Mussels and Fries, an easy dinner for two

by Irvin on November 7, 2013 · 8 comments

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Mussels and Fries. An easy dinner for two! Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. |

“We really need to start making different meals than what we usually make for dinner.” I said to AJ as I surveyed my stack of cookbooks. I’m ashamed to own nearly 400 cookbooks and I have a habit of reaching for the same 10 recipes for dinner. Granted a good 3/4 of my books are baking books, but that leaves a stack of 100 cookbooks that I could conceivably use to make a savory meal from. Instead I make chicken pot-pie, from basically the same recipe I put on this blog three years ago. Not that I don’t love that recipe but I’m in a rut. Thank goodness mussels and fries are there to rescue us from the dinner doldrums. Turns out it’s an easy dinner for two! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

I glanced down at my stack under my desk, where my legs should go (but don’t – it’s a sacrifice, I know). I close my eyes, random pick a cookbook. My fingers land on Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand. A great book but not what I’m going to use for making dinner (as much as I would love a dinner made entirely of various puddings). I look at the one just underneath it: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Done! I’m seeing what Deb would make for dinner. Her blog inspires hundreds of thousands, I’m sure her book will do the same for me.

A quick perusal of the cookbook found me staring at her recipe for mussels in vermouth. It seems easy, deceptively easy in fact. Why have I never made mussels at home before? I filed that information away when I went to our local store to pick up ingredients for a different meal, meatloaf, something I haven’t made in ages but I was having a hankering for. Next to the butcher counter, I notice the mussels were only $6/lb. I made a mental note of that price.

I kind of adore my meatloaf recipe (remind me to post about it one of these days) but I knew I wanted to try making mussels soon. In the back of my head I remember a super easy way to make French fries from scratch that I read in an old Cook’s Illustrated. Could I make the classic Belgian Moules et Pommes Frites dinner for two? Turns out I can. Fast and easy too! The meal was done in about an hour. Talk about a way to impress! If I were single, this would be the go-to meal that I would use to get lucky on my first date. But since I’m not single that night my partner and I were both lucky. With this meal people! This meal. Get your mind out of the gutter.

If you like this easy meal, check out a few more easy meals from around the web (someone make these for me now!):
This Week for Dinner’s Easy Spaghetti Carbonara
What’s Gaby Cooking’s Mexican Lasagna
Cravings of a Lunatic’s guest post for The Shiksa in the Kitchen’s: 40 Clove Garlic Chicken
Emily Bites’ Chicken Enchilada Skillet
Gimme Some Oven’s Easy Pepper Steak

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline November 7, 2013 at 7:13 am

This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it! With not much time on weekday evenings to cook, I need an easy meal to add to my repertoire! Thanks for the inspiration!


Winnie November 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

This looks rad…I love mussels.


Nicole November 7, 2013 at 9:40 am

I remember reading about this french fry method and thinking it was brilliant, but have never actually tried it. It’s going on my list! I’m also guilty of rarely cooking from the books on my shelf, although I do read them for fun. I actually pulled a short stack off my shelf this morning and curled up on the couch with them and a cup of coffee. 🙂


Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) November 8, 2013 at 5:59 am

I used to live across the street from a French bistro in NYC. Moules frites used to be dinner almost every other night with a side of martinis. I’ve been craving these lately!


Megan November 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

Why do I never cook shell fish at home? I only seem to eat it at restaurants. Ok, you’ve inspired me as well. I think I need to head down to Blue Water Seafood market in S.D. and check out the selection. Thanks!!


Sean November 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Just had that for brunch last week at Le P’tit Laurent. One of my all-time favorite meals.


[email protected] is How I Cook November 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm

You are rockin’ it with this NaBloPoMo whatever! I love mussels and fries and make them a few times a year. You are right that these always impress. And i love your ratio of potatoes. 1 1/4 lbs per person sounds good to me. Just curious-I’ve seen this recipe, but not with the bacon. Do they taste like bacon or is it subtle? I love my potatoes but since I don’t eat French fries often, I think I could be a purist!


Irvin November 15, 2013 at 1:19 am

The bacon flavor is pretty subtle actually. But it does lends an ever so slight meaty and savory flavor to the fries. And trust me, I’m a purist too. I don’t even put ketchup on my fries. I just like them plain with salt!


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