There are about a million different ways from Sunday on how to prepare mussels, and all of them will rightfully have a place in our recipe collections. Even at their simplest, prepared with some shallots, butter and white wine, they still shine just as brightly as they do with a more complex and layered sauce building process. In almost all cases, though, thanks to their 3 minute cook time, you'd be hard-pressed to ever spend more than a few extra minutes on elevating flavours. Using floral and sweet saffron not only for its vibrant hue but also for its subtle and complementary flavour here, it adds a pleasant but undeniable contrast to the mussels' innate brininess. Most typically served with crusty bread to dip into the sweet and briny flavours of the sauce, this recipe is reimagining a scenario where perhaps crusty bread is not the starch of choice. Thinly sliced and roasted potatoes take their place and do a great job of being that more substantial portion of the meal that brings the dish together. They sit in the broth just long enough for a quick flavour bath and do a phenomenal job of absolving all those sauce flavours without falling apart.
Mussels in Spicy Saffron Cream Broth 8 Steps
Slice the Yukon gold potatoes approximately 2-3 mm thick. In a bowl, combine the sliced potatoes with the olive oil, minced garlic, kosher salt as well as black pepper and toss to coat. Spread the seasoned potatoes onto an appropriately sized roasting tray so that the potatoes can comfortably spread out and not be layered on top of one another too much (a little bit of casual overlapping here and there is ok). Roast in a preheated 400°F oven for 35-40 minutes or until they are cooked through as well as crispy and golden brown.
Warm the whipping cream on the stove top or microwave until just about to boil. Using a mortar and pestle or crushing with your fingertips, add the saffron threads to the warmed cream and allow to steep until ready to prepare mussels.
When the potatoes are 15 minutes away from being done, begin preparing the mussels: In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil on medium heat. Add in the shallots as well as sliced finger chili and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
Add in the white wine, turn the heat to high and begin reducing until about 40% of the wine remains.
Add in the saffron cream mixture as well as the cleaned mussels, keep the heat on high and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until all of the mussels have steamed open.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the cooked mussels from the broth, being sure to discard any that are unopened as they are not fit for consumption. Keep aside covered so that they stay warm.
Continue to reduce the cooking liquid at high heat until it has reduced to about half and then add the cooked mussels back in as well as a good splash of freshly squeezed lemon.
To serve, spread a base of the roasted potatoes on the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with the mussels as well as mussel broth. Scatter sliced scallions on top and serve immediately.