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Steamed Mussels in a Coconut Curry Broth

Its not too late to do your Nw Years Eve shopping is it? Your guests would love these coconut curry mussels with fresh baguettes for dipping into the sauce. If you need a veggie dish, go for the steamed broccoli…

 

Mussels

STEAMED MUSSELS IN A COCONUT CURRY BROTH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 pounds mussels (I prefer Prince Edward Island mussels)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (lite version is fine too – just won’t be as rich)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken (or seafood) stock
  • 2 green onions, sliced

baguettes or bread for serving (or fries!) 

DIRECTIONS:

Keep the mussels refrigerated until you’re ready to use. Once ready, place them in a large bowl of ice cold water. Scrub the outsides of the mussels and remove the string (or “beard”) by using a towel or paper towel to pull it out. Discard any mussels that have opened already. Keep the mussels in the ice water.

Better still, buy the frozen ones which are already cleaned..just add them in where required in the recipe.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once it’s melted, stir in the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste and continue to stir until it’s distributed throughout the entire pan of onions. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and stock, stirring until it’s smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the mussels and toss. Cover the skillet and cook just until the mussels open, about 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions. Stir the mussels well so the broth makes it into the shells. Serve immediately with baguettes or thin fries.

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Traditional Flemish Waterzooi

Dont you just love that word, waterzooi ? We came across this on our trip to Brugges in 2010 when we ate at De Halve Maan Brewery and again at a very nice little restaurant called  Vlaamsche Pot. Its traditionally a fish soup/stew.

IMG_0005abcdefghijSince I had some mussels and clams left over from a meal the day before, I sought out a recipe. Behold…Pinterest again. Their recipe called for several types of fish. I like fish but did not want to search out different fish, so I altered their recipe as I usually do to some extent. My version is below.

Flemish Waterzooi
Ingredients
• 10,5 oz. (300 g) potatoes, peeled
• 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
• 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
• 1 carrot, finely sliced
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 1 leek, finely sliced
• 7/8 cup (7 fl oz./200 ml) fish stock (I used chicken stock)
1 fish filet of your choice (I used tilapia) cut into 1 inch pieces
• 3,5 oz. (100 g) mussels, cleaned
• 1 egg yolk
• 2/5 cup (3,5 fl oz./100 ml) cream
• 3,5 oz. (100 gm ) peeled shrimp
• 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
• Salt & freshly cracked pepper
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the celery, carrot and onion and cook the vegetables for 3-5 minutes, or until they are soft and glazed. Now add the leeks and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the stock to the vegetable mixture and allow it to infuse for 3 minutes.
Gently poach the fish fillets in the broth for 3-5 minutes. Add the mussels after 1 minute.
Remove the seafood from the pan once the mussels have opened and set aside. Strain the stock into a saucepan. Set the vegetables aside to use later.
Whisk the egg yolk with the cream in a bowl.
Put the stock back on the heat and, once it reaches boiling point, add the cream and egg mixture to thicken the stock and create a sauce. Now mix well with a whisk and make sure the sauce does not come to the boil again. Add the peeled shrimp and half the chives and stir.
Place the fish pieces and seafood in a serving bowl along with the vegetables and potatoes. Pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the remaining chives.

Serve with a crusty bread and cold beer…preferably Belgian.

Reef Spaghetti (also known as Scoglio)

One of our favourite restaurants in Merida, Yucatan Il Caffe Italiano serves this wonderful seafood dish. We usually pop in after Sunday afternoon symphony. This is one wonderful dish and makes a little seafood go a long way! If you are buying fresh seafood, just purchase TWO pieces of EACH seafood PER PERSON.

