This is one of the first recipes from our original Restaurant du Village repertoire that we most enjoy where there’s a nip in the air. Mouclade, Mussels Cooked with Cream and Curry means briny mussels, sweet curried cream and a few pieces of crusty bread. It makes the perfect meat or first course with a few friends.

Don’t be tempted to try light cream or milk instead of heavy cream. The mixture will curdle. Instead use pure coconut milk. Or omit the dairy altogether and add more wine to the pan in its place. The flavor will change but you’ll end up with a zesty broth not a curdled mess.)

Kitchen Notebook:

Mussels are cheap, delicious and one of the more sustainable types of seafood and shellfish available today.  The Environmental Defense Fund and Sea Choice recommend mussels, including the clean, farm-raised varieties, because of their low environmental impact.

Mouclade, Mussels Cooked with Cream and Curry

Yield: 2 to 4 appetizer servings

Ingredients

2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
30 to 40 large mussels, about 2 pounds, beards removed and scrubbed clean
1 to 2 Tablespoons curry powder
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, more for garnish (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper and salt, if needed
Baguette slices, toasted, as needed

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in the bottom of a deep saucepan large enough to hold the mussels. Add the shallots and sauté them until softened without browning. Stir in the curry powder and cook it gently for a few minutes to release its aroma.
  2. Stir in the wine, cream and parsley. Add the mussels and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer just until the mussels have opened.
  3. Remove mussels from the pan and place them in a large bowl. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened.
  4. While the sauce reduces, remove and discard one of the shells from each mussel and loosen the mussel from its shell. Arrange the cooked mussels on the half shell in a circle on two or four large warm plates.*
  5. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce with pepper and salt, if needed. Then pour the thickened sauce over the mussels. Garnish with additional fresh parsley and crisp slices of toasted baguette slices.

Notes

*For less fuss, the mussels may also be served in deep bowls in their shells.