the smoker to 425F. Clean your mussels if needed and discard any dead ones.


melted butter being poured into a pot with chopped leeks, shallot, garlic and thyme

Chop your leek, shallots and mince the garlic. Place a cast iron pot on the plancha and add 1 tbsp of olive oil, then the leeks, shallots and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. Chop your fresh thyme and add to the pot. Melt your butter and add it to the leeks, shallot and garlic, mix and allow to cook and soften, stirring occasionally.


mussels being poured into the pot with the leeks, shallots, garlic, thyme and butter

Once softened, add in the wine, stir and allow to reduce. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and then add the mussels. Mix.


the pot of mussels going uncovered into the smoker

Place the pot, uncovered in the smoker and let cook about 10 minutes.


matchstick potatoes being fried in oil on the plancha

Chop your russet potato into matchstick fries. Add to the plancha with oil.


crispy golden fries being salted on the plancha

Keep cooking and adding oil, flipping midway, until the fries are cooked through, crispy and golden brown. Season with salt.


creme fraiche being added to the pot of cooked mussels

Remove the mussels from the smoker and mix. Add in the crème fraîche and stir until incorporated.


a bowl of mussels with crispy fries on top garnished with Italian parsley leaves

Transfer the mussels into a shallow bowl. Remove the frites from the plancha and place on top of the mussels. Garnish with Italian parsley leaves and Maldon salt.


And now for the full recipe...


Smoked Moules-Frites

Makes 1-2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients:

1lb PEI mussels

1 russet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, white part only

2 shallots

3 cloves garlic

½ lb butter

120 ml white wine

1 tbsp fresh thyme

½ lemon

Black pepper

1 tbsp crème fraiche

Canola oil for frying

Italian parsley, for garnish


How to Make Smoked Moules Frites


Set the smoker to 425F.


Clean your mussels if needed and discard any dead ones. Chop your leek, shallots and mince the garlic. Place a cast iron pot on the plancha and add 1 tbsp of olive oil, then the leeks, shallots and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. Chop your fresh thyme and add to the pot. Melt your butter and add it to the leeks, shallot and garlic, mix and allow to cook and soften, stirring occasionally. Once softened, add in the wine, stir and allow to reduce. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and then add the mussels. Mix. Place the pot, uncovered in the smoker and let cook about 10 minutes.


Chop your russet potato into matchstick fries. Add to the plancha with oil. Keep cooking and adding oil, flipping midway, until the fries are cooked through, crispy and golden brown.


Remove the mussels from the smoker and mix. Add in the crème fraiche and stir until incorporated. Transfer the mussels into a shallow bowl.


Season your frites with salt and remove from the plancha and place on top of the mussels. Garnish with Italian parsley leaves and Maldon salt.


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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