Mussels in Ginger Coconut Milk Broth

by Giff on January 20, 2014


(serves 2 people)

1 lb mussels
1 small onion, thinly sliced then roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 TSP tomato paste
1 can of coconut milk
1 fresh hot pepper (or dried hot chili pepper flakes)
1/2 cup of dry vermouth or white wine
1/2 cup water
large bunch of cilantro, loosely chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Clean and de-beard your mussels under cold water. Discard any that are open or have broken shells. If you bought wild mussels, soak them in cold fresh water for 20 minutes before cooking.

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil on medium-low heat. Saute the onions, garlic, ginger and tomato paste, stirring regularly so that the garlic does not burn. Add the coconut milk, vermouth, and water. Add in a few slices of your hot pepper (I used 4 thin slices of a jalapeno, but if you want it really hot, add more. If you use dried pepper flakes, start with just a pinch). Add a pinch of salt and the same of freshly ground pepper.

Simmer for 15 minutes so that the flavors blend. Add a bit more water if it starts to thicken too much.

Taste for salt and pepper, but leave it just slightly under-salted.

Stir in the mussels and cilantro, cover and simmer until all the mussels are open.

Serve in a bowl with lots of the broth and good bread on the side.

p.s. fun tip for eating mussels: use an empty shell as your utensil to pinch the meat out of the other shells.


Littleneck Clam and Watercress Soup

by Giff on November 3, 2013


This is a riff off of my grandmother’s oyster stew recipe, which I’ve adapted for clams and lightened up a bit. Lisl loved it. Great with a crisp white wine.

24 littleneck clams
1 onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
watercress, loosely chopped
2 tb of butter
1 cup of light cream
2 cups of whole milk
dry white wine
worcestershire sauce

Rinse the clams. Heat up a soup pot, place the clams in the pot on a high flame, and pour in a bit of white wine to create steam. Cover and cook for a few minutes — just long enough for the clams to open. If most are open, turn off the heat and keep covered for another minute or so for the rest to fully open.


Remove the clams from their shells and chop up.

Save the brine-y liquid from the soup pot and put to the side.

Rinse the soup pot. Put back on the stove on medium-low heat. Melt the butter and add the diced onion and minced garlic, stirring to make sure they do not brown. When the onion is translucent, add the celery and cook until the celery softens.

Add the cream, milk, a cup of wine, half a cup of the reserve liquid from steaming the clams, and a cup of water. Add the clams. Turn the heat down to low and simmer very lightly so that the cream does not curdle.

Add 4 drops of worcestershire sauce (or to taste) and a pinch of fresh pepper. After 15 minutes, taste. If you want more of that briney flavor from the clams, add more of the reserve steaming liquid (I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups).

Serve with a bunch of the chopped watercress, and a nice baguette.


p.s. oh it’s nice to sneak a moment to food blog again…

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