Moules Mariniere would have to be one of my favourite French classic dishes.  It is so easy, takes minutes to make and just takes me back to when I visited France.  As with most of the recipes I do, I decided to pimp this one up a bit by adding some Vongole` clams and to dunk in the deliciously wine laden, lemon infused, creamy broth…….a 3 cheese jaffle.  Total win.  This is such a brilliant meal for busy people and so much fun to eat, I just love it!

Prep time:  15  Minutes

Cooking time:  15 Minutes

$$  Medium Budget with just Mussels, a little more on the expensive side with Vongole`

Serves 4

For the Moules Mariniere:

Olive oil for frying

20gm of butter

2kg of Mussels (if you buy them in a cryovac bag, they are usually already cleaned and de-bearded)

500gm of Vongole` or clams

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup of dry white wine

1 Litre of veg, chicken or seafood stock

150ml of pure cream

1 bay leaf

Sea salt & Cracked pepper

2 tbs of chopped fresh parsley

1 tbs of chopped fresh tarragon (optional but seriously good)

For the Jaffles:

8 slices of bread of your choice

4 slices of good, sharp tasty

8 slices of Brie or Camembert

Cream Cheese or Ricotta for spreading

Cracked pepper

Butter for the outside of the Jaffles

To prepare the Moules Mariniere, heat a large stock pot or wok and add the butter and oil.  When the butter has melted and is bubbling, fry the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaf for a good 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the veggies have softened.  Pour in the lemon juice and wine and allow to reduce by about half before pouring in the stock and cream.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine then simmer for about 10 minutes to let all of the flavours infuse and the veggies become nice and soft.  Drain the mussels and vongole` (keep a little juice to add to the broth if you like) and run under cold water to remove any grit.  Place them in the pot with the lid on and steam for about 5 minutes or until they have opened.  Sprinkle over half of the herbs and use a large spoon to fold the herbs through the mussels so that you bring the ones from the bottom to the top.

Prepare your Jaffles by buttering the slices of bread and placing two slices of bread, butter side in, on top of each other.  Spread the cream cheese or ricotta, lay a couple of slices of brie or camembert and top with a slice of sharp cheddar.  Season with pepper and cook in a Jaffle maker until golden while the mussels and clams are cooking.

To serve, divide the Mussels and Clams between large serving bowls and ladle over the broth and veggies.  Scatter over the remaining herbs and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.  Serve with lemon wedges and 3 Cheese Jaffles.