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Salmon in Saffron Mussel Sauce

Salmon in Saffron Mussel Sauce

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  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 3/4 cup (about) whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 8-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine mussels and wine in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until mussels begin to open, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mussels to large bowl (discard any mussels that do not open). Pour liquid from saucepan into 2-cup measuring cup. Stir in saffron. Let cooking liquid stand 15 minutes.

  • Add enough cream to cooking liquid to measure 1 1/3 cups. Transfer to large saucepan. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf and cayenne. Simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill mussels and sauce separately.

  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add salmon, rounded side down. Cook until bottom is golden, about 3 minutes. Turn salmon over. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until salmon is opaque in center, about 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Leave covered to keep warm.

  • Bring sauce in large saucepan to simmer over low heat. Add mussels in shells; stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

  • Place 1 salmon fillet on each of 4 plates. Divide mussels among plates. Spoon sauce over salmon and mussels.

Recipe by Michael McLaughlin,Reviews Section

For the sea bass and mussels

  • 75g/2¾oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 5 tbsp white wine
  • 400g/14oz mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 4 x 175-200g/6-7oz sea bass fillets, skin on

For the saffron and white wine cream sauce

  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 150ml/5fl oz white wine
  • 1 yellow courgette, balled with a Parisian scoop
  • 1 green courgette, balled with a Parisian scoop
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • 110ml/3¾fl oz double cream
  • pinch saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh chervil

To serve

The Secret Ingredient (Saffron): Mussels with Saffron and Tomatoes Recipe

When working with secret ingredients, I like to find perfect pairs. Jelly for peanut butter. Peas for carrots. Once you find their match, there are an unlimited number of iterations you can create using the dynamic duo.

Mussels pair perfectly with saffron. In cooking school, we made a creamy saffron-ed mussel soup. One of my favorite recipes is a creamy saffron and mussels pasta I created for French in a Flash. There is something about creamy saffron mussel anything that just works. I think there is an opposites-attract aspect to why the pair always comes off without a hitch.

Saffron is very earthy to me, very pungent. And mussels are the opposite—extremely maritime and briny. I think the combination of cream and saffron prevents the mussels from tasting like they were just scraped off a dock. And I also love the irony of it: saffron, the most expensive spice on the market, and cream, always luxurious, with cheap, cheap mussels. It's a great way to make an "expensive" dish of seafood and saffron with very little money.

This ten-minute, one-pot dish goes down like a house on fire. And anyone can make it. Sop up the soup with crusty baguette, or boil plain pearl couscous and put that at the bottom of your bowl to eat with the strands of saffron and just-burst sweet tomatoes.

Related Video

This is the best mussels recipe. I added 2 cloves of garlic with the onions and used the saffron I brought back from Morocco. The broth is delicious. So easy and quick to make. This will be my new go-to mussels recipe.

This was fantastic, I would love to make this on a regular basis but I think the cost of saffron would make me homeless in no time, but after tasting them, it might be worth it

Jjadel, it may have been the type of wine you used, I find using a crisp dry wine works best in this dish, also if you do make again, reducing the wine for 5-7 minutes will increase the flavor of the wine because it will be more concentrated. I think the dish benefits using the best saffron you can get, it may be expensive but it's worth it. I make this recipe about every 2 months as I can get fresh mussels at my farmers market for around $1.49 a pound and I use saffron from Penzeys

I made this recipe mostly to the letter, except I used shallots instead of onions, and I made the dish with mussels and manila clams. I let the wine boil for 2 minutes before I added the cream, but I still feel like the wine overpowered the subtle flavors of the saffron. If I made this dish again, I would probably boil the wine down for 5-7 minutes before adding the cream. My husband raved about it, but I just think he was impressed with his first exposure to saffron. However, I didn't really feel that the flavor of the dish justified the cost of the ingredients used ( $10 jar of saffron cost of fresh seafood in a landlocked state). I probably wouldn't make it again just because I so rarely get saffron and I would rather use the spice on other dishes.

Delicious! Easy! Served with garlic bread as suggested. Surprisingly, these were really good as leftovers, too. I made half the recipe for two people, and even that made a lot for just two. I shelled them before I put them in a container in the broth and then just warmed them in the microwave.

