Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mussels with Thai Red Curry
I always get excited every time I find fresh mussels in the market. They are an acquired taste I must say so it's probably not for everyone (my husband included) but they are definitely my favourite. It's a nice break from our usual chicken dinners and they cook really quickly so if you're starving or you have a whole bunch of people coming over for drinks, they are just the perfect thing to serve. Yes, I use canned curry paste. There's nothing wrong with canned curry paste. Freshly made curry pastes are fantastic but duh! Seriously, who has the time? Plus there are a lot of really good canned ones in the market so I often just use them. And the results are often luscious!
Now, tell me if that does not look fabulous? I'll share the recipe later. Ciao for now :-)
Okay, I'm back so here's the recipe. It takes about 30 minutes or less to make.
3 lb. mussels, scrubbed and cleaned
fresh cilantro, chopped
green onion, chopped
Coconut Curry Sauce:
1 1/2 cup coconut milk (or 1 can)
grated ginger to taste
1 1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (I like Maesri)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of white Vermouth (or you can use Sprite, white wine or you can skip it all together)
brown sugar to taste
1 tbsp butter
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 stalk of lemongrass, smashed
Fish sauce to taste (this may not be necessary as mussels have their own salt)
First, melt the butter and about a quarter can of coconut milk in a pan on medium heat.
Sautee the curry paste, ginger, garlic and the lemongrass for a good 10-12 minutes or until it starts to smell really good and the coconut milk has turned into oil. Believe it or not, not cooking the curry pastes well makes the difference between a mediocre and a Thai restaurant-quality curry.
Add the thyme sprigs then Vermouth (or wine) and reduce to about half then pour in the rest of the coconut milk and season with sugar to taste. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
Add the mussels and cover. Shake the pan occasionally to distribute the sauce. Cook until they open and the meat is tender. Test for seasoning, you may want to adjust the sugar or add fish sauce.
Pour into a large serving bowl and garnish with cilantro, green onion and lime wedges. You know what goes with this really well? Chunky and chewy baguette to soak up all the briny coconut sauce!