Mussels Mussels with Saffron and Citrus

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Moroccan Chef Mourad Lahlou combines citrus fruits
Mussels with Saffron and Citrusyield: Serves 6


4 pounds (5 to 6 dozen/1.8 kilograms) large Mediterranean mussels
1 1/4 cups (290 grams) Riesling
1 1/4 cups (292.5 grams) water
4 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 oranges
1 small pink grapefruit
1/2 teaspoon (0.45 gram) saffron threads, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons (3 grams) grated lemon zest
About 1 cup (190 grams) clarifed butter (see page 375 of Mourad:New Moroccan)
Twelve (60 grams) 4-by-1/4-inch-thick batons brioche
Kosher salt
1/2 cup (117,5 grams) heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons (35.43 grams) unsalted butter, cold
6 black oil-cured olives, pitted and cut into slivers
Pea tendrils or microgreens for garnish


Pull off the beards from the mussels. Scrub the mussels with a cleansponge, rinse them several times under cold water, and soak them ina bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Combine the wine, water, thyme, and garlic in a medium pot or a wide sauté pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lift the mussels from the water, leaving any sand in the bottom of the bowl, and add them to the pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or untilall the mussels have opened. Transfer the mussels to a bowl and strain the cooking liquid through a ne-mesh strainer into another bowl; set aside. Remove the mussels from the shells, checking each one and removing any remaining beards. Set aside. With a Microplane grater, grate 1 1/2 teaspoons zest (3 grams) from one of the oranges; set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut away all the peel and white pith from both oranges and the grapefruit. Holding the fruitover a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the segments, letting them drop into the bowl. Set aside. Ladle or slowly pour the mussel broth into a saucepan, leaving any grit behind. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, or untilreduced to 2 cups (500 grams). Add the saffron and the orange and lemon zests and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the broth into a mediumsauté pan. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 inch of clarifed butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the brioche batons and lightly brown them, about 30 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Set the pan of mussel broth over medium-high heat, stir in the cream, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce isslightly reduced and coats a spoon. Whisking constantly, add the coldbutter. Once it is incorporated, add the mussels to the sauce and just heat through. Spoon the mussels and some of the sauce into serving bowls. Arrange the orange and grapefruit segments around the mussels and scatter the olives over and around them. Garnish each bowl with a few pea tendrils or greens and 2 brioche batons. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Pair with a Riesling or perhaps ??? a California Sauvignon Blanc, such as Everett Ridge Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Source: "Mussels with Saffron and Citrus" from Mourad Lahlou, author of Mourad: New Moroccan
on line at accessed August 25, 2012
Photo from