I arrived in Bruges with a few friends a few hours before S and our other friends, just in time for a nice big Belgian dinner and, of course, some beers by a canal. When I think Bruges, I think moules! I’ve said it here before, S and I are obsessed with mussels (and especially the dipping sauces for the, not only accompanying, but equally important, frites!). When I sat down to dinner with my friends without S, my tastebuds and my heart entered a battle royale. I wanted mussels. Real bad. Meanwhile S was stuck in traffic. Could I push him from my mind and enjoy some moules-frites solo? Probably. Yes. Absolutely. After the first bite, with my betrayal complete, I could totally enjoy those little mollusks swimming in a delicious garlic wine sauce. I’d blissfully plunge those frites into a creamy mayonnaise like no frite had ever been plunged before. But I didn’t. I decided to save the moules for the next day and venture alone into the unknown with a Flemish beef stew. IT WAS AWESOME! When I told S about it the next day, he started drooling and the search was on for another bowl. We still had a lot of mussels over the weekend, but the first thing I did when we got home was figure out how to recreate Flemish stew. And then I served it over some roasted cauliflower because the sauce is too good not to sop up. And vegetables are a good thing. Here it is:
Last month, S and I spent a weekend in Bruges. It was great. Really great. Bruges is probably too fun to spend more than a weekend there. One more beer and one more portion of mussels might have been too much. Nope, never mind. There’s no such thing as too many mussels. Anyway, here are seven things about our trip:
When I first started researching Normandy for our trip, I came across Lonely Planet’s description of the area’s gastronomy: “Two ingredients sum up Norman cuisine: salted butter and soft cheese.” Umm, I’m sold. “You’ll often see dishes served à la norrmande in Normandy, which basically means they’ll be served with a sauce made with butter, cream or cheese (sometimes even a combination of all three).” Heaven! I was already excited to visit Normandy because of the area’s rich World War II history and it’s proximity to Mont Saint Michel, but mix in butter, cheese, and cream, and I was on cloud 9 before I even arrived! Is there anything better than butter? Maybe cheese. Is there anything better than cheese? Maybe butter. Worthy competitors, but when their powers combine….