Mussels with Creme Fraiche

2015-09-28 17.31.02RECIPE #75, DAY #92

ORIGINAL RECIPE: A conglomeration of recipes from the internet*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, but there is room for error

TOOLS: A deep saute pan, a large mixing bowl, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop. Saute and steam

HEALTH: Mussels are a great option for a cheaper shellfish. Here, they have the added fat of creme fraiche, but look for upcoming recipes with less fat and more garlic.

EXPERIENCE: My son loves mussels. My husband almost hates them. But he is gracious enough to not complain when I buy them for my son every once in awhile. When it comes to mussels, though, I am a one-trick pony. I just steam them open in white wine and garlic. It’s yummy, but we wanted something a little different.

Turns out, this isn’t that different. But it is really good.

NOTES: We also love other shellfish, from shrimp to lobster, but we have discovered that mussels are usually the cheapest shellfish at our fish market. We can snag a nice bag of them for $7.00.


  1. In a large bowl in your sink, gently place 1-2 pounds mussels (throwing away those that won’t close with a tap) and cover with cold water. Let sit for about 1/2 hour. Drain and de-beard, then cover with fresh, cold water a couple more times to remove all sand.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and melt until it almost browns. Add 1 thin-sliced onion and 2 stalks sliced celery and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf, 1 cup white wine, and mussels and gently stir. Mussels will pop open after only a few minutes.
  4. Once all of the mussels are open (you may have to remove 1 or 2 that refuse to do so), whisk in 1 cup crème fraîche. Taste sauce for salt and pepper.
  5. Serve sauce and mussels in wide, shallow bowls and top with chopped parsley.


Serve with slices of lightly oiled and toasted French bread and white wine as a very fancy first course or a shellfish-family-friendly entree. It would pair well with a pasta or risotto, broiled fish, and a couple veggies, like garlic roasted broccoli or sauteed broccoli rabe with red pepper flake and marinated mushrooms.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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