For me, nothing is more decadent or reckless than having snacks for dinner. Oh and I don’t mean a bag of chips type of snack. I mean the block of 1000 day aged Gouda, a thick seared slice of pate and buttery, flakey crackers kind of snack. Add a large pot of steaming mussels and a bottle of wine and your snack for one turns into feasting. That’s just what I did to commemorate the unofficial start to spring.
Mussels are just plain fun to eat with company. Imagine a big communal pot of goodness, paired with wine or beer and good conversation. Is this not a recipe for happiness?
Mussels are relatively inexpensive. I bought two pounds of them for $6 at my local Whole Foods. When preparing them take note:
- Fresh Mussels must be eaten within 24 hours of purchasing them
- Fresh Mussels are alive when you purchase them. If a mussel s open and does not close upon touching it, do not eat it.
- Do you eat mussels whose shells are cracked or broken.
- After steaming, discard any mussels whose shells are closed.
Mussels in a Spicy Curry Broth
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs minced ginger root
2 tbs minced shallots
1 1/2 tbs curry powder
1/8 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup milk – I used whole goat milk
1 1/2 cup water
2 lbs mussels
Bread – this is a great way to use old bread
- Heat the oil in the pan on medium to medium low heat
- Add ginger root, shallots and celery to the oil. Let these begin to caramelize gently about 5 minutes
- Next add the curry, red pepper and salt – mix them with the oil in medium low heat allowing them to bloom. This should take one or two minutes
- Add butter and stir until melted. Next, add the liquid. Bring up the heat up to medium high.
- Once the liquid is simmering, add the mussels and cover the pot. Let cook for 5 minutes.
Once finished – place the pot in the center of the table and enjoy friends. Use the bread to soak up the spicy broth.
The wine pairing:
I drank the Gerard Bertrand Corbieres, a red wine, with this meal. Common practice is to pair white wine with fish, which is a delicately flavored meat. However, the spices I used were very strong and I wanted a wine whose flavor would not be washed away. Oh… and I love French Red Wine.
Corbieres wine is named for the region of France where it is grown. The grapes in this wine are, by law, a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.
This particular wine had a nose that was dark fruit – black plum, black cherry, wet earth, black pepper, excellent structure and medium to medium high acidity. The fruit was a great foil to the spice. The acidity balanced the fat in the broth. Bon Appetite!!
I’d like to share a piece/poem I read over the weekend – commentary of our current tech/startup age.