When it is this hot outside, I want to be in the kitchen as little as possible.
Turning on the oven is out of the question!
What do I turn to for the easiest and most impressive way to please a crowd?
Mussels in Coconut Broth and Fresh Curry Leaves.
If you are afraid of cooking seafood, try making Mussels. They are almost impossible to go wrong with. (I said almost).
Mussels are also relatively inexpensive, which makes them even more attractive when cooking for a crowd.
Serve them when you are entertaining – a nice big, steaming bowlful of mussels with a crusty bread and salad. There’s your menu!
When the weather is not this oppressive, I like to serve the Mussels with a big heap of French Fries and a rich garlicky aioli.
A couple of things to remember about mussels:
Make sure all the shells are closed and discard any that are open.
Prince Edward’s Island (PEI) are cultivated Mussels, and do not need to be de-bearded. A quick rinse in cold water will do the trick of cleaning them.
What follows is one of the many ways to make mussels.
If you are planning on serving them as a main course, get a pound per person, less if it is the first course.
- Fresh Ginger, cut in thin strips
- 4 or 5 Garlic Cloves, sliced
- 8 – 10 Curry Leaves, sliced
- Green Chilies, thinly sliced (as many as you can stand)
- 1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil
- Sliced Leeks (only because I had some hanging around in the refrigerator)
- – Use scallions if you like
- 1 Can unsweetened Coconut Milk (any brand that you like except Coco Lopez – leave that for the Pinta Colada)
- 1 cup White Wine (Optional)
- Can substitute beer – or even broth
- Cilantro for garnish – substitute with Mint if you hate Cilantro
- Salt to taste
Wash the mussels well in cold water and leave them in a colander to drain while you prep the above ingredients.
Cut the aromatics and have them ready. Mussels cook very quickly – Start cooking 10 – 15 minutes before you want to sit down to eat.
Put a heavy bottom pan big enough to hold the mussels comfortably on a medium heat and add the oil.
Add the leeks, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and chilies – stir and cook till the leeks are translucent – about 5 minutes.
Add some salt – not too much. You can adjust it later. After about 5 minutes, add the wine or beer and let it come to a rapid boil for a couple of minutes – so that the alcohol burns out.
Next, add the coconut milk and gently bring it up to a simmer. Boiling Coconut Milk too vigorously can curdle it.
When the liquid comes up to a gentle simmer, add the mussels, stir and cover the pot.
Increase the heat to bring the heat of the liquid up rapidly.
Give the mussels a stir in about 5 minutes and cover again.
Check them in a couple of minutes. When all the mussels are open – they are ready.
Taste the broth to adjust the seasoning. You might want a squeeze of lime/lemon juice, or some more salt.
Add the Cilantro and spoon into large bowls.
Make sure every one gets plenty of the broth to sop up with the crusty bread you will serve beside the mussels.
You look like the genius host with this meal!
Serve with a nice cold beer or white wine and enjoy.
How do you like to make mussels?
I wish you would share your recipes – I love new recipes.
Until I eat again!