What a simple, yet seemingly decadent dish, these Curried Mussels. I loved the introduction to the recipe: Carrefour de l’Odéon is in the Parisian neighborhood I have lived–in a studio the size of a postage stamp, but with a tiny kitchen, nevertheless–and know well in Paris and it brought back a lot of lovely memories. To further walk a bit down memory lane, I took her dining story to heart and served it with fries and a brüt rosé (sparkling wine, hélas not a magnum). I also made a little carrot salad to go alongside and an aioli of homemade mayonnaise, mustard, and a bit of garlic for dipping the fries.
It was enjoyed by all! The best part is my very best friend was in town from Boston so we got to chat over debearding mussels and just have some nice girl time while my husband was picking up the kiddo from daycare.
As I alluded to above, it is really quite simple to prepare. First, I sautéd some shallots and onions in some butter, later adding the curry powder and other spices. After toasting the spices a bit, I added some white wine and then fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and a bay leaf.
Later, I added the mussels to the pot and put a lid on to cook the mussels for a few minutes.
I used some beautiful local mussels that I’d picked up at a fish market I’ve long heard about and never gone to. I walked out with 4 lbs of mussels, 1 Maine lobster tail, 1 lb of sushi-grade Ahi tuna, and 1 lb of local halibut. Nice!
My mussels did take longer to cook through than the recipe stated. In fact, I had to turn on the heat and leave them on low for another 5 minutes. The mussels were pretty big and we had far more than 4 main course servings, so I do wish I’d purchased at least 1 lb less.
I served the mussels in a big bowl with the sauce over it and brought over a second bowl for the shells. The adults at the table all commented that the curried cream sauce was lovely.
A Dessert Makeup
I debated what to make for dessert, and since someone else was going to be over for dinner I just had to make something. I wanted to do a makeup so my favorite tourteau de chèvre was out, it needed to be simple due to it being the first week of classes so no roulade, and it needed to be made with stuff I had on hand. Thus, I made the caramel-almond custard tart. I was a bit hesitant as I’m not a huge custard person (see my post on Arman’s Caviar in Aspic for my discussion of gelatinous textures), but this was fabulous. Just the right texture and such wonderful flavors! Who can turn down caramel and almonds? Not me.
I topped the tart with a little homemade crème fraîche. I don’t know what I did differently this time, but it’s a lot more tangy and I love it!
This dinner was almost a week ago and I am enjoying reflecting on the visit I had with my friend while recalling the dinner. It was one of those times where I needed someone to listen and she did in a way that only a best friend can; I felt reenergized and recharged. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Dorie’s dishes with family and/or friends and many of those times have been memorable, not least for the food. I think that’s one of the things I love most about this group, about Dorie’s cookbooks, and about cooking in general: it creates a foundation for enjoying time with others that then can become cherished memories (hopefully…HA!).