Mussels with Creamed Rice Emulsion and Saffron Jus

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Credit: DG productions – Françoise Nicol

Alain Ducasse is combining Spanish paella and Belgian mussels with fries in this dish, which pairs mussels with creamed rice and a saffron jus. Start things off by sautéing the rice in melted butter with shallots. Then purée it until its silky smooth, and serve it with a siphon, for a three-star dish you can easily serve at your dinner table at home.

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Instructions

Step 1: Preparation

Peel 2 shallots and cut them first lengthwise, then widthwise, and then into a small dice.

Melt the butter in a small pot. Add the shallots and cook 2 minutes. Add the rice and 2 pinches of salt.

Cook, stirring, until the rice becomes translucent. Add 37,5 cl of water, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 18 minutes over medium heat.

Meanwhile, peel the remaining shallot and French it. Wash and debeard the mussels, and throw away any that are open. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot. Add the shallot and stir for a few seconds.

Add the mussels and the white wine. Cover and cook over high heat. Stir after 1 minute and 30 seconds, then cook for an additional 1 minute 30 seconds.

As soon as the mussels are open, pour them into a strainer placed over a bowl. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.

When the rice is cooked, stir it gently. Remove 120 grams of it. Add the Pastis to the remaining rice, and mix well. Season with pepper and cover with plastic wrap.

Place the 120 grams of reserved rice into a pot, and add milk just to cover. Cook 5 minutes over low heat. Remove the mussels from their shells, and throw away any that have not opened.

Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and the fronds, reserving the latter.

Cut the bulb in half. Cut into the fennel first lengthwise and then into a brunoise. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot. Add the fennel brunoise, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

Pour the rice and milk mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the cream and blend once more. Strain through a fine strainer, pressing down on the solids with a small ladle.

Mix the fennel with the mussels. Add some of the green fennel fronds, and season with pepper.

Pour the hot creamed rice into a siphon with a funnel. Screw on the top, then charge with two gas chargers. Shake the siphon well and keep warm.

Line a strainer with paper towel. Strain the cooking juices from the mussels. Bring to a boil, then add the saffron. Mix well to combine.

Place a layer of rice in the serving plates. Add a thin layer of creamed rice with the siphon, and top with two tablespoons of fennel mussels.

Cover with creamed rice.

Pour the saffron jus into little glasses. Pour a little bit into the plates, and serve immediately.

Chef Tips

Be Prepared

Before beginning to cook the rice, measure it and prepare one and a half times the amount of rice by volume of water.

Temper Your Expectations

If you serve this dish cold, the rice will become crunchy. To avoid this, cover the rice with plastic wrap, and keep the siphon in a double-boiler at 75 °C until you’re ready to plate.

This recipe comes from the "190 cours illustrés" cookbook (Alain Ducasse Edition).

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