Steamed mussels with curry, leeks and saffron cream
- March 2012
- Serves 4
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 15 minutes to cook
This recipe, known as mouclade in France, is traditionally made with shallots, white wine and cream but we’ve added leeks and, instead of wine, a dry cider. Lots of crusty French bread is essential for mopping up all the juices.
We’ve got a similar recipe for mouclade from Rick Stein, too.
- 24.4g (14.1g saturated)
- 9.9g (2.2g sugars)
- Large pinch of saffron strands
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 small leek, thinly sliced
- 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp medium-hot curry powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 2kg fresh, rope-grown mussels, cleaned
- 120ml dry cider
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 100ml crème fraîche or double cream
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Put the saffron strands into a small bowl and add 1 tbsp hot water. Set aside. Meanwhile melt the butter in a medium-size pan. Add the leek and garlic, cover, then cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until just soft but not browned. Stir in the curry powder and cayenne pepper and cook gently for 1 minute more. Add the brandy and simmer for a few seconds until it has almost evaporated. (This can be set aside until you’re ready to finish the dish.)
- Place a very large pan over a high heat. When the pan is hot, add the mussels, the cider and the bay leaves, cover quickly with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes until they have all just opened, uncovering the pan halfway through to give the mussels a good stir. Tip the mussels into a colander set over a bowl to collect all the cooking liquid. Put the mussels back in the pan with a lid on to keep them warm, then set aside.
- Return the spicy leek to the heat and as soon as it’s sizzling, lower the heat, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the saffron liquid and 250ml of the mussel juices, leaving behind the last tablespoonful
or two, which might be gritty. Increase the heat to bring the sauce to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 3-4 minutes to cook out the flour.
- Stir in the crème fraîche or cream and most of the parsley, then season
to taste with the lemon juice, pepper and a little salt if necessary.
- Divide the mussels among 4 warmed bowls, pour over the sauce, scatter over the remaining parsley and serve straightaway.
Cider works just as well with this wonderful dish as in it. However, if it’s wine you want, go for a juicy, lively South African Chenin Blanc.
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