This traditional French dish consists of steamed mussels served in a lightly curried sauce and crusty bread.


  • 1 tblsp unsalted butter
  • 2 finely diced banana shallots
  • 1 finely crushed garlic clove
  • 1 tsp green saffron mouclade spice blend or mild curry powder
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • 125 ml light chicken stock
  • 125 ml dry white wine or dry cider
  • 125 ml full fat crème fraîche
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tblsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1.5 kg mussels or clams (or you can buy fresh and scrub and de-beard them)
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • handful fresh parsley
  • pepper to taste


  • Take a large straight sided, heavy bottomed pan, add the butter, pop onto a medium heat and allow to melt.
  • Add the shallots, garlic and only just cook to soften them, no more than about 3 minutes.
  • Next, add the Mouclade blend or curry powder, flour and cook-out for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the stock and wine (or dry cider) turn up the heat, briskly cook and allow to bubble until it’s reduced by half.
  • Then, add the crème fraîche, add pinch of salt, butter, thyme leaves and stir.
  • Next add the cleaned mussels and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, no lid. Their lovely juices will mix with the sauce, making it the same sort of consistency as vanilla custard.
  • Then add the lemon juice, a good crack of fresh black pepper and finally, a generous handful of parsley.
  • Take a soup ladle and fill a warmed ‘family platter’ with the delicious saucy mussels, tear some crusty bread into hand-sized chunks and serve immediately with plenty of serviettes or paper towels to your eager guests!


  • With thick wedges of warm, crusty sourdough and a bitter, aromatic leaf salad of dandelion, mustard leaves, lovage, sorrel, parsley, coriander and a splash of colour from beautiful bright nasturtiums!

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