Devised by Steve from several different recipes, this is the best sauce for mussels I have ever tasted. It deserves small, fresh moules de bouchot (grown on posts in Brittany). Make sure you have lots of French bread for mopping up the sauce. This will serve six as a starter, or 3-4 as a main course.
2 kg moules de bouchot
0.25 l dry white wine (or cider, see note)
1 bay leaf
1 dessertspoon butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 dessertspoon flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
juice of half a lemon
250 g crème fraîche
2 egg yolks
Bring the wine and bay leaves to the boil in a wide pan, and add the cleaned mussels. Cover and shake the pan occasionally over a high heat, just until the mussels open. Strain the liquor into a bowl, keeping the mussels warm. Taste the liquor. If it is too salty dilute with water or wine.
In the meantime, soften the onion and garlic in the butter. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in about 0.3 l of the cooking liquor – enough to make a thin sauce – and simmer it briefly, until the flour is cooked out.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and cream, then pour on the hot sauce slowly, mixing all the time. Add the curry powder, pepper and lemon juice to taste – do not add any salt. Return to the pan and heat slowly. In theory the sauce shouldn’t curdle even if it boils. Once hot, pour over the mussels and decorate with chopped parsley.
Footnote: I have made this with dry cider instead of wine, and l liked it at least as much. After all, it could be argued that cider is more appropriate to a Breton recipe than wine …