My first Summer in New York City has been nothing short of amazing.
There are countless events and concerts, restaurant and bar patios open, parks are filled with picnicers, friends host backyard barbecues, and bicycle rides become a daily activity. There’s only one downside: I live in a railroad-style apartment with two windows and no central air. In short, my kitchen can become a bit of a sauna. As a result, I’ve turned to recipes that are quick and easy.
I love this recipe because it only requires one burner, mussels cook fast meaning less time spent in the kitchen, it’s nearly impossible to under or over cook, and it’s satisfying. It will serve 3 as is, but can be scaled up or down depending on the number of people; if serving as a main course, plan on 1 pound of mussels per person and serve with rice (or crusty bread).
1 stalk lemongrass
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, sliced on a bias
1 orange or green bell pepper, julienned
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tbs. freshly grated ginger
2 tbs. coconut or vegetable oil
2 tbs. green curry paste
2 tbs. fish sauce (optional)
2 tbs. brown sugar
2/3 cup dry saison
1 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 to 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards removed Discard any mussels with broken shells, as well as any that are not tightly closed.
2 limes, halved
1 to 2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
Trim off top of lemongrass, leaving root end intact. Use the flat side of a butcher knife to smash the stalk; slice into 1″ pieces.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and carrot; season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic, lemongrass, ginger, sugar, and curry paste; cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until golden and fragrant.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, and beer to pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and add mussels. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, until the mussels open, about 6 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
Add juice of 2 limes. Top with fresh, hand-torn cilantro and sliced serrano peppers. Serve with a light, effervescent beer, such as a saison.