Mussels in Saffron Cream Sauce

This recipe was submitted by Stony Hill customer, Michael Hildbold of San Francisco, CA, and was the Grand Prize Winner in our Summer Recipe Contest.

The crisp clean nature of the Stony Hill Chardonnay is the perfect foil for the rich saffron and herb character of the mussel broth. I find the Chardonnay cuts through the fat in the dish, leaving me refreshed and read for another bite - exactly what a good wine pairing should do.

Ingredients

3.5 lbs. mussels
1/2 bottle white wine (something light and crisp)
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
4 sprigs of tarragon
Large bunch of theyme
3 pinches of saffron threads thoroughly soaked in 1oz cold water and then strained out
2 shallots, finely diced
1 head of garlic, finely diced
Cornstarch slurry (4 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved into 2oz water)

Preparation

Pour the wine into a tall, cylindrical pot with a lid.  Add the diced shallots, garlic, and the herb sprigs.  Steam the mussels with the lid on the pot until they open. 

Remove from heat and pour the liquid off of the mussels into a large pan.  Place the lid back on the pot to keep the mussels hot. 

Add the heavy cream and saffron water to the wine in the pan, and reduce for 5 minutes. 

Add the cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil.  Whisk the mixture as it thickens. 

When sufficiently thick to coat the back of a spoon, pour the liquid over the mussels and serve.  Serve with slices of french bread on the side for dipping into the broth.