Thai Mussels with basil and coconut milk

30 January 2015
Comments: 0
30 January 2015, Comments: 0

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THE FOOD

Thai Mussels with basil and coconut milk

I love cooking mussels – particularly with interesting sauces. The best part is having some nice fresh-baked french bread to soak up every last yummy drop. For folks who need gluten-free options, I really like the Udi’s brand frozen gluten-free french baguettes. You just pop them in the oven for a few minutes and they turn out all lovely and crisp on the outside but soft on the inside, so they actually absorb sauces nicely – just like normal french bread.

I wanted to try a mussels recipe using coconut milk and found this recipe online About.com

Another great recipe for mussels is from Cilantros in Calgary. I was really pleased to find a copy of the recipe online at Epicurios . You might also like to check it out as well.

THE WINE

Torres Vina Esmeralda

Catalunya, Spain
$15.40 including GST and Bottle Deposit
13.5% ABV

The white blend is 85% Mosacatel de Alejandría and 15% Gewürztraminer. It is very aromatic with nice acidity. It is slightly off-dry with a touch of “frizzante” – which means it is slightly effervescent. The touch of sweetness balances out the spiciness of the sauce and the touch of frizzante refreshes the palette from the creaminess of the sauce.

The Torres website notes: “This wine takes its name from the emerald colour of the Mediterranean, but I think it should also be for the lovely fresh grassy notes.

THE MUSIC

Above & Beyond

“Acoustic” and “We Are All We Need”

I recently came across Above & Beyond – an English electronic dance group. I had not been familiar with their dance and trance music – although I understand they are really popular in that world. The first I had heard of them was when they released Above & Beyond “Acoustic” – a full album of their tracks all stripped back. I find them very chill – great for a relaxing afternoon of enjoying a glass of wine and preparing a great meal. I particularly like the vocals by Zoe Johnston and Alex Vargas.

I quite enjoyed reading the liner notes explaining that, “The idea for this album came out of thin air; literally. There we were, in a hot air balloon 4,000 feet above the English countryside, performing three of our best-loved songs with nothing but acoustic guitars and a tiny keyboard, to a select audience of twelve.” How’s that for Above & Beyond?

I also enjoy their newest album released recently this month. It is called “We Are All We Need” and includes some of the same laid back chill acoustic tracks, but also some more up beat trance style tracks.

Thai Mussels with basil and coconut milk
Serves 2
This Thai mussel recipe makes an incredible appetizer, or add a salad and enjoy as the main course. Fresh mussels are steamed in white wine, then briefly simmered in a basil and coconut sauce. The dish is finished off with a sprinkling of fresh red chillies, coriander, and more basil for a seafood dish that is easy to make but tastes truly gourmet! Excellent with your favorite wine. This recipe is from About.com
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
28 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
28 min
MUSSELS
  1. • 1 lb fresh mussels (serves 2 as a large appetizer or main entree)
  2. • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), grated
  3. • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  4. • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. • 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into thin strips with scissors (available frozen at Asian stores)
  6. • 1/3 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
  7. • a handful of basil and coriander leaves for garnish (tear basil into smaller pieces if large)
  8. • optional: 1/2 red chilli, finely sliced
BASIL-COCONUT SAUCE
  1. • 1 cup coconut milk
  2. • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  3. • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
  4. • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  5. • 1 tsp. shrimp paste (if unavailable, substitute 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce)
  6. • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  7. • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  8. • optional: 1/2 red chili, minced, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
Instructions
  1. 1. Clean and rinse the mussels under cool to cold water. Soak in cold water and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. 2. To make the sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well. Taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty for your taste, add a little more lime juice. Add more chili for a spicier sauce. Set aside.
  3. 3. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil to a wok or a large frying pan. Add the galangal (or ginger), shallots, garlic and kaffir lime leaf strips. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat, until shallots are cooked.
  4. 4. Add the white wine to the wok/frying pan. Now add the drained mussels, stirring well. Bring to a boil.
  5. 5. Reduce heat to simmer (medium-low). Cover with lid and allow to "steam" cook in this way for 2-3 minutes.
  6. 6. Take off the lid and stir gently. If most of the mussels have opened, they are ready to eat. Discard the ones that haven't opened. (If there are quite a lot that still haven't opened, try replacing the lid and allowing them to cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.) Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become tough.
  7. 7. Reduce heat to low. Remove lid and add the basil-coconut sauce. Stir gently. As soon as the sauce is warm, this dish is ready (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  8. 8. To serve, slide mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mounding them into a pile. Sprinkle with red chili (if using), basil leaves, and fresh coriander. If desired, serve with a fresh French loaf, or garlic toast to soak up the juices. Enjoy with a bottle of nice wine and a loved one!
Sherbrooke Liquor http://sherbrookeliquor.com/

Hi – My name is David Middleton. I work at Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, Alberta and I’m passionate about sharing good food, wine and music. My Friday afternoon ritual is the highlight of my week! Here’s how it goes: • pick out a cool recipe • pair with a nice bottle of wine • mix some new music – I make a lot of playlists in iTunes! • set out my mise en place and start cookin’ Hope you enjoy!

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