And there's other days when it takes all my energy just to get out of bed and brush my teeth:
When it's the latter, I like to cook simple recipes that require minimal effort. Like the Spicy Thai Red Curry Mussels dish I made last week. Just throw a couple of things in a pot and slice up some crusty peasant bread. 20 minutes tops and you're good to go. And do these taste good? You bet your sweet bippy they do!
Spicy Thai Red Curry Mussels
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 big shallot, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, bruised and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger (I use a microplane)
1 small Thai Bird chile, seeded and minced
1 (13.5 oz.) can of unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste (nam pla)
2 lbs. fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
zest of 1 small lemon
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves (stems removed)
1 loaf of crusty peasant bread or a baguette
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chile. Cook until the ingredients become soft, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and red curry paste. Stir well, you want to make sure that red curry paste mixes into the coconut milk.
3. Bring to a boil, then add in your mussels. Cover. Steam for about 5 minutes or until mussels are opened. I usually give it one good stir during this time so that the top mussels get to the bottom and vice versa.
4. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove mussels from pot. Place in a bowl to the side. Throw away any mussels that don't open.
5. Add your zest, lemon juice and cilantro leaves. Let it simmer for a minute or two.
6. Place your mussels in two shallow bowls and ladle the spicy curry broth over it. Serve hot and with several slices of crusty bread for dipping.
* Don't know how to clean and de-beard mussels? Click here for an easy how-to: How to clean and de-beard mussels
* If you'd like a broth that's a bit on the sweeter side, you can add a tablespoon of white or brown sugar.