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Warm Mussel Flans with Herb Dressing

Warm Mussel Flans with Herb Dressing

Cooking Light MAY 2009

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • Flans:
  • 36 medium mussels (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread, torn
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • Herb dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 6 (1-ounce) slices white bread, toasted


1. To prepare flans, rinse mussels with cold water; drain. Discard any broken or open shells that do not close when tapped on the counter. Set mussels aside.

2. Combine wine, shallots, and garlic in a large Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute. Add mussels to pan. Cover, increase heat to high, and cook 5 minutes or just until mussels open; discard any unopened shells. Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove mussels from pan, reserving cooking liquid. Remove meat from mussels; discard shells. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Strain cooking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a small saucepan; discard solids. Add saffron to cooking liquid; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add torn bread to saffron mixture. Let stand 5 minutes.

5. Set aside 6 mussels for garnish; chill. Pull off and discard rubbery rings from the remaining mussels. Combine mussels, saffron mixture, and cream in a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth. Place eggs in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until just frothy. Add mussel mixture to eggs; stir until combined.

6. Cut parchment paper to fit in the bottom of each of 6 (6-ounce) ramekins. Line ramekins with parchment rounds; coat with cooking spray. Divide mussel mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9–inch baking pan lined with a dish towel (to anchor them in the pan). Pour boiling water halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until centers are just set. A slight wobble in the center is fine. Remove flans from pan; cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

7. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually add 1 tablespoon oil at a time, stirring well with a whisk until each addition is incorporated and the dressing emulsifies and thickens slightly. Whisk in chives and tarragon.

8. Cut toasted bread into rounds using a cutter slightly larger than ramekins (or the rim of a clean, dry ramekin can be used). Working with one flan at a time, run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan and carefully invert onto a toast round; discard parchment. Set flan, toast side down, onto a small plate. Repeat with remaining flans and toast. Place 1 reserved mussel on top of each flan; drizzle each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 372
  • Fat: 20.7g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 10g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.7g
  • Protein: 20.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.8g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Cholesterol: 191mg
  • Iron: 6.4mg
  • Sodium: 626mg
  • Calcium: 107mg

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Warm Mussel Flans with Herb Dressing recipe