A mouclade is a regional French mussel dish in which the mussels are cooked just as they are for moules marinière, or mussels steamed in white wine with shallots, garlic, and herbs. (My version of that dish is also in the book). To make a mouclade, the cooking liquid is thickened with cream and the mussels are served on the half-shell, topped with a spoonful of the sauce.
I make my mouclade with curry powder and an addition of cornstarch makes the thickening process foolproof. The presentation here is more user-friendly than in the original. You simply return the mussels to the pot and serve them family-style from the center of the table.
This is delicious with Corn and Scallion Pancakes (page 249 of the book)
2 cups dry white wine
4 medium shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon curry powder, or more to taste
6 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the Mussels
Put the wine, shallots, garlic, and curry powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the mussels and parsley, cover, and cook until the mussels open, approximately 3 minutes. Drain the mussels in a fine-mesh strainer set over a pot. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
Make the Sauce
Reheat the strained liquid over medium heat. Stir in the cream and cornstarch, and season with salt and pepper.
Return the mussels to the pot and bring the pot to the table.
Wine Suggestion: Gewurztraminer Standing Stone, 2002; Finger Lakes. An aromatic white to complement the curry with spice and tropical notes.
Fresh Ideas for American Seafood
Laurent Tourondel and Andrew Friedman
John Wiley & Sons
304 pages; $34.95
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created January 2005