Saffron White Wine Mussels

Tags: A Pleasant Little Kitchen, Mussels, Seafood Recipes


 

Post and images by guest blogger, Rebecca White, of A Pleasant Little Kitchen.

Visit her full blog or find out more about her here. 


It was Wednesday, March 27 2004. Paris was bustling and cold. Everyone was in a festive mood because it was St. Patrick’s Day. I remember this evening clearly because it was the night I shared a steaming, warm bowl of mussels with my sister.

This was my first encounter with mussels and it was memorable. I couldn’t imagine a better scenario to enjoy this classic French meal than in Paris.



The broth was a delight, delicate yet full of umami. The mussels were perfectly steamed. There was warm, crusty and fresh bread. Of course, there was outstanding company (because who doesn’t love a European getaway with their sister?) and then there was Paris.

After that moment, any time I found mussels on a menu I would order it. Even with this love of mussels, I never made them at home.

Why? Probably because it was seafood that seemed unfamiliar to me. I mean, there is a hard shell surrounding that which I am trying to eat. What if I cooked them wrong? What if I got a bad batch? Eeek! I opted to let restaurants cook them for me.




However every time I pass the bountiful seafood display at Market Street my eyes wander to the mussels.

Ahhhh. Paris.

Finally, I approached to the fish monger and asked for 2 pounds. To my surprise, he didn’t just grab a handful of mussels. He hand selected the best ones for me. One by one, he placed them into a bag. We chatted and he reminded me of the basics of cooking mussels.




You will know the mussel is properly cooked once it opens. However, once cooked, if the shell doesn’t open, then the mussel is bad. Don’t serve it.  

What knowledge! What service! What thoughtfulness! At that moment I was thankful for not only for taking the plunge to cook with mussels but also for a wonderful market that supports my cooking adventures.

With my mussels placed in a bag of ice (it’s best to keep cold until cooking!) I knew I needed one more item to make my Parisian dinner complete: fresh bread.


   


The Market Street bakery is always ready to satisfy my freshly-baked-bread-lovin’ heart. I grabbed a French baguette (BONUS! It’s free with my Reward Points!) and walked confidently and happily to the register.

Tonight I will take a walk down food memory lane--- rich mussels, fresh bread and a full heart. Bon…appetit!


Saffron White Wine Mussels—by Rebecca White of A Pleasant Little Kitchen

Yields: 4-6 servings

Author note: When purchasing the mussels, make sure the fish monger places the mussels in a breathable bag and does not seal the bag. Also, ask for the mussels to be placed on ice. The mussels are alive and need to breath. I suggest using the mussels the same day you purchase them.

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

1 1/2 cups Pinot Grigio

1 cup fish stock

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup shallots, diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds mussels, picked over and rinsed

zest of 1 lemon

fresh parsley, chopped

crusty bread

Place the wine, stock and saffron into a bowl. Let the saffron infuse the wine mixture for 15 minutes.

Place 3 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic, shallots and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the shallots are softened.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine saffron mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels (discard any mussels that are open or does not clamp tight when tapped) and stir well to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 minutes, or until the mussels begin to open. Remove the lid and remove any mussels that are opened. Continue to cook until all the mussels are opened. Discard any that do not open.

Ladle the cooked mussels into individual bowls. Add the reaming two tablespoons of butter and the lemon zest to the cooking liquid. Stir to melt the butter. Salt to taste.

Ladle the pan sauce over the mussels. Top with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

 

 

 

Saffron White Wine Mussels—by Rebecca White of A Pleasant Little Kitchen

 

Yields: 4-6 servings

Author note: When purchasing the mussels, make sure the fish monger places the mussels in a breathable bag and does not seal the bag. Also, ask for the mussels to be placed on ice. The mussels are alive and need to breath. I suggest using the mussels the same day you purchase them.


1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

 

1 1/2 cups Pinot Grigio

 

1 cup fish stock

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

3 garlic cloves, chopped

 

1/2 cup shallots, diced

 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

2 pounds mussels, picked over and rinsed

 

zest of 1 lemon

 

fresh parsley, chopped

 

crusty bread

 

Place the wine, stock and saffron into a bowl. Let the saffron infuse the wine mixture for 15 minutes.

 

Place 3 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic, shallots and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the shallots are softened.

 

Deglaze the pan with the white wine saffron mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil.

 

Add the mussels (discard any mussels that are open or does not clamp tight when tapped) and stir well to combine. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 minutes, or until the mussels begin to open. Remove the lid and remove any mussels that are opened. Continue to cook until all the mussels are opened. Discard any that do not open.

 

Ladle the cooked mussels into individual bowls. Add the reaming two tablespoons of butter and the lemon zest to the cooking liquid. Stir to melt the butter. Salt to taste.

 

Ladle the pan sauce over the mussels. Top with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Category: What's Cooking