This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"All along the Norman coast mussel -fishing is greatly carried on, these shell-fish being sent from here to all parts of the country. They, are at their best in July. The usual way of eating them is boiled, with a sauce of cream and vinegar".
A great deal has been recently said about mussels and the various ways of cooking these fish, whose cheapness and abundance put them within the reach of all. One of the tastiest ways of preparing mussels is au gratin, for which the following is the recipe: Choose some fine mussels; season with thyme, laural-lcaf, and parsley; cook. Select fattest, and treat these only. Shell, and cover with a bechamel sauce much reduced, with yolks and cheese grated over. Glaze in a hot oven and serve immediately.
After a few minutes steaming or broiling, take the mussels out of their shells, and toss them in a saucepan with a large lump of butter and finely chopped parsley, chives, and garlic; stir in a little black pepper and bread crumbs. Serve very hot.
Mussels in yellow sauce.
Fried mussels, dipped before frying in Villeroi sauce; then breaded, egged, and breaded.
Scalloped mussels same as oysters.
For fish; like oyster sauce; mussels in yellow sauce with lemon juice.