Fresh mussels from Maine cannot be beat! They are rich, meaty, slightly sweet and slightly chewy. Make sure you find wild caught and not farm raised mussels if you can. Look for bright, unopened shells and keep them refrigerated in their net bag, but not in a plastic bag when you get them, or you can suffocate them.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 pounds mussels, about 48, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, or sour cream
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook until transparent, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves, and wine. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Add mussels, and cover. Cook, shaking pan often, until mussels open, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that fail to open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to a large bowl, reserving liquid in pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parsley over the mussels.
- Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme. Return liquid to low heat; stir in creme fraiche and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Cook just until warm again, and pour over mussels. Serve hot.
Fresh mussels can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth, for one to two days; do not store them submerged in water or they will drown.