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Or rather when Belgium meets Quebec… This my friends was freaking amazing ! A readaption of the typically simple and delicious mountains of mussels in their shells (cooked in white wine, beer and sometimes cream) with a side-order of fries and mayonnaise like we eat in northern France and further north-east in Belgium (where it originates). The mussels are also sometimes baked in the oven asa gratin in a cheesy-bechamel sauce. These ideas were combined with the messy and yet so satisfying creation called "poutine" invented in Quebec in the 50's and which literally means a "big mess", combining fries and cheese curds and gravy (by the way, my friend Haroula runs the Poutineville restaurant in Montreal and it rocks so I hope she likes this !) The trick behind this dish was how to combine several dishes in one. Usually fries are used but to lighten it up a little, I prefered oven-baking the potatoes. The mussels are prepared in the usual manner, cooked with just enough wine (or beer) and a few vegetables to both flavor and to open up the shells so you can get to the meat. The bechamel-cheese sauce is quite easy too but iI used the broth too. I also added fried bacon bits and croutons for the extra crunch, baked in the bacon fat for an additional slightly smoked flavor. Oh yeah, by the way this is extremely filling so 2 servings can easily become 3 or 4 ! And here we go ! Thanks / Bedankt… :)

mussels & fries poutine


serves 2


  • 4 large potatoes with the skin on (800 grams)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs (i used herbes de provence : rosemary, oregano, thyme …)
  • 1 tbsp semolina (to make them crunchier)
  • 1 kg mussels (in the shells and cleaned)
  • 1/2 chopped shallot (50 grams)
  • 1/2 chopped celery stalk (75 grams)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 cup white wine (or beer)
  • 1/4 baguette bread (75 grams-cut into small squares)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices bacon (reserve the fat)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup reserved broth from the mussels
  • 1/8 cup additional white wine (or beer)
  • 2 1/2 cups grated gruyère cheese (175 grams)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • sea salt, black pepper, white pepper
  • a pinch of cumin and grated nutmeg
  • chopped parsley


  • wash and slice your potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water with 1 tbsp salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse and pat dry
  • preheat your oven to 200°C and toss the sliced potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper, dried herbs and semolina
  • lay out your potatoes on a piece of waxed paper on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and crispy (turn them over half-way through)
  • chop up your bacon into thin strips and fry and then toss in cut-up bread with some olive oil, crushed garlic, ground pepper and herbs, until toasted
  • clean your mussels and chop up the shallot, celery, parsley and garlic
  • in a large casserole, toss in the chopped up vegetables and white wine and then the mussels
  • cover and let boil for 5 minutes until the shells open up
  • remove the mussel meat from the shells and keep a few in the shells for garnish, put aside in a bowl with some of the broth
  • strain and reserve 1/2 cup of the mussel-wine broth (for the bechamel-cheese sauce)
  • melt the butter in a small casserole, add flour and whisk until golden and creamy
  • add the milk and mussel-wine broth, add 1/8 cup more white wine (or beer) and keep wisking until it thickens, add the garlic and spices and cheese and keep stirring until creamy and adjust to your taste, add sour cream if you like
  • remove the oven-baked fries from the oven and place in two large bowls
  • add the croutons and bacon bits, drain the mussels and add to the dish and pour the bechamel-cheese sauce on top
  • garnish wish some fresh parsley and a few mussels (still with the shells on)