Moules Frites – It’s Like A Bowl Full Of Little Vaginas!
19 March 2009
Hey! So here’s a fact to which your mother can no doubt attest: I love tactile eating. Perhaps it’s some primordial impulse that’s satisfied by eating with my hands, thus triggering a vestigial memory of clubbing a woman over the head and dragging her back to my cave by her hair, which would thus have begun an animalistic mating ritual. Or maybe it’s something else equally weird and misogynistic. Who knows. What I do know is that food eaten with my hands often tastes better to me, for some reason, than food eaten with a knife and fork; but that, admittedly, could be because I always have bacon grease on my fingers*. Of course, I’m not alone in my affinity for this type of food – I mean, when was the last time you used utensils to eat a slice of pizza, a cheeseburger, or a bowl of soup? And, come on, how fucking awesome is cracking crab legs open with your bare hands, forcing your meal to yield its meaty bounty? Really awesome, that’s how.
Normally, I hate work in any form. But having to exert a little energy while eating, I must confess, always seems to increase my satisfaction of any meal. For example: I’ve never gone hunting before, but I imagine that the feeling one gets in taking down a ten point buck is remarkably similar to the feeling one gets when cracking open a lobster claw and getting that perfect claw-meat bite – you know, the one which leaves not even the faintest remnant of flesh behind? And going to a baseball game, I’m sure, would be infinitely less fun without the necessary prestidigitation required of cracking open peanut shells at a clip of two pounds per inning. Actually, that’s not true at all – baseball would still be awesome, because who doesn’t like to drink ten beers at $8.00 a piece on a nice Spring afternoon? Seriously, I just did the math, and that’s, like, over $100. I blame it on steroids. And A-Rod.
My favorite meal to eat with my hands is the unfortunately French-sounding moules frites. You do need a fork to get the mussels out of the shells, but that’s a small price to pay for a dish whose deliciousness is matched only by its requisite manual labor and palpable sensuality. Simple to make and delicious to eat, making moules frites is great as an appetizer or for dinner, but mostly for seducing that girl whose pants you’re trying to get into without the use of GHB or a fake police uniform. Seriously, you make moule frites for a dame, and there’s no way you later don’t get her to pee on you while wearing a Jason Voorhees mask and a viking helmet, all the while singing the Russian national anthem in an unsettling falsetto. Talk about a great night! Here’s how to accomplish it…
For The Putting Of Stuff In The Pot:
For The Making Ready Of To Put Food In The Tummy:
Buy about a pound of mussels from your local mussel monger. They should all be closed, and try avoid those with questionable characteristics like chips, discoloration, or Aryan Nation tattoos. Cook the mussels in some white wine until they open, then remove them to a separate bowl. Keep the liquid in the pot, which is now infused with the bivalves’ liquor, and add some more wine… Speaking of liquor, you’ve had a hard day – why not take the edge off with a nice, refreshing, bad-thought-removing Knob Creek Manhattan? Just pour four ounces of smooth, delicious Knob Creek bourbon in a highball glass, over ice. Add in some some sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters, and a maraschino cherry, and let a little taste of Bullitt County, Kentucky, take your worries away. There, doesn’t that feel better? Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon: America’s Native Spirit… Anyway, on your cutting board chop up some garlic, parsley, and anchovies. Sprinkle with salt and make a paste using the side of your knife. Add the paste to the wine/liquor mixture and reduce, adding wine every so often and reducing further. Divide up your mussels into separate Pier 1 moules frites serving bowls, and when your sauce is done, stir in a happy ending of butter and pour liberally over the moules.
As for the fries, you can go the easy route and make the frozen variety, or you can, you know, sack the fuck up and fry your own, Rebecca. Get out a cast iron Dutch oven, and pour in your peanut oil (unless you’re allergic to peanuts, in which case, that sucks.) While bringing the oil up to a temperature of 320 degrees, julienne some russet potatoes on your potato cutty thing, and submerge in cold water. Pat dry until all excess moisture is removed, hopefully by utilizing your Potato Drying ShamWow (“It’ll have you saying ‘Holy fucking shit’ every time!”) Drop your fries in the oil and cook for a few minutes until they’re pale and pliable, like a Croatian gymnast whose success her parents are banking on so that they can become rich and famous and finally emigrate to the United States where they will open a car wash. Remove to drain on a cooling rack inverted over paper towels or your special French Fry Oil-Draining ShamWow. While those are cooling and draining, increase the temperature of the oil to 375. Re-introduce the potatoes to the oil and cook until golden brown and mouth-scorching. Seriously, try and resist the urge to bite into these fuckers right after they come out of the oil. Sprinkle with a little Celtic sea salt and place in a cone of parchment paper cradled in a pint glass. If you don’t have Celtic sea salt, feel free to substitute with salt cultivated from the Caspian sea. Put the whole shebang together by pairing your mussels and sauce with a big piece of crunchy french bread and your cone o’ fries.
A little while ago, I overheard some dude talking about how he was being made out as “the bad guy” in some undisclosed scenario, and ended the conversation by saying that he wasn’t going to be their scape goat. Only, instead of “scape goat,” he said “escape goat.” I can’t remember a time when I’ve laughed harder at anything than I did upon hearing that simple, utterly ridiculous phrase. I tell you this story because as awesome as this scenario was, moules frite is a good ten to twelve times even more awesome. And, seriously, once again: moules frite is perhaps the best aphrodisiac in the history of “food that makes people want to bone.” I mean, come on: there’s juices, and little vaginas, and eating with your hands, and me cooking it in my cowboy boots and nothing else.
*Also: whore stink.