Monday, January 4, 2010

Mussels Congolaise

This is a dish I have learned from Dirty Apron's seafood class. Before this class, I had a series of bad experiences working with clam and mussels, and I tend to shy away from cooking these. This class has helped me overcome my fear and given me a lot of good tip preparing seafood at home. At home, I replace mussels with clams and zest some ginger into the sauce. I have a coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices. This recipe below came directly from the class. BTW, I am going to their vegetarian cooking class this Saturday. Feel free to join me, I don't think they have filled up yet.

  • 1 lb Mussels or clams
  • ¼ Red Onion (julienne)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 250ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 tbsp Chipotle Puree
  • ½ Lemon (juice)
  • ½ Lime (juice)
  • ½ tbsp Fennel Seed (ground)
  • ½ tbsp Coriander Seed (ground)
  • ½ tbsp Black Pepper Corns (ground)
  • ½ tbsp Toasted Cumin Seed
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro Leaves
  • Vegetable oil & Salt

1. Clean the mussels and remove the "beard".
2. Heat a saucepot on medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil.
3. Sauté the red onion, garlic, and all the ground spices for about a minute
4. Add mussels, coconut milk, roma tomatoes, lemon, and lime juice to the pot. Salt.
5. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer the mussels until they have opened.
6. Decorate with fresh cilantro. Serve!

Easy eh? Serve it with some nice french toast or doughy bread to soak up the juice. For wine paring, I would pair the mussels with an Alsace Pinot Gris which has enough texture full enough to stand up to the creamy buttery texture of mussels. I happened to have tasted a bottle of Pierre Sparr Mambourg Pinot Gris Grand Cru 2002. This wine is available in BC, but I don't remember which cellar has it. For clam, I would choose a more delicate white one and ideally one that is off-dry, such as Alsace Pinot Blanc or if you are adventurous, an Italian Soave Classico.

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