Excellent with the addition of a couple crushed cloves of garlic, I usually make about 1 1/2 the amount of sauce and serve over pasta. Have made many times and everyone that has had it raves about it forever. easy, relatively inexpensive especially if you have a good source of good saffron at reasonable price-- my farmers market has .5 grams saffron for $6.99, and it's Spanish coupe saffron, so very good price.

This was wonderful. Did add more saffron. probably 3-4 pinches total. Quick & delicious week night meal!

Made this for a quick lunch last Wed. when my sisters were passing through town, only change I made was to add about 2 cloves of minced garlic. It was so good I am making again for dinner with a friend on Monday. The flavors all blend beautifully.

This is restaurant quality! It's very easy too. I used shallots instead of onions, added garlic, and up the saffron until the color got to golden yellow. YUM!

I have made this recipe over and over again and it is a family favorite. We use frozen mussels (fresh not available) and add the liquor so we omit the salt - we also sub shallots for the onions. Anyway - the real thing I wanted to add is this. I am always just sick to throw out the left-over saffron cream sauce! I have come up with a great next-day recipe that is wonderful. When we have company we make two big pots of these mussels so we have a lot of sauce left over. The following recipe makes a perfect brunch dish. Enjoy! --- Day After Mussels - Saffron Seafood Strata---- 8 X-large eggs, 2 cups Saffron Mussels cream sauce (stir well), 2 - 6.5 oz cans Millers Lump Crabmeat or fresh if available, 8 cups cubed bread crust removed (I used cobblestone), ½ cup grated parmesan, Salt and pepper to taste ----- Preheat oven to 350o Butter the sides and bottom of a 10 inch springform pan. Wisk eggs and mussel cream sauce in a large bowl Gently add lump crabmeat and mix gently Add cubed bread to egg mixture and toss gently with hands Season lightly with salt and pepper Transfer egg/cream/bread mixture to springform pan Place springform pan on a cookie sheet in case of leakage Cook for an hour or until golden brown and puffed Half way through cooking sprinkle with grated parmesan Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes then remove springform edge Cut into wedges and serve!

Excellent recipe. I prepared exactly as written but added 2 finely chopped garlic cloves with the onion. I'm glad I added the garlic. Since it's an essential ingredient, just be aware that it takes quite a bit of crumbled saffron threads to equal a rounded 1/4 teaspoon. I used a whole $12 jar of Morton and Basset saffron threads. it still wasn't enough (the jar contains very little) and needed additional saffron from my spice cabinet.

WOW WOW WOW Absolutely amazing. Lush, gorgeous, delicious and so very simple! I followed the recipe exactly and had a truly gourmet dinner for less than $15 (including a simple green salad with orange segments and toasted almonds) This is my favorite recipe!

I adore this recipe! It is so simple, looks so elegant and tastes extraordinary. I've made it a number of times now, and every time it comes out perfectly.

Wow !! Made this last night as an appetizer for my hubby and I. Since my husband doesn't like mussels, I figured that I would get to have a second helping. unfortunetly for me. he absolutely loved them. Now he has asked me to serve them on a regular basis. I can hardly wait to make them again. The only change to the recipe that I made was to add about 2 sml or 1 large clove of garlic. Like one of the other reviewers, I think that it adds yet another element to this recipe. Very subtle but oh so yummy!

This is a late review, but I used this recipe when it first came out for a party, and the people who were at the party, still rave about "those mussels", now more than 10 years since.

Wow, wow, wow. Beautiful golden color creamy but not thick elegant without being pretentious. Sure to impress. Let the onions get soft -- mine were a little undercooked and crunchy -- I would have preferred them more like what one would find in french onion soup. Due to its richness Iɽ serve this as an appetizer rather than a main course. Not sure what wine would be a good companion -- we served a light Italian red which was just OK. In any event, this is definitely going into my "favorites" category.

Salmon in Saffron Mussel Sauce - Recipes

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    For the mussels, discard any with cracked shells and any open ones that do not close when given a sharp tap. Heat half of butter and oil in a lidded saucepan. Once hot add the shallots, white wine and mussels and cover.

    Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels have opened (discard any mussels that have not opened). Remove from the heat and drain, keeping the liquor. Remove some of the mussels from their shells and keep a few in their shells for presentation.

    For the cream sauce, heat a frying pan and add the butter and oil. Add the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, add the mussel liquor and white wine. Reduce the heat and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

    Add the courgette and tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cream and saffron and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Just before serving add the mussels and chervil.

    Heat a medium saucepan of boiling water and blanch the samphire and sea aster. Drain and set aside.

    In a separate frying pan add the butter and fry the samphire and sea aster for a few minutes.

    To cook the sea bass, heat another frying pan and add the remaining oil and butter and place the sea bass fillets skin side down in the pan. Cook on each side for 2-4 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and cooked through.

    Spoon the sauce and vegetables around a serving plate and place the fish in the centre. Garnish with the mussels, samphire and sea aster.

    A World of Salmon

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    Classic cured salmon is served with a bright mustard-honey sauce in this recipe adapted from Jake Tilson’s In At The Deep End. Flavored with pepper, cloves, and dill, the fish requires at least 5 days to cure, so be sure to plan ahead. Use the best-quality salmon you can find.

    Salmon Yakitori

    These salmon skewers are basted with a sweet sauce, then grilled over charcoal to caramelize the sauce and add a smoky flavor. Get the recipe for Salmon Yakitori »

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    INDIA This Bengali dish is adapted from At Home With Madhur Jaffrey. Serve with cooked white rice.

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    FRANCE Patrick Fabre served us this modern French bistro creation at the Paris restaurant Aux Tonneaux des Halles.

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    Or Salmon for Your Omega-3s

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    This is an amazingly quick and easy but very impressive fish soup. It is every bit as elegant and tasty as bouillabaisse but a lot quicker to make. Because of the cream it's not quite as healthy. I suppose you could cut down on the amount of cream, or use single cream or low fat creme fraiche, but for my parents I didn't want to make any compromises. Not that I want to feed them unhealthy food, but they don't visit me often, so when they do, only the best will do.

    Even ze table setting looks French, n'est-ce pas?
    This may actually be the last time they visited me here, it is quite a trek for them from Finland and they are not as young and sprightly as they once were. Last time they came, two years ago, dad nearly died. He got pneumonia and was hospitalised after they got home for several weeks and mum and the terminally ill family dog were incarcerated at my sister's. So I was very happy that they plucked up the courage to visit us this one last time. I love to spoil them, cook them foods they wouldn't otherwise have and show them around the wonderful London.

    I will obviously continue visiting them regularly in Finland, so it's not like it was the final goodbye, which obviously would have been very sad. Although I must say I did go to the ladies at Gatwick for a little cry after waiving them goodbye at the ticket barriers.

    I get a bit sentimental quite easily. We recently visited husband's old aunt in Dubai. As we sat there I started thinking about how this could be the last time the two of them met. I thought about how kind she had been to my husband when he was a little boy, about her long life, how so many of her generation have now passed away, her lonely years as a widow after her husband's death. How this mighty matriarch now is bed-ridden and quite dependent on the help of others. And I saw husband getting a bit emotional as well holding her hand and my bottom lip may have started to quiver a little, because husband urgently whispered to me to not start crying. Because if I did he would start crying and then the aunt would start crying. And then probably the nurse and the rest of the household. And then we'd all just cry. I could see how that would not be a good idea, so I masterfully blinked my tears away, pretending to sneeze blaming the air-con and really doing quite an Oscar-worthy performance of someone who's definitely not on the brink of tears. I think the nurse/carer was onto me, but she didn't give me away. And it worked which was great, because obviously it was better to have a calm, happy moment, than a hysterical bawl-fest.

    But back to my parents' joyous arrival and the glorious golden the fish soup. I picked them up at Gatwick and we drove home. Getting out of the car dad said his left hand was completely numb after hanging on to the door handle for dear life for the 50 mile drive. And I was even trying to drive very carefully and smoothly which is entirely against my nature.

    At home they unloaded their presents. Lots of lovely Finnish goodies, rye bread, salty licorice, smoked salmon, reindeer, moose etc. And a beautiful Alvar Aalto tray while I heated up the soup base which I had prepared earlier adding in the fish, mussels and cream. It was awesome, best fish soup they had had in a long time, apparently. Probably since my bouillabaisse, is my objective guess.

