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Recipe for :

Moules a la Normande

Andy WhitsonThis recipe has been reproduced courtesy of Chef Andy Whitson.

Andy has been cooking for thirty years (all his working life) and is French classically trained. For the last fifteen years he has worked as a college senior chef lecturer winning many awards in national and international culinary competitions and captaining senior teams and student teams to great success. Andy has a vast amount of practical experience and knowledge which he openly shares with his Oui Chef students (his gourmet cookery school in Normandy) so that they gain the ultimate cooking holiday experience.

Andy has worked in various restaurants since qualifying as a chef and lecturer, including teaching at The Army School of Catering for eight years and Rüdesheimer Schloss, West Germany. Andy is also quite a dab hand at food sculpture using icing sugar and corn flour . . . more info


1.75 kg / 4 lb mussels
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
15 g / 1/2 oz butter
a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
200 ml / 7 fl oz cider
120 ml / 4 fl oz double cream
handful of parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
crusty bread, to serve


  • Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won't close when lightly squeezed.
  • Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
  • Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels - it should only be half full.
  • Add the mussels and cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3 - 4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
  • Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
  • Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.

Chef's Note:

If you require a thicker sauce, quickly remove the mussels and add a beurre manié to the sauce (take 15g ms plain flour and 15 gms soft unsalted butter and mix together until smooth, then add this to the sauce gradually until the sauce thickens and boil for one minute). Return the mussels to the pan and shake.

Serves: 3 - 4

Chef Andy Whitson