This year, I decided I would venture out in the cooking world and make a few new recipes that I’ve wanted to try but have been too bashful to get my hands on. Mussels sounds like a hard dish to make…or at least it did in my head. I searched for a recipe that didn’t intimidate me…I liked Bobby Flay’s Thai Red Curry Mussels recipe. With the help of my younger brother, we embarked on this culinary journey. We went to the store and picked up only a pound and a half of mussels because it looked like A LOT, even though the recipe calls for 2 and half. I was pretty confident making this dish because it called for Thai flavors, which I’m pretty good at it. Then, the guy says make sure they’re still alive when you get home…if they’re open then squeeze them shut…if they stay shut they’re still alive and thus good to cook. I just looked at him like What?? I have to kill these creatures? I can’t do that! My brother turns to me and says come on scary cat…I’ll do it. Ok I guess.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 1/2 pounds mussels, debearded and scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 tablespoons chopped Thai basil or Italian basil leaves
Heat grill to high. Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven on the grates of the grill until shimmering. Add the lemongrass, curry paste, wine, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice and bring to a simmer, whisking. Add the mussels, cover the pot, and let steam until opened. During the last minute of cooking, add the cilantro and basil. Serve from Dutch oven into individual bowls, discarding the lemongrass
The recipe turned out great…and very quick. I was surprised. I was hesitate on adding the white wine but I think that is the key ingredient. This recipe says it makes 4 servings of appetizers but there were 3 of us eating this recipe and it was plenty..I actually liked the fact that I used less mussels because there was more soupy broth to scoop up in the mussels. I made a stirfry also cause I thought we would still be hungry but we hardly touched it.
I used a tube of lemongrass, so I just squeezed that out in my oil instead. I only had olive oil so I used that instead of peanut oil. Also, I just used a deep non-stick pot and it worked perfectly. On top, I sprinked some basil leaves from my garden…fresh herbs are so yummy.