Moules Frites, mussels and fries, is a popular Belgian dish. I first heard of this dish when visiting Ommegang Brewery, which is a beautiful Belgian style brewery in Cooperstown, NY. My husband loved the dish, and of course, I loved the fries, so I finally decided to make up my own vegan version of it. I’m very visual so I wanted the dish to have similar optics to the traditional dish; but of course also be very flavorful. The broth is really key, and it was truly delicious. I used Purple Majesty potatoes that were available from The Produce Box (our local CSA). These potatoes can be found in many supermarkets and farmers markets. These came in a bag along with red and yellow potatoes. So you might have to search around a bit to find them. But if anything else, just make the broth with some fresh bread. It is so good! Makes a great appetizer for two people.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a pot, cover potatoes with about an inch of water; season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain and let them dry for about 10 minutes. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Carefully transfer them, cut-side down, to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until crisp about 25 minutes – turning them over halfway through roasting time. At the same time, slice the purple potatoes into 1/4″ thick slices. Toss them with the other 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt, and place in a parchment lined cookie sheet. These might be ready before the other potatoes and done roasting after about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove when done and set aside.
While the potatoes are roasting, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and teaspoon of butter to a saute pan on medium heat. Add in the cremini mushrooms. Let them start to brown and then add in the garlic. Saute until the garlic starts to soften, and then add in the broth, milk and wine. Reduce the heat to simmer and add in the Old Bay Seasoning and thyme. Simmer for about another 15 minutes while stirring a few times, and taste the broth to see if it needs anymore seasoning. When done, pour the broth into a couple of small serving bowls and arrange the purple potatoes into the broth. Serve warm with the fries and fresh baguette.