Recipe courtesy of Anne Kearney

Steamed Mussels Provencal

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 cups shrimp heads and shells

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup onions, medium dice

1 teaspoon saffron threads, chopped after measured

2 cups white wine

3 to 4 stems each, tarragon and parsley

Water to cover


2 small spicy red peppers

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 shrimp broth

1 egg yolk*

1/2 cup peanut oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

Table salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup carrots, fine julienne

1/2 cup slivers of fennel

1/2 cup long thin slices of leeks

Remaining broth

4 dozen mussels, rope line, washed and beard removed

1/2 cup tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon each, roughly chopped, parsley, tarragon, chive, and thyme

2 tablespoons butter

Grilled sour dough bread


  1. Broth: In a medium sauce pan, slowly roast 3 cups of shrimp heads and shells in a small amount of oil until crisp and fragrant. Add all ingredients except water. Reduce by 1/4 and add water to cover the shells by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, chill, and reserve.
  2. Rouille: Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl of a food processor and process until foamy, slowly drizzle in the oil until thick, season. You want this thick enough to dollop.
  3. Mussels: Place the carrots, fennel and leeks in a medium sauce pan with the saffron broth and the mussels. Cover and steam for 2 minutes or until the mussels have opened (discard any unopened mussels.) Remove mussels and divide among 4 service bowls. Add the tomatoes to the vegetables along with the herbs. Reduce for 4 minutes. Mount in the butter and season. Top each bowl of mussels with vegetables and broth. Mound with a generous dollop of rouille and serve with grilled bread.

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