When Michelle and I are in NYC we always have a meal at Balthazar. The Balthazar Cookbook is a French bible to me and something I use throughout the year. The Foreword by Robert Hughes is a gift to all those that love the truth behind our most cherished food institutions. Their recipe for mussels nails with our Rose. I polished off a bottle last night while enjoying them with a baguette just to make sure I didn’t lead you astray.
A large crock of mussels seems glamorous late at night and workmanlike at lunch. Shiny and black, mussels evoke images of the Mediterranean, but they're also inexpensive and quick to cook. The broth itself is half the point and the crusty bread is as important as a spoon.
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over a low flame. Add the shallots, garlic, celery and thyme. Gently sauté for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Add the wine, pepper, and crème fraîche, raise the heat to high. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add the mussels, stir gently, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the mussels open. Add the parsley and stir gently. Serve in large bowls (remembering to discard any unopened mussels), with crusty bread and chilled 2022 Whetstone 'Silvaspoons' Rosé.