More than 300 members and friends of the Chevaliers de Tastevin, an honorary society dedicated to propagating faith in the wines of Burgundy, gathered at the French embassy here last Friday for their annual reception. Ambassador and Mrs. Jacques Kosciusko-Morizet received their guests, who then wandered about two rooms and a porch of the embassy, sampling three wines and foods designed to complement them.
With a superb 1971 Corton-Charlemagne, mousse of salmon and of bass was served, along with small cheese fritters and stuffed mussels. The red wine was a full-flavoured Morey Saint-Denis of the 1972 vintage. It was supported by a galantine, chicken in Chaud-froid , hamwrapped asparagus spears and an assortment of cheeses.
The embassy chef, Aubouin Gabriel, undertook preparations of the food. THe following is the classic receipe for mussels he recreated. They could be served as an hors d'oeuvre or as the first course of a formal meal.
MOULES A LA FECAMPOISE
(6 servings) 3 pounds of large mussels, cleaned and beards removed 1 1/2 cups dry white wine 1 celery heart, finely chopped 1/4 cup finely chopped chives 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 2 cups mayonnaise (homemade preferred) 1 1/2 tablespoons lobster base (available canned or frozen) Cayenne pepper to taste Mustard (Dijon or powdered English) to taste
Bring wine to a boil in a large, non-aluminium pot. Add mussels, cover pot and cook until shells have opened and mussels are just cooked, about 6 minutes. Shake pot several times as mussels cook.
Remove mussels and strain broth through cheesecloth. Take mussels from shells. Reserve shells and chop mussels coarsely. Prepare celery and herbs and mix into mayonnaise along with lobster base, cayenne and mustard. Beat in from 1/3 to 1/2 cup mussel broth to achieve a slightly runny consistency. Stir in mussels and taste. The mixture should not need salt. Fill shells and refrigerate until just before serving.