1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, diced, plus 2½ tablespoons extra
¼ cup (40g) finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
¼ cup (60ml) white wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1½ tablespoons wholegrain mustard
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 anchovies, finely diced
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and finely diced
½ tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon each finely chopped dill, parsley, tarragon and chives
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
24–36 greenshell mussels
½ cup (125ml) white wine
½ cup (125ml) water
lemon halves, for squeezing
lemon and herb croutons (see recipe), to serve
½ baguette, crust removed
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Café de Paris butter was developed in the 1940s at a restaurant in Geneva called Café de Paris (there’s a surprise!). I’m not sure who the chef was who came up with this crazy-good butter with a list of ingredients as long as your arm; however, I am sure glad he or she did. Traditionally served with steak, I have found that this delicious butter can be served, within reason, with practically anything savoury. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, as once you assemble them all it’s actually really easy to make. Go with me on this – it’s worth the effort, and this recipe makes a good amount, so you can divide it up after you have made it and freeze the rest.


One of my go-to texture garnishes. It’s really just a simple crouton, but the addition of fresh herbs and lemon zest and juice definitely takes it up a notch. Toss through salads, top chowders or munch up fine to use as lemony crumb on fish dishes.

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2.Place a small pan over medium-low heat.
3.Add the 2½ tablespoons butter, along with the shallots, garlic and curry powder.
4.Sweat for 5 minutes, then pour in the wine and add the Worcestershire sauce.
5.Cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until the liquid has reduced.
6.Take the pan off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
7.Place the shallot mixture in a bowl along with the remaining ingredients.
8.Using clean hands, work all the ingredients together until combined.
9.Taste and season liberally with salt and pepper.
10.Spoon out in two lots onto plastic wrap and shape into two logs.
11.Carefully wrap and twist the ends like a sausage.
12.Freeze one log of the butter and refrigerate the other until required.
14.Prepare the mussels. Debeard and place in a large saucepan over high heat.
15.Pour over the white wine and water.
16.Give the saucepan a shake after 5 minutes, then remove the mussels one at a time as they open up. Discard any that haven’t opened.
17.Let the mussels cool, then remove the top half of the shell and discard.
18.Detach the mussel, then lay it back in the half shell. Refrigerate until required.
19.Preheat the grill.
20.Arrange the mussels (in their half shell) on a baking tray.
21.Slice small discs of the Café de Paris butter and place one on top of each mussel.
22.Place under the grill for 1–2 minutes, or until the butter has melted and the mussels have begun to caramelise.
23.Remove from the grill. Let cool for a couple of minutes before placing on a platter.
24.Top with a few lemon croutons on each.
25.Serve with the lemon halves on the side and a big pile of kitchen paper or napkins to catch the juices. Eat now.
27.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
28.Cut the crustless baguette into 1cm squares and place in a suitably-sized bowl.
29.Toss in the thyme and parsley. Add the lemon zest and pour over the juice.
30.Pour over the melted butter and olive oil.
31.With clean hands, gently mix all the ingredients so they are absorbed evenly throughout the uncooked croutons.
32.Spread out on a small oven tray and bake for 8–12 minutes, until crisp and golden.
33.Cool, then store in an airtight container until required. They freeze well, too.

Recipes extracted from
Eat Up New Zealand: The
Bach Edition by Al Brown,
photography by Josh
Griggs, published by Allen
& Unwin NZ, RRP $49.99.