Jacques Pépin’s Moules au Gratin (Mussels Gratinée)

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 11 2019


Jacques Pépin’s Moules au Gratin (Mussels Gratinée)

Photo Credit : Lori Pedrick / styling by Catrine Kelty

Made in the style of escargots with lots of butter and garlic, this easy Mussels Gratinée recipe from Jacques Pépin will find its way into your regular repertoire either as a party starter or, with the addition of salad and a baguette, a weeknight meal. Even better? The cooking liquid from the mussels can be used to make a cold and creamy soup called billi bi.

SEE MORE: In the Kitchen with Jacques Pépin | Weekends with Yankee


6 servings

For the mussels:


1 ½ pounds fresh mussels in their shells (about 36)
1 cup white wine
1 slice white bread, processed to make ¾ cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup loosely packed parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled
18 hazelnuts
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the mussels and wine into a large Dutch oven, cover, and bring to a boil. Cook until the mussels open, about 2 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then arrange the mussels in their shells on a cookie sheet. Reserve cooking liquid for the billi bi (below).

In a small bowl, stir the bread crumbs with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Set aside. Place the parsley, garlic, and hazelnuts in a food processor and process to a fine mixture. Add the butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Top each mussel with about 1 teaspoon of butter mixture and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Place the mussels about 5 inches below a broiler on high heat and broil, watching carefully, until bread crumbs are nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

For the Billi Bi:


Cooking liquid from the mussels
1 ½ teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon Tabasco
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


After the mussels are cooked, slowly drain off the juice into a saucepan, discarding any sediment (should be 1½ cups; adjust with water, if needed). Add the dissolved potato starch mixture and bring to a boil. Add the cream, Tabasco, and salt (taste for salt—you may need less or more depending on the saltiness of the mussels). Cool. Serve the billi bi cold with chives sprinkled on top. Yield: 4 small servings