This family recipe is easy to make and simply delicious. Known to be highly iodized and fleshy, these shellfish are rich in protein, calcium and iron; to benefit from all the richness, they should be cooked just before eaten. Mussels from the French Atlantic or Channel regions, known as “moules de bouchot”, grow on spikes on the coastal areas. They are in season from July to January. The larger type, Zeeland mussels, from the Netherlands are good too and are in season from July to mid-April. If you use Zeeland mussels, allow a few more minutes to cook as these shellfish are larger.
French mussels curry
There are so many ways to prepare mussels that you never get tired of eating them. Just choose the recipe according to your mood: plain, with cream, stuffed with garlic butter … Adjust the cooking time according to the size of the shellfish.
- 500 g mussels
- 2 chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 1 stem of thyme
- 1 pinch of pepper from the mill
- 1 tsp of curry powder (I use the one from Madagascar, which is quite spicy)
- 1 glass of a good white wine
- 1 tsp of thick or light sour cream
- 1 tsp of corn starch or flour
- 1 dab of butter
- Step 1 Thoroughly wash the mussels. Don’t hesitate to discard those that are already open, or that have an unusual strong smell. Scrape the mussels if you see tiny shells clinging on them and rinse thoroughly. Your other option is to find ready-to-use mussels, they are available in some supermarkets. In that case, all you have to do is rinse them. Then, put the clean mussels in a large pan.
- Step 2 Chop the shallots and the garlic, then the parsley. Set aside. Start preparing your mussels curry just before your meal. Turn your stove on high heat and cook the mussels for about 3 minutes, time for them to open up and release their salty water excess. Remove the water, through a strainer to filter the extra sand or pieces of broken shells. Set the filtered water aside for later. Cover the pan to keep the shellfish warm.
- Step 3 In another pan that is large enough to contain all the mussels, fry the shallots, the parsley, the curry and the chopped garlic in butter and white wine. Stir well and add the flour or corn starch, keep stirring until you get a thick sauce, and pour the water you had saved from the mussels in. Stir constantly and add the thyme and the pepper. Keep stirring to get a smooth sauce.
- Step 4 When you are ready to have your meal, meaning your French fries are nice and golden, or your rice is cooked, pour the mussels in the pan and cook on warm heat for about 5 minutes. Stir regularly. Remove one shell out of three with gloves on, the total volume of the mussels will thus be lessened, and it will enable you to see better if the mussels are all ready. Add the cream, mix well and serve in individual bowls. Serve with rice or French fries. Don’t forget to set extra deep plates or bowls on your table for the empty shells.