Reef Spaghetti – Spaghetti allo Scoglio

Ingredients

  • fresh clams (although I used frozen and they were just fine)
  • fresh mussels (frozen is fine)
  • shrimp (frozen is fine) De-veined and tails removed!
  •  2 or 3 plum tomatoes chopped (I would use more next time)
  • bunch of parsley
  • basil
  • 1 clove of garlic OR MORE
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • spaghetti (dependent on how many people)

Preparation

If using frozen seafood, first thaw them in the refrigerator in cold salted water for  about 30 minutes. Thaw each seafood separately. Salt a pot of water for the spaghetti and set it to boil. Heat 2 T. of oil in a broad skillet with the garlic. When the garlic is browned, remove it (and eat it if you want..LOL). Add the drained clams and mussels. Cover and cook over a brisk flame, shaking the pan every now and then until the shellfish have opened. Turn off the flame and let them cool slightly. Remove empty or unopened shells. Do NOT try to open closed shells as they are already dead and eating them could make you quite sick!!!

Start to boil the spaghetti!!

In a separate deep skillet add more oil and garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes. and shredded basil leaves.Salt. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Stir in all of the shellfish (including the shrimp), adding some of the white wine (to your taste) Simmer another five minutes.

Transfer the drained, cooked spaghetti to your serving dish, add a little olive oil and ground pepper. Toss and then stir in the sauce with the seafood. Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce…and don not forget more wine…to drink, of course!!

Shellfish Bouillabaisse

So what can I do for New Year’s Eve? This tried and true recipe is certain to impress your guests. Yeah, I know that seafood can be expensive, but what the heck? Buy cheaper wine…LOL. As always my changes are noted in red….if you follow the recipe it should feed 8 people…

Shellfish Bouillabaisse (Adapted from Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound chorizo, cut into 1-inch pieces (if you can’t find this use a good Italian sausage)
  • 3 cups julienne onions
  • 2 cups diced potatoes, blanched
  • 1 cup julienned red peppers
  • 1 cup julienned yellow peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • Essence, recipe follows or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes or use 3 cans of chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 pound lobster, split or (I bought four medium lobster tails and split them in half, leaving the shell on)
  • 2 pieces of a good white fish cut into chunks (optional)
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled and tail on (I take the tails off)
  • 1/4 pound mussels or scallops (I used 8 and cut them in half as well)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Few threads of saffron
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • Small loaf of crusty bread

Directions

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, render the sausage for 2 minutes. Remove the sausage and set aside. In a mixing bowl, toss all the vegetables with the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place one third of the vegetables evenly on the bottom of the pot. Place one third of the tomatoes and 2 of the bay leaves on the vegetables. Lay the lobsters, meat side down and the soft-shells on top of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chorizo over the lobster. Layer 1/3 of the vegetables and tomatoes on top of the lobsters and chorizo. Season the shrimp with Essence. Lay the shrimp over the tomatoes. Layer the remaining 1/3 of the vegetables and tomatoes over the shrimp. Layer 1/2 of the chorizo over the shrimp. Lay the mussels or scallops over the tomatoes. Add the fish chunks. Add the wine, saffron and parsley. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Ladle the bouillabaisse in an over-sized platter. Garnish with the aioli, green onions and crusty bread.

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.  Yield about 2/3 cups.

Thai Steamed Mussels

This recipe could be a main course if served with a salad, but if you are having a buffet why not put it on the table and let your guests help themselves. In any case put some nice French bread beside it for dipping! As this is THE season, you will not necessarily receive a new recipe EVERY Monday. In sending these a bit early I hope it helps with your holiday planning!

THAI STEAMED MUSSELS

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 large sweet onions diced
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Thai chili, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks lemon grass sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 lb.PEI mussels bearded and scrubbed OR buy a bag already to go…
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped coriander
  • salt and pepper

Heat vegetable in wok. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté for 3 minutes. Add ginger, chili and lemon grass, crushed coriander and orange zest. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, juices and mussels. Cover and steam over medium heat for 5-7 minutes (more if using frozen mussels). Remove from heat immediately and stir in chopped coriander, salt and pepper.

Notes

Frozen mussels will lengthen steaming time.
Serve with crusty bread…the sauce is great for dipping.