So here I am, plugging away in the Caribbean…and don’t I just have the biggest hankering for French food?
Why the cravings? Well, because French food delicious. Duh. The problem? It’s also laden with cream, butter and all those things that we love to eat all winter that makes our pants tight. Not so much summer food, so my desire to make French Onion Soup seems a little…misplaced (Tomato and Lettuce have both noted at my weird categorization of food as seasonal, but whatever…).
I know just the reason(s), too, for my strong desire for all things French. First, two weeks ago at work we had the most blown out Bastille Day party. Quiches, galettes, fondue, croissants, bread, cheese, cheese, cheese, wine and crepes- all so outstandingly good. So there’s that. Second, I mentioned that I’m part of a culinary book club, and this month’s book is My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Flipping through page after page of French gloriousness has made me want to chuck the plan and just make French food forever. After some research, I found a happy compromise.
Martinique. Martinique is an island in the Lesser Antilles part of the Caribbean, and an overseas region of France and as such, its cuisine blends a little of France with a little Creole with a little islands.
Sounds pretty good to me.
Taking all of the above into account, I decided on mussels. French but not heavy. A little fancy, but also easy. Plus, served with bread. BREAD. My heart.
In order to tie in the Creole bit, I again repurposed the base of the Belizean Shrimp Creole and used that spicy sauce as the base in which to steam the mussels for something a little different than butter, wine and garlic, or Thai Coconut Curry.
I think that some crumbled Andouille would also be so so good in the base, but today I went without. Just, food for thought.
- 1-2 pound mussels
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 TB fresh basil, ribboned
- 2 TB fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp chili pepper
- 1/2 tsp Greek oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 TB coconut milk
- salt and pepper
- Crusty French bread, to serve
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onions and garlic and spices. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine, and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any bits. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until some of the liquid has been reduced.
- Once the liquid has reduced, add the mussels and cover and let cook about 5-7 minutes until the mussels are all cooked and open (this shouldn't take long). Discard the unopened mussels. Stir in the coconut milk and add the basil and parsley at the end, right before you serve it. With bread.
- Throw in some andouille for some extra oomph.
One year ago: Veal Paprikas
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