    Our new Aalto-tray. My sister once lived in a house designed by Alvar Aalto. None of the doors opened properly but it was a beautiful building. Beauty and practicality don't always go hand in hand.

    The other awesome things I cooked them was a Spanakopita for late Friday dinner after a classical concert which wasn't to husband's taste particularly. When the band had finally finished and had left the stage only to reappear, husband was panicking "Why are they coming back?". But they only came back for some more applause not an encore.

    My gorgeous rustic Spanakopita
    Saturday husband's kids came so it was a massive dinner of lamb yiouvetsi, feta pepper chicken, asparagus with pine nuts and parmesan, mushroom with blue cheese and a salad with Lappish squeeky cheese, that my parents had brought. Dad loved the yiouvetsi, and I must say it is one of my favourite recipes. I spoke to them a few days ago and he has a chunk of lamb in the freezer ready for my next visit for us to do the yiouvetsi together. Or if it's anything like "let's go and wash my car together" I will do the cooking and he will watch and point out any concerns in the process. But that is fine, I don't mind cooking for him or washing his car. And he does helpfully squirt water from the garden hose whenever necessary.

    On Sunday I made my trusted Provencal duck legs which I know they love with haricot verts and cauliflower chevre pure.

    We managed to squeeze in a fish and chip lunch on one of the river boats which was an interesting experience. You know the Tattershall castle on the Embankment. They don't have a proper menu outside anymore, only a fish a chip booth where a grumpy lady (I don't blame her, I would be grumpy if I was shut there on my own all day) is as unhelpful as possible, at one point telling me to run to the kitchen to get her some cutlery and salt. That went down well. But to give her her due, she didn't give a toss about my outrage, clearly thinking it was up to me how I ate my fish and calmly just went on frying her fishes. I decided to go downstairs to get cutlery and salt because I didn't want my parents to have to eat bland fish with their fingers.

    So if you're after a high-end experience, go somewhere else. If not fussy and don't mind running around the ship for stuff and the weather is nice, like it was on the day, then why the hell not. Find some forks and salt, don't let the grumpy lady scare you and enjoy.

    We had another nice pub lunch in a little hunting lodge in Richmond. Dad likes the British pub culture, although he is not a big drinker coming from generations of temperance movement ring leaders. Dad's grandfather wanted to make alcohol only available through the pharmacies. He must have been a popular fellow. And his daughter, my grandmother I remember being quite disapproving of even some mulled wine on Christmas.

    Anyway the current generation is much more open-minded and dad has relaxed a bit, so on their last evening here we walked to our local pub which is quite nice and had a fun evening with husband and dad fighting in the bar who gets to buy the round (we had one round of drinks the entire night) and mum and me admiring our handsome husbands from the table.

    Again back to the fish soup. I served it with saffron aioli. A spoonful on top of a plate of soup makes it even more delicious, like rouille on Bouillabaisse. And on the side some fresh French country loaf and homemade mackerel pate (recipe also below - it was awesome - inspired by Jamie Oliver).

    I made an even healthier version of the pate again later. I substituted some of the cream cheese with low fat creme fraiche, left out the oil and loosened it with a little splash of water. I also added a lot of dill and basil, so it ended looking a bit like quacamole, but tasted absolutely amazing. I won't attach an image of this particular version, you can just google quacamole, that's how it looked.

    Creamy French salmon and mussel soup with saffron

    Rapeseed oil
    One leek, chopped
    1 garlic clove, grated
    1/2 fennel bulb chopped
    1/3 cup white wine
    Pinch of saffron, ground (use your pestle and mortar)
    4 cups of good quality fish stock (low salt if possible)
    500g cooked mussels (I used ones in white wine sauce)
    400g skinless, boneless salmon, cubed
    3/4 cup of double cream
    Zest and juice of half a lemon (or more to taste)

    Heat up the oil. Add the leek, fennel and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat. Add saffron and white wine and stir. Let the white wine evaporate a little and then add fish broth. Leave it to boil gently for 15 minutes.

    Add cream, fish and mussels and bring back to boil. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice and check the taste.

