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Mussels in a Dijon and Saffron Sauce
You are going to need some nice bread for this dish because you’ll want to sop up every last bit of this insanely addictive, saffron-infused, white wine cream sauce. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, but you only need a little of this aromatic to go a very long way. It’s important that you use the threads rather than saffron powder, as the flavour is much more intense. When you are buying mussels, they should be tightly closed, of close when you tap on them. If they don’t it means they’re dead and you need to throw them out. If there are a couple of mussels that aren’t open in the pan once you’ve cooked them, those also should be tossed out.
For the wine pairing, choose a full-bodied Pinot Gris so that the texture of the wine is full enough to stand up to those sweet, buttery mussels, and the fruit flavours contrast with the saffron and Dijon without being overpowered.
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1 medium shallot, finely diced
2 tsp (10ml) finely chopped garlic
2 tsp (10ml) fresh thyme leaves
¾ cup (180ml) 35% cream (this is not the time to use milk instead!!!)
1 tbsp (15ml) Dijon mustard
2lb (1kg) mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
How To Make
Set a large deep skillet over high heat. Add your wine, shallots, garlic, saffron, and thyme to the pan. Heat the ingredients through, but don’t bring them to a boil.
Using a whisk, blend in the cream and the Dijon to the mixture. Continue to whisk for about 30 seconds. Taste the broth and season it with salt and pepper.
Add the mussels to the skillet and gently toss them with the sauce.
Cover the skillet with a lid and continue to cook over high heat for about 3-4 minutes or until all the mussels have opened.
Ladle the mussels into bowls with the sauce.
Serve with crusty bread and of course…a glass of wine!