Dinner 3.30.15

I realize the "no meat Monday" is now a trend. I have always said, "I could do without meat". Well that is not completely true. I mean let's be honest, I am from the South, and meat is a staple in our diet. However, fish and shellfish have so many wonderful health benefits and we as Americans do not have enough of it in our diets (yes I am throwing facts at you but they are backed by the research done in my Nutrition class). With that said, my husband and I have latched onto this "no meat Monday" trend and have been inspired to see how it goes. Two weeks in a row and this is what I came up with last night:

Round one:

Mussels in Coconut Curry

serves 4, cut recipe in half for 2 people

  • 2 pounds of mussels, placed in cold water for 10 minutes to release dirt/sand, cleaned, beards removed. Discard any that are open and cannot be closed and remain closed
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1-2 Thai chili diced, seeds intact if you want the heat
  • 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder (I use a mild yellow curry powder)
  • 1 can coconut milk (I like Aroy-D brand)
  • 1/2 cup shrimp stock (I made my own and keep frozen in containers-instructions to follow)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • lime wedges
  • chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt for seasoning (or pink Himalayan if you have it)

  • Heat oil in a large skillet with straight sides (I used my dutch oven) over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and soft but not browned. Stir occasionally.

  • Add the chili(s), ginger, and curry powder. Stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp stock and reduce the mixture by half (cook down until there is less liquid in the pot than you began with). Add the coconut milk, a pinch of salt, and Kaffir leaves if using. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the drained mussels to the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 6 minutes so the mussels can open. Discard any unopened ones after about 7-8 minutes.
  • Spoon delicious mussels into a large bowl and don't forget to drizzle the flavorful coconut curry sauce over the top. Garnish with cilantro (if you like cilantro-can use flat leaf parsley as alternative) and lime wedges. *I had a half loaf of rosemary sea salt bread leftover from Sunday brunch that I smothered with herb butter and toasted in the oven. We soaked up our curry sauce with the bread. Highly recommend this with any mussel dish!

Shrimp Stock Simple as this: Take the shells off of 1.5 lbs of shrimp. Put the shells along with 3 carrots, cut into chunks; 3 celery stalks, cut into chunks; 1 yellow onion, cut into chunks; 3 garlic cloves sliced; all into a stock pot with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Saute all it on medium high for about 12 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and 1/3 cut of tomato paste, 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning; 1 tablespoon black peppercorns; 1 tablespoons kosher salt; 1 tablespoon smoked paparika; and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain all of the solids off and cool your stock in containers. Once cool, place in freezer to use in future recipes. Don't buy when you can make your own.

Brandie Wininger

Chef Owner of Nosh, LLC in St Louis.  Catering to corporate offices, private events, and private group cooking classes.  We use only the freshest ingredients and everything is made from scratch.  We pride ourselves in thinking outside of the typical lunch or dinner menu.