Mussels Dijonnaise (Steamed Mussels with Mustard Sauce)

September 24, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Turner Fisheries, a restaurant in the Westin Hotel in Boston, used to offer this dish as one of its regular specials. I liked to share a bucket with a friend, along with a delicious house salad and a bottle of Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay. These are so easy and delicious they've become a Friday night staple at Chez Julia.ChefJune

Food52 Review: WHO: ChefJune is a chef and writer based in New York.
WHAT: A dish special enough for a dinner party, and quick enough for a Monday night.
HOW: Sauté onion and shallot, then get mussels steaming with wine, cream, and aromatics.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These mussels take us to a Paris bistro — and they get to the table in under twenty minutes. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of wine, and we’re over the moon.
The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 3 quarts mussels, beards removed, cleaned and scrubbed (but you can't do this in advance!)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I use Fallot)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the onions, shallots and garlic, and cook briefly, until wilted. Do not brown.
  2. Add the mussels, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, white wine, and cream. Cover closely and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking to redistribute the mussels. Cook until all the mussels are opened.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a serving bowl. Keep warm. Continue cooking the sauce for a minute, remove bay leaf and the thyme. Stir in the mustard with a wire whisk while heating. Do not boil.
  4. Season sauce to taste with salt if necessary, then spoon equal portions of it over the mussels, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

More Great Recipes:
French|New England|Milk/Cream|Mussel|Mustard|Parsley|Shallot|Thyme|Steam|One-Pot Wonders|Spring|Summer

Reviews (35) Questions (1)

35 Reviews

kitz1 June 23, 2017
What a great recipe! Very tasty and easy to make. I made extra sauce so that there would be plenty for dunking the bread.
 
Author Comment
ChefJune June 23, 2017
That's a great idea!<br />
 
mstv January 22, 2017
Have made this recipe several times. It is always excellent. I have found that depending on the mustard a little less may be best. Also, I have found I don't need to add any salt. The mussels themselves season the sauce. Planning on making this tonight. So delicious!
 
Author Comment
ChefJune January 22, 2017
So glad you like it, mstv! :-) There is no such generic thing as "Dijon Mustard," that's why I say which one I use. They differ quite a lot in strength and quality. Not to mention that not everyone likes the same amount.
 
Emily November 11, 2016
I am about to make this dish for the fifth or sixth time... Absolutely incredible and delicious. Really is easy enough to whip up on a work night but gourmet enough for date night! I love mussels and this is far and above the best way to eat them I hate found, restaurant or home made! Thank you for an incredible recipe. Even impressed my maritime in-laws with it :)
 
Author Comment
ChefJune November 13, 2016
Thanks so much! So glad you llike it. Yes, sometimes the simplest things are best.
 
Rose C. November 1, 2015
This sauce is pretty intense, might have a nicer, more delicate flavor with half the mustard and half the salt. Also used white pepper instead.
 
Author Comment
ChefJune November 1, 2015
Since Dijon mustards vary in intensity, it all depends upon which one you use. I always use Fallot mustard, and I can tell you for sure that I really don't care for Grey Poupon.
 
julie March 22, 2015
Hi June,<br />I really enjoyed yesterday's gumbo from Paul. We talked about food52, and you mentioned this mussels dijonnaise recipe. I generally don't use heavy cream. Would full fat Greek yogurt do?<br />Sincerely, Julie
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 22, 2015
I've never used that, but it would be worth a try. The heavy cream I always use is not bought in the supermarket. It's a much different product from local dairy Ronnybrook that I buy at the Union Square Greenmarket. It's pricy, but it keeps a long while.
 
Grace C. December 20, 2014
I was lucky to enough to have also been to the Westin in Boston many years ago. Had these as an appetizer shared with a friend before dinner the first night of our stay the second night we each had it and cleaned our plates including sauce thought I would never find this recipe. Live in the Pacific Northwest and will definitely be making this over the holidays
 
Gabriella August 6, 2014
Could you explain the reason you cannot clean the mussels in advance? I'm sure there is a perfectly good one, I'm just not experienced enough with mussels to know what it is.
 
HB August 7, 2014
There is no reason not to scrub the mussels in advance, but don't beard them until your're ready to cook them as it may kill them, and dead mussels are no fun.
 
Gabriella August 7, 2014
Aha. That is indeed a good reason. Thanks you so much for the information.
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 22, 2015
If you put mussels - indeed any live mollusk - in fresh water, even to rinse them off, you will kill them. They need to be cooked live to be edible.
 
cass August 6, 2014
Is it correct as the recipe states that "you cannot clean the mussels in advance?
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
That's true. They will die, and then they will be toxic.
 
Germaine C. July 15, 2014
Could I substitute mussels with clams instead?
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
You could. You could also sub those little cockles from New Zealand I often see at Whole Foods.
 
Dishlicious June 18, 2014
3 quarts of mussels? I'm used to buying by the pound. Any guess as to the weight of 3 quarts?<br />
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
One quart = 32 ounces.
 
HB May 2, 2014
It's curious that this recipe appears identical to one posted on food dot com in 2006, down to the wording of the instructions. Is Chef June the same person as SLColman?
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
I haven't noticed your comment before, HB, but this recipe appeared in my cookbook that was published in 2001. That predates that recipe on food dot com by 5 years. So my guess is my recipe was pilfered. And they didn't bother to change anything. Shame on them!
 
Diane P. April 10, 2014
Made this last night and at the last minute, discovered my only mustards were coarse-ground . . . except for some tarragon-flavored (green) Dijon, which was terrific in this recipe. Loved the sauce. Thanks for a great recipe.
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
Diane, I often use tarragon mustard for these. It's a great combo!
 
xmascarol April 9, 2014
I made this for 3 of us tonight using 2 # of the frozen musssels. I had made a loaf of peasant bread earlier in the day and served that, steamed green beans and a salad. Dessert was baked custard with maple syrup drizzle and a freshly made ginger snap. We always laugh that when it's a good meal, we price how much it would be in a up scale restaurant. This one was definitely a $100 meal. (We split a Hop Devil beer between 2 of us too. That would have been another $5) anyway----DIVINE!
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 23, 2015
What a delicious sounding meal all around!
 
Panfusine April 3, 2014
Congratulations on the win ChefJune!
 
Chef T. March 31, 2014
I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! The broth was VERY flavorful. The only adjustment I made was cutting back a bit on the heavy cream, and I doubled the broth. I like extra to dip the bread in:)
 
Meatballs&Milkshakes March 28, 2014
Congrats! Sounds yummy!
 
Author Comment
ChefJune March 27, 2014
Thanks guys. I'm excited!
 
Kukla March 27, 2014
P.S. Good Luck!!!
 
Kukla March 27, 2014
Congratulations ChefJune!! I am very glad to see one of your recipes in the finals. <br /> <br />
 
Pegeen March 27, 2014
Lovely recipe, ChefJune. Thank you. Transports me back to happy times in Paris.