How are we feeling? Have we eaten enough the last few days? I know I have. I started eating at a Thanksgiving pace on Veteran’s Day so I should probably get it together before the onslaught of Christmas.
Here’s an easy, light dinner for you (me).
I was pretty nervous about cooking mussels. My previous experiences with non-shrimp seafood dishes had turned out well (here and here) but I was still anxious. What if I can't tell if they are open or not and I butcher the 'throw-away-any-mussels-that-don't-open' rule? What is this debearding business? How strict is the rule about soaking them in water to remove any salt water? And so it went. I even planned this dish around vacations. I purposefully waited until all travelling was over for a bit before making these because I didn't want to cause a bout of food poisoning for Robbie or me. Bless my heart.
Once we - (let's be honest, this was my paranoia) - once, I figured out the perfect timing to prepare the meal, I ignored my fears that had been harboring (ocean reference!). I didn't do any debearding as I didn't see anything that seemed to need any debearding and I didn't soak any mussels in water. Just a quick rinse turned out to be ok for my batch of mollusks. And, those little suckers are pretty transparent. This may come as a shock to you, but I could clearly tell the open mussels from the closed ones and was able to throw the latter out accordingly.
And it's been some time now and no one has gone to the hospital. I'd say we narrowly escaped that one.
Coconut and Basil Steamed Mussels
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup light coconut milk
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 pound of mussels, scrubbed and debearded (if indeed, you see beards)
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. (Side note – I love any recipe that lets me use my Dutch oven.) Add oil to pan. Add shallots and garlic and cook until tender. Tear your basil. Stir in coconut milk, water, chicken broth, newly-torn basil, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce and Sriracha. Bring this mixture to a boil. Add your mussels to the Dutch oven and cover. Cook about five minutes or until shells are open. Discard any unopened shells – whether or not they are open will be very clear to you.
Divide mussels between 2 serving bowls and keep warm. Bring broth mixture to a boil once more and cook for five more minutes. Divide sauce over each bowl (or until you have your desired amount – it makes a lot of sauce). Serve with a chunky piece of bread because I hear that is what you do with mussels in order to soak up the delicious sauce. Rice would also work.