I’m angry about the news. What news? Well all of it really. Many years ago I stopped buying a newspaper because the press were and are so unscrupulous. I find myself more and more fed up with how things are reported in the media, and also by the content – and so I eschewed the news this Saturday in favour of no news at all…
I searched the telly box for something that has nothing to do with anything…. True to type, I found myself downloading a documentary about the making of an album I love called Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon (the other big love of my life after Rocket (well technically Lennon was before Rocket). It’s always been Lennon, there are some constants in my life; Lennon, Chelsea FC, really great and funny family and friends – funny ha ha or funny perculiar? Both really…..!).
Lennon was nothing if not political but I managed to lose myself for a while there….and then my thoughts drifted to the US presidential elections and all over again, I was distracted.
So, I went off and cooked some beautiful British mussels, plump and righteous as they are, and pimped them, Thai style to fit with my rather healthy ongoing regime.
Another thing that happened is that Rocket got me a ‘fit bit’ thang – which mysteriously seems to know what I’m up to and for which I need to log my food on my lap top and it tells me what to do…..also a strange distraction in that I can’t stop looking at how many steps I’ve taken and what I’ve eaten, it will never last!
Back to the tale of righteous British seafood and thangs, I’m pleased with my mussels and I’m sure that when Rocket finishes his first day back at work after extended time off, he will appreciate his supper. Truly though, a few great ingredients and not much effort at all… give it a try? Before I provide a few tips on how I did it – I’ll slip back in time and share a song with you. Sing it loud – this one is for Donald Trump.
I took a bag of mussels and cleaned them up by pulling off the beards and scraping away the worst of the barnacles with a sharp knife. I discarded those that were open and didn’t close up whilst cleaning, I rinsed them well then soaked them for a short time in a bowl of water. I chose not to use oats to purge them – I’ve got mixed views on that and at the moment, I’m not going with that option.
I put a large pan on to high heat and added the mussels – I splashed in about a cup of boiling water, put the lid on and waited for the water to boil and steam. Once I moved the mussels about a bit and smacked the lid back on in total for 2 /3 minutes (no more as they will overcook) then removed the pan from the heat – all the mussels had opened and looked plump. If any had not opened, I would have discarded those.
I drained the mussels and reserved the liquor. Once the liquor had settled, I poured it into the mussel pan, being careful not to add in the gritty sand at the bottom.
I turned the heat to high and bubbled the liquor furiously until only a little remained – probably ¼ cup. This formed the ozoney base for my broth.
To the liquor I added a can of light coconut milk (full fat is best as it gives a nice cling and richness but if using low fat like me just add a little slaked corn flour before finishing the sauce an this will help it cling to the shells).
I brought the pan to just off the bubble and then threw in a couple of thick slices of ginger, a few thinly slices of shallot, a very finely sliced, peeled stick of lemon grass plus a whole stick, bruised. I also added a thinly sliced chopped red chilli, and an inch worth of ginger cut into match sticks along with a tablespoon of fish sauce then allowed the mixture to bubble for a couple of minutes, very gently.
Next I added 2 teaspoons of Thai red curry paste – not a full potion as if making a red curry, just a cheating way of infusing all the lovely warmth of Thailand.
I continued to bubble the broth, for a further 2 to 3 minutes, would have added a teaspoon of sugar or palm sugar but in my case just a little honey and the juice of half a lime before returning the mussels to the broth for just a minute, to warm through. Before serving I fished out the chunky ginger and lemon grass stick. Finally, I served them with a scatter of fresh coriander leaves.
I have to go now because my ‘fit bit’ says that I have to walk about more …. Tomorrow is another day and tolerance is a wonderful thing so maybe my tasty supper will dilute my distracted mood, in fact I feel better already – It’s good to talk.