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Around the World Part 2. Belgium Moules Frites & Banana Split Waffles

Another place I've never been to but hopefully one day (I say wistfully). I thought Moules Frites would be a good place to start.

I love anything in a garlicky wine sauce and throw in chips especially triple cooked ones and I'm a happy bunny.

Then on to dessert.  Oh my, waffles (tick) warm chocolate sauce (an even bigger tick) Chantilly cream (mmmmm delightfully nice) banana (surely part of my 5 a day?) and pecans (oh my i'm in heaven) So far I am throughly enjoying my globe trotting blog and so are my boys............. Serves 2 hungry people or 3-4 not so hungry.
Moules Frites
1kg Mussels
2 diced shallots
4 cloves of garlic (grated)
1 large glass of good white wine
A biggish knob of butter
Olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Tip the mussels into a large bowl of cold water. Discard any that remain open when tapped, then drain well and pull away any 'beards'. (Fresh mussels look black and shiny and should only smell pleasantly of the deep sea  avoid any that smell fishy look dry or are mostly open.)

In a large heavy based saute pan heat the butter and the oil add the shallots and gently fry for a couple of minutes add the grated garlic cloves (I use a micro plane). Carry on cooking until translucent, add the wine and reduce by half, in the meantime cut 2 pieces of parchment about 12inch x 28inch.

Place onto a baking trays, pop the mussels into the centres of the parchments and pre-heat the oven to 210. Make each parchment into an envelope around the mussels leaving the bottom flap open, gently tip half of the liquid into each packet and a sprig of thyme, fold over to seal, pop into the hot oven for about 10-12 mins. Bring to the table in the little envelopes.

(Only eat the open ones) 

Serve with crusty bread, garlic mayo and triple cooked chips

For triple cooked chips 
I use one large potato per person (if you like more then be my guest).

I give my potatoes a good rinse then leaving the skins on chop into thin chips, give another good rinse in a colander and shake and a quick rub with a clean tea-towel.

Now in either a deep fat fryer or a shallow pan, fry the chips until soft but still pale, remove onto kitchen roll and leave to cool.

Heat the oil back up and cook again this time until lightly golden, remove onto kitchen paper at this stage you can pop into the fridge on a baking tray until needed, when all you need to do is pop into hot oil until very golden and crispy. Drain and sprinkle with rock salt.

For the waffles
Mine aren't authentic as I think Belgium ones have yeast in them, but they are yummy just the same, I use a Nordicware waffle iron and it's great.
1 teacup of plain flour
1 teacup of whole milk
3 eggs separated (whisk the whites)
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 heaped tbsp butter melted

Mix together the flour, egg yolks, milk, sugar and melted butter, then fold in the egg whites a third at a time.

Heat waffle iron and cook (as manufacture's instructions). Heat 150 ml of double cream to below boiling stir 150g Belgium milk chocolate pieces, stir until glossy.

Whip 150 ml double cream with 2 tbsp icing sugar. Slice one large banana or two small on the diagonal, to plate up, arrange the waffles on the plate in angles, fan out the sliced banana, I put the whipped cream onto the warm waffle and then drizzle with the chocolate sauce finishing with vanilla ice-cream and a couple of chopped pecans.

I hope you all enjoy 'Our" globe-Trot this week. Love Jox