Let’s begin at the ending. To best describe this Week’s FFWD is to show off the dinner dregs. If this photo doesn’t illuminate the story for you foodies, nothing can.

Our At-home Bistro, following a Bon Appètit-Bonanza

This week’s recipe is supposed to be Mussels & Chorizo, with or without pasta, (page 316, Around My French Table). Since we are a pseudo-vegetarian household this Winter, I chose to serve Moules Marinière, or fisherman’s mussels, a recipe that should be in every cook’s repertoire of great, traditional dishes (page 312, Around my French Table).

The most difficult part of this simple recipe is buying the fresh mussels at your local fish market. Probably a pound per person. I purchased large, fleshy green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. Scrub them mightily and debeard as necessary. Go to your pantry for olive oil, onion, shallots, lemons and garlic. Pick some thyme and parsley from your herb garden. If you have a bay tree, pick a leaf. And, if you left some white wine in last-night’s bottle (that’s my problem, I never do), use it. The preparation is a snap.  http://breadandbutternyc.typepad.com/blog/2011/06/mussels.html )

Lovin’ the fleshy, full-bodied Green-lips from New Zealand

For Moules Marinière, a repas is complete with just pommes frites (french fries), a baguette or two (for “the sop”), and, table wine. For this meal, no silverware is necessary. Use a 1/2 mussel shell as your fork. Paper towels (Bounty heavy-duty), rather than napkins. Break bread, literally.

This photograph does not need a caption!

I urge you to pick up a copy of Dorie Greenspans’ “Around my French Table”, her recipe book extraordinaire. Although she presents more than 300 recipes, her take on fish – cod, flounder, monkfish, skate, swordfish, salmon, tuna and shellfish – is worth the price of admission. If you’re a foodie, budget this book into next month’s purchases……… the cost being the same as two steaks, Porterhouse; OR a leg-of-lamb, bone-in; OR, a pound of halibut.

To see other Dorista’s versions of Mussels & Chorizo, with or without pasta,  go to http://www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com/.

Bon Appètit