Friday, January 16, 2015

FFWD ~ Curried Mussels sans Curry

FFWD ~ Curried Mussels with Paprika
This is another fishy week for French Fridays, and the fishy weeks are far from over! Getting behind this weeks recipe was easy, except of course for the Curry! We don’t do curry in our house! It’s just a given! Like you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t add curry to anything for Bill! I know it doesn’t rhyme but, you get the point!

However, Bill does enjoy his mussels! Several years ago, while we were in Holland, we ate dinner at a cute little bistro in Rotterdam! The name escapes me, but the memory of this charming place will live in my mind forever! It was a cool summers evening, we sat at an outdoor table, and there were heat lamps warming us. Twinkling lights, a glass of wine, and mussels! A huge bucket of mussels! Now I enjoy a few mussels once in awhile, I can usually manage to eat five or six, but this bucket must have had four dozen mussels in it! Bill ate every last one!!

These mussels were scrumptious…and although you can’t see it, the sauce was creamy and delicious! 
Although Bill doesn’t eat anything with curry, I knew I could turn this recipe into a dish that he would enjoy! After some thought, I was able to substitute Paprika for the Curry, and with very good results! I love the flavor of Paprika, and it’s substitution did not disappoint! The creamy wine sauce was delectable, and perfect for bread dipping! My biggest problem was trying to get a few decent photos in the dark of evening!

Tomorrow we will be driving to Long Island for a very special birthday! Our twin grandsons turn seven! They are the babies in the family! Where did the time go?
Happy Friday everyone!!

I’m pretty sure this is the last of the mussel recipes…Bill will be disappointed!

Curried Mussels (or for me Mussels with Paprika)
By Dorie Greenspan from Around My French Table

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder (2 teaspoons paprika)
a pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and ground pepper
¾ cup dry white wine
1 thyme sprig
1 parsley sprig
1 bay leaf
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
⅔  cup heavy cream
French Bread, sliced for dipping in the creamy sauce
How To Clean Mussels
Discard any open mussels, they're dead. Just before cooking soak mussels in cold water for about 15-20 minutes, this will help release some of the salt and sand that is in the mussels. Mussels often have beards, to remove these yank the beard toward the hinge of the mussel. If you tear it away from the hinge, you can kill the mussel. Remove the beards, and use a brush to brush off sand or anything else that decided to attach itself in the ocean, and place mussels into another bowl of cold water (the first bowl is all sandy and salty by now) until they are cooked.
Melt butter on stove in a large Dutch oven, over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and garlic, stirring to coat onions with butter. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add curry powder, red pepper flakes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3-5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium and add wine, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf, cook for 3 more minutes.
Add the mussels to the pot, and stir around in the liquid, coating the mussels. Increase the heat to high and cover with lid. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring once. Take a peak and see if the mussels have opened, if there are still some to open remove the pot from heat (keeping lid on) and let sit for 1-2 more minutes.
Remove the mussels from the broth and place in a bowl, cover the bowl to keep mussels warm. Bring the sauce back to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, add a little more pepper and cook on high heat for another 3 minutes. Return the mussels to the pot, stirring around to coat them in the wonderful creamy sauce and then serve. Enjoy the mussels and don't forget to use french bread to sop up the sauce.


  1. Hi Kathy, an inspired choice to replace the curry powder with paprika - and clearly a winner with Bill! Have fun with your grandsons.

  2. Aw, happy birthday to your grandsons! Maybe I need to take Bill to Belgium to turn him on to mussels! Glad you were able to tweak these with such delicious results :)

  3. My pictures are always dark in winter because I never have time to make these dishes during the day. In summer we are far enough north that the sun doesn't go down until well after dinner time, but in winter it's long gone well before I even get home from work. It really does make photography a bit of a pain.

    Happy to hear that you were able to find a way to tweak this one so that Bill would like it. Your trip to Rotterdam sounds like fun. Sometimes those simple vacation memories are the best.

  4. Kathy, it looks great! You and I are similar in that I just can't eat a ton of mussels whereas my husband can. I understand the no-curry rule as my sister has that same one. I am loving how this dish is inspiring so many good memories for everyone! A big happy friday to you and enjoy your time celebrating your grandsons' birthday!

  5. I wasn't sure if I would like the curry, but it was not too strong in this recipe. The paprika sounds like a
    good substitute and I am glad it worked for Bill to enjoy them. Oh, the things we do to tweak these recipes,
    it's amazing. Have fun with the birthday boys, so exciting.

  6. I bet you can use a lot of different paprikas. I have some spanish from the summer I think I will try. Great idea.

  7. What a great idea to use paprika - I'll definitely give that a try, I was given a few bags of paprika I've been trying to use up. I love how food can conjure up so many great memories & experiences!

    Happy New Year!

  8. I knew the Bills would object to this one. I like the way you tweaked it to make it work though. Sounds delicious. Happy Birthday to your grandsons! And happy weekend!

  9. Not really a huge fan of mussels...I guess I just never find the best one over here. This does look very fresh and flavourful.
    Have a marvelous weekend, Kathy!

  10. Kathy - I really like that first picture.
    I can't get Joe to touch anything with cumin in it. He is pretty resistant to mussels too.. I guess these guys are good in so many areas that we have to let them have their food quirks :-)
    Fortunately, the girls were willing to help out with eating this one.
    Happy birthday to the twins :-)
    My nephew's wife had a baby this week and I can't believe that my nieces and nephews are so grown up (he's in his mid-thirties, i guess he qualifies as an adult...)

  11. This recipe seems to have stirred up nice memories of past travels in many of us Doristas! Nice job.

  12. Dear Kathy, what a beautiful presentation in that absolutely stunning blue serving bowl - serving freshly sliced baguette with your Curried Mussels for mopping up all that lovely sauce must have been so delicious too! Wasn´t this a fabulous recipe - I could not believe that the mussels were gone in a flash at our house.
    Hope all is well and have a nice weekend - and a very Happy Birthday to your grand-children,

  13. Paprika was a perfect substitution! Glad you found a way for everyone to enjoy this wonderful recipe.

  14. Your mussels look excellent, so flavoursome and spiced to perfection :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. This sounds like a wonderful adaption, Kathy, even though we cannot get a peek at the cream sauce. (I feel your pain on that one.) And, I am glad you both got to enjoy the last of Dorie's mussel recipes. This one happened to be my favorite. Don't you love the memories of special times - those European trips that were romantic although you'd been married a lotta years. I have several of those. They never go away. I am glad you're in NY to celebrate the birthdays. Don't miss a one. And, yes, they grow up so quickly. I know you enjoy so many visits and experiences with your grandchildren. Keep it going. Happy Birthday to your two young men.

  16. I don't like commercial curry at all - I try to make all my own blends and they taste so much better. Probably still not something Bill would want to try, but.... I love steamed mussels any way they are prepared. Yours sounds amazing!

  17. Several of you have had these fond memories of eating mussels in Europe. Maybe they will taste better to me in Europe ;) Paprika was a good choice for a substitution. I think I am going to try this recipe with shrimp.

  18. I would eat this with or without the curry! Almost bought mussels at Costco yesterday but the fishmonger had stepped out so I missed them :(