Turns out, some people don't like shellfish. And some people sometimes come over for dinner.
And some people, even if you tell them that you were thinking of making mussels, say "I'll bring the wine" and forget to mention that they don't eat shellfish...
Well, more mussels for me.
I don't know why shellfish intimidate people, eating and cooking-wise. They are little. They don't need much work to be tasty. They require no butchery. They look beautiful in a bowl with a puddle of delicious steaming broth.
They are a good excuse to down an entire loaf of bread.
Seriously - how can you not love these things!!
You can make them the French way - shallots, garlic, white wine, butter - or the Thai way. Which I adapted from this soup. And by adapted I mean pretty much made the soup and tossed in mussels.....
Combine chicken stock and coconut milk in a ginormous pot (one that has a lid).
Toss in the diced shallot, garlic, and lemon grass.
Add the brown sugar and fish sauce.
Then a chili - diced for the spicy lovers, sliced in half for the mild lovers. (I'll leave it to you to guess which we are.
Bring to a boil and toss in the cleaned mussels.
Put the lid on and be patient for 5 minutes.
Use this time to slice the bread.
Once the 5 minutes is up, all the mussels should be open. The ones that aren't open need to go straight into the trash can.
Squeeze one lime over the pot.
Garnish with cilantro. Serve with fresh crusty bread. Time to eat!
See? Don't they look delicious?
Thai Coconut Mussels
1 bag of mussels, cleaned
1 can of coconut milk
2 c. chicken stock
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
3 inches of lemon grass, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 serrano pepper either sliced in half or diced (sliced in half for less heat, diced for LOTS OF HEAT)
Cilantro to garnish (optional)
Toss the chicken stock and coconut milk into a large pot. Bring to a boil. Toss in everything but the mussels. Stir. Gently slide the mussels into the boiling liquid. Put the cover on the pot and wait 5 minutes. Open the lid and squeeze all the lime juice into the pot.