First night on the patio. Now that’s an occasion to celebrate. Especially in a spring/early summer of epic lateness.
And spring was part of the reason I created Mussels in Mushroom Cream Sauce in the first place. You see, my husband had found a handful of morels in the lawn. And then, a local grocer was having a mussel sale. Sounds like a match!
Now usually my family won’t touch mussels. I have to make them as a secret lunch indulgence for myself! But this time they were willing to humor me–perhaps it was the precious morels. (Though I’d do this with other nice mushrooms in a heartbeat).
In the end, this got solid thumbs up from all. Turns out it wasn’t the mussels they didn’t like but the wine sauce. Add in mushrooms, cream and broth to tamp down the wine flavor and it’s a different story.
If you are intimidated by mussels, there are just a couple things to remember. First buy them fresh, refrigerate, let them breathe (no sealed plastic bag storage), and use up quickly—check with your fishmonger on freshness. Second, discard any mussels that are broken or don’t close when you wash them.
Finally, discard any that don’t open when you cook them. Yup, take a look at my mussels in wine post for the story of when my father didn’t obey the last rule! He didn’t get sick but did get a rude surprise.
Serve Mussels in Mushroom Cream Sauce with a crusty bread because the sauce is served in generous portions for sopping up after. If you are serving this as a light supper, it will serve four–or eight as an appetizer. On the odd chance there is any sauce left, adding a few more mushrooms and some extra cream/broth will give you a tasty mushroom soup.
Mussels in Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots finely chopped, or 2 T chopped leeks
- 6 ounces morels or Shitake mushrooms coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 4 pounds mussels
- 1/2 cup half and half or cream
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
- half loaf french bread (optional for dipping in extra sauce)
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
- Wash mussels in cold water and discard any that are broken or still open afterwards. Some may close after handling.
- In a large very wide bottomed pan, sautee chopped shallots and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add wine and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add half of the mussels to the stock and steam until they open. Remove mussels with a slotted spoon, set aside and keep warm. Discard any that don’t open. Repeat with remaining mussels.
- Add cream to the sauce and salt to taste. Divide mussels into 4 large bowls and top with the sauce. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve with a nice crusty bread for sopping the juices.
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