Mussels make a quick and versatile dish that can impress your most finicky of guests.  A tip on selecting the shellfish for freshness: Not all mussels with open shells are to be avoided.  Squeeze the shell together and wait a few seconds.  If the shell closes it’s alive.  If it doesn’t close, it’s dead and should not be eaten.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs mussels,scrubbed and debearded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed to paste
  • 2 shallots,diced small
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 generous pinch saffron threads
  • 2 Tablespoon heavy cream (or to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Step 1:

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy bottomed pot.

Step 2:

Add the shallots and garlic and cook until shallots soften, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 3:

Turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook the mussels until all of them have opened, about 6 to 8 minutes, discard any that do not open.

Step 4:

Remove the mussels with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and cover loosely with foil.

Step 5:

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer and whisk in the the cream and saffron. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and allow to simmer together for about 5 minutes.

Step 6:

Return mussels to the pot with the broth and serve immediately with crusty bread and chilled glass of white wine.