Mussels with Saffron and Citrus
- TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 to 6
Chef Mourad Lahlou simmers mussels in a lovely saffron cream sauce. Lahlou prefers Mediterranean mussels. "The ones I get are called that, but they really come from the Pacific Northwest," he says. "They're plump, juicy and don't toughen up as much as other varieties when you cook them."
- 1 1/4 cups Riesling
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Grilled bread, for serving
- In a large, wide saucepan, combine the wine, water, thyme and garlic and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pot a few times, until the mussels open, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large bowl.
- Pour the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large heatproof measuring cup. Wash the pot and pour in the cooking liquid, leaving behind any grit. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cream, saffron and citrus zests and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the mussels until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve with grilled bread.