    Serve with saffron aioli and fresh bread.

    Tip: If you want to make the soup thicker add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour on the vegetables and stir in before adding the white wine.

    Tastes better than it looks! Jamie Oliver's smoked mackerel pate - great for any lunch sandwich! And you can take a massive bite and breath into the face of a colleague you don't get along with if you are the passive aggressive kind.

    Smoked mackerel pate

    1 pack of smoked mackerel (around 200g), skin and bones removed
    Generous handful of fresh parsley
    100g cream cheese
    Zest and juice of one lemon
    Creamed horse radish, to taste (1-3 tsp depending on how hot you like it)
    2 tbsp olive oil

    Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until preferred consistency. You can eat immediately, but leaving it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight will only make it better.

    I made this again substituting some of the cream cheese with low fat creme fraiche and leaving out the oil and it was awesome. I added a lot of dill and basil as well, so it ended looking a bit like quacamole,but tasted amazing. I won't attach an image, because you can just google quacamole and that's what it looked like.

    Fishcakes with turmeric, coriander and cardamom

    Fishcakes with turmeric, coriander and cardamom. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

    The amount of spice in these fishcakes gives them a subtle flavour and an interesting colour, and doesn’t overpower.

    Serves 4
    cider court bouillon (see below) 1 pint (600ml)
    mackerel, herring or white fish 1½ lb (720g)
    floury potatoes 1 lb (450g), peeled and sliced
    eggs 2
    butter 1 oz (30g)
    chopped parsley 1 oz (30g)
    ground turmeric ½ tsp
    coriander seeds ½ tsp
    cardamoms 2
    Flour, for coating hands
    milk 2 fl oz (60ml)
    breadcrumbs 2 oz (60g)
    oil, for shallow frying

    For the court bouillon
    dry cider 10 fl oz (300ml)
    water 40 fl oz (1.2 litres)
    white wine vinegar 3 fl oz (120ml)
    bay leaves 2
    peppercorns 12
    onion 1, peeled and roughly chopped
    carrots 2, peeled and roughly chopped
    celery 2 sticks, roughly chopped
    salt 2 tsp

    Bring all the court bouillon ingredients to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. To complete the infusion of flavours, leave to cool before using.

    Next, bring the court bouillon to the boil again, add the fish and poach gently until just cooked. Remove the fish and cook the potatoes in the bouillon till they are falling apart. Drain and mash the potato. Take the fillets off the fish, removing the skin. Beat one of the eggs into the potato with the butter and parsley.

    Grind the turmeric, coriander and cardamom together in a grinder. Add the spices and the fish to the potato mixture and season.

    Divide the mixture into eight and mould into flat cakes using floured hands. If the cakes are a bit soft, chill them for 30 minutes. Beat the remaining egg and add the milk. Coat the cakes in the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the fishcakes for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

    Serve the fishcakes with a green salad dressed with walnut dressing and sprinkled with chopped coriander.


    1. Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).

    2. Roast the tomatoes on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes or until blistered, then set aside.

    3. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat 60ml of oil in a large wide saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, which is large enough to fit the mussels*, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for 5 minutes until soft. Increase the heat to high, then add the mussels, wine and saffron with its soaking liquid. And cover with the lid. Cook, shaking frequently for 5 minutes or until the mussels begin to open. Remove from the heat and strain the mussels into a sieve placed over a bowl, and set aside.

    4. Season the fish, prawn, scallops and squid with sea salt. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the fish, prawns and sea scallops and cook quickly to about medium rare, and add the squid. Then add the reserved mussel broth and bring to a simmer. Add the blistered tomatoes and butter and gently stir through. The seafood should be just cooked. Sprinkle the stew with the parsley and add a grind of white pepper.

    5. To serve, place the pan on the table with a ladle and bowls for everyone, or serve in one beautiful big bowl to share among guests. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

    *If your pan isn't quite big enough to fit the mussels comfortably, you may find you need to cook the mussels in two batches. Simply scoop the first batch of cooked mussels out with a mesh strainer and set aside while you cook the second batch.

    Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

    Watch the video: Dinner is ready: Lachs auf Pasta mit Safransauce! (August 2022).