Curried Mussels #French Fridays with Dorie

Mussels are one of my husband’s favorite seafoods because it always makes him think of our romantic trip to Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels BC (Before Children). Our favorite part of the trip was sitting in an outside square in Brussels, people watching and eating large pots of steaming mussels while drinking Chimay beer.

Monday was my husband’s birthday so Curried Mussels and Pomme Frites became his birthday dinner. He couldn’t have been happier, and I always forget that making mussels for dinner is truly the simplest meal to make, as long as you buy the mussels cleaned. 

I never ate curried mussels and I assumed that they were going to be spicy, which seemed unusual for French Fridays because we have all learned that the French are not into spicy food.

The recipe has spicy elements: a chile pepper and curry powder, but their fire is diminished by heavy cream, and putting the pepper in whole and removing it after cooking. 

I decided to keep the fire stoked by adding more curry powder, substituting chicken broth for most of the cream, and chopping up the chile pepper and putting the pieces into the broth. I also thought that cilantro goes better with curry than parsley, so I substituted it. 

The result was a super warming and flavorful broth that we all sipped and dipped bread into. My kids loved that it had kick (a teenager thing). I doubled the broth and had some left over, which I will add rice noodles to for a lunch time soup.


Curried Mussels
by Diane Balch at
inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Curried Mussels from Around My French Table
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: steam entree gluten-free mussels curry
Ingredients (4 to 6)
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 small medium heat chile pepper seeds and core removed, minced. (Use gloves to chop. I used a Fresco chile, a red chile pepper is pretty in the sauce.)
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon or more of black pepper
  • 2 cups of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons or more of heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
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1) In a large sauce pan or dutch oven melt the butter on medium high heat.
2) Saute the shallots and onion until they are soft then add: chile pepper, curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix around for about a minute to bloom the seasoning.
3) Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Stir and let it boil for a good minute. Then add the chicken broth.
4) Once the chicken broth and wine come to a boil add the mussels. Mix them up and cover them with a lid. Let them steam for 4 minutes. Check that most have opened; if not cover for another minute or two.
5) When mussels have opened. Add the cilantro and as much cream as suits your taste. The more you put in the less spicy the broth will be. Mix well with the mussels and serve immediately. Great with french fries and a hearty bread for dipping.

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