My favorite place to buy seafood is Costco. I know it sounds corporate, but it really is a frugal gal’s best friend. (Although I recently went to an Asian market, where I opened a random cooler to find all these HUGE prawns from the coast for $5 per pound … so just take what you can get.)
I always go to Costco when I know I need good fish, because it is exactly half as much as Whole Foods for comparable product. Recently, I went for 2 lbs. of mussels. Instead, I left with 5 pounds of fresh mussels for $10. I know they were fresh because only a couple didn’t open after cooking (dead).
After soaking them in water sprinkled with a little flour (so they will spit out the grit), these beauties performed beautifully on one pretty weekend. First, I made the following coconut curry dish with half. Next, I made them in a simple garlic-thyme-white wine broth. Each played well with the mussels’ delicate flavor.
This recipe made a wonderful Saturday lunch with crusty Costco bread and a glass of crisp wine.
From Simply Recipes.
Coconut Curry Mussels
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 2 lbs mussels, cleaned and debearded (pull those little hairs on the side out!)
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Thai chili, finely chopped (or pinch chili flakes)
- 3 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons green curry paste (which has kaffir lime leaves in it, yum!)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 fl. oz.)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped into four pieces and smashed
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
Place mussels in a bowl of cold water with a sprinkling of flour, so the mussels will spit out any sand or mud. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat. Debeard the mussels, pulling out their byssal threads (aka: their “beards”) and place them in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and stir for a few minutes until they become soft and slightly translucent. Add the chilies, ginger, and curry paste and stir for a minute until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth and reduce by half. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemongrass and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, reduce heat to medium and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the mussels open. Discard any that are closed as these were dead before cooking. Spoon mussels into bowls and pour over broth. Garnish with chopped cilantro and juice from lime wedges.
You are guaranteed to love this – it’s so light and fresh, you feel full but not stuffed. I would say it’s rather elegant, too, if you have someone to impress…
Enjoy, friends! xoxo