I’m a really big fan of mussels. I like their natural sweetness, how they plump up as they absorb the sauce and can take on so much flavor. I even like the process of digging into each shell, it’s like digging for little treasures. And then there is the mandatory chunk of bread, ready to soak up all that’s left behind. It’s really hard for me to not order them w1hen I see them on restaurant menus. They are just such a perfect appetizer! [I love the ones at B&G Oysters, LTK and Sweet Basil (<—ooh, this reminds me, I have the SB cookbook, maybe they have a mussels recipe there…gotta check asap!]
So it’s surprising that I’ve cooked them only a handful of times at home. They turned out okay but still nothing compared to the mussels I love at restaurants. Well, I’m happy to say, I finally got it right!!
I carefully read Lizzy’s critique of her own recipe and made a few tiny adjustments. For 5lbs of mussels (the ones I got at Whole Foods were perfectly clean, meaning sans beards <—the most annoying part of cooking mussels) I used 1.5 cups of regular chicken broth instead of Thai coconut curry broth but added 1 cup of lite coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process, just enough to let it heat through (oh and diced tomatoes work great here – the more the merrier I say!). I also tasted the sauce at the end and adjusted for sourness, heat, etc* before serving.
*I used to be so married to recipes, and while I generally still follow them, I definitely make sure to taste my food throughout the process and adjust accordingly. We all have different tastes and also the strength of our spices, their age and the conditions they are stored in affect the final taste. So if the recipe says 2T, you may need some slight adjustments to make it just perfect.
This was perfection at the end. Nice amount of heat, a bit of acid from the lime juice and slightly creamy from the coconut milk. The arugula added a bit of peppery bite and the tomatoes added some freshness. I would have gladly paid money for this dish at a restaurant but I’d rather just make it in the comforts of my own home again!
Have you ever cooked mussels at home? If so, do you have a favorite mussels recipe?
Also, what should I do with the rest of my lite coconut milk?? I’m totally out of ideas!
Last but not least, don’t forget to enter my popchips giveaway... and if you really love me, please “like” my buffalo chicken fingers picture here (you have to “like” popchips first, sorry!). I’m really close to advancing to the next round during which I will get to make my recipe for a crowd of Bostonians for a real taste-off. That would be so fun. Help me get there!!