Steamed Mussels with Lemon-Saffron Sauce
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- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 generous pinch of saffron threads
- 40 mussels, scrubbed, debearded
Whisk crème fraîche and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add Cognac and ignite with match. Let flames burn out; whisk in lemon juice and saffron. Set both mixtures aside.
Place mussels in heavy large pot; pour in wine. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover pot and cook until mussels open, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Using tongs, transfer mussels to baking sheet (discard any mussels that do not open). Remove top half of each mussel shell; divide mussels in bottom shells among 4 bowls. Tent with foil.
Strain mussel cooking liquid from pot through sieve lined with damp paper towel into skillet with shallot mixture. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes. Very slowly whisk hot liquid into crème fraîche mixture; return to same skillet.
Stir over low heat just until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over mussels. Garnish with chives.