Letter from America #2


Nessa loves her Moules. There’s not much more needs to be said. We visited France last Easter with her Senior French students and she was twitchy until she had her Moules Frites fix. And as for the La Salle Bakery she mentions, it is part of my dream, fantasy that they will open within walking distance of my house here in Lacken (ok – not likely) or that when we win the lottery, I buy an apartment over the bakery and travel over and back (on my own, come on, this is a fantasy) whenever the mood takes me.

5f801f8421734f258aad303a9a20abb4But back to the Moules…..

From Nessa:

Thai Moules / Mussels

My morning ritual just about every day during the summer is to walk down to La Salle Bakery at the end of my street and buy a coffee.  La Salle Bakery is a local family owned and run bakery that actually won the award of Bakery of the Year in the United States in 2011.  I’m not a huge desert fan but I can vouch for their bread….. the best one you will find out side of France.  One of the bakers there actually trained at a bakery in Paris and brought back live yeast for the bakery that they still use today.  My family dream about La Salle Bakery all the way in Ireland.

lasalle                      baguette

This morning I was chatting to Gianni, son of the owner. When I told him that I start back at school tomorrow, he immediately put his hands in the air (à l’italian!) and said wait a minute.  He then went and grabbed a lovely crispy fresh baguette and handed it to me.  His words…’hopefully this can make your last day of vacation special’. Now there’s a man who knows me well! On my walk home, tightly protecting the baguette from Kipper(my big fluffy baguette loving dog) I day dreamed of mussels.

So I have a subscription to Bon Appetit.  Every month I get so excited when I open my mail box and see its delicious cover popping out over my bills.  One of my rules is that I have to try at least one recipe from each issue.  This month I had eyed the Red Curry Mussels.  Normally I make Thai Moules, or Moules à la Normade, mussels that I know I love.  But today, with my happy baguette in hand, I decided it was time to try the new recipe. I made it just about verbatim (I don’t measure things so its as close my internal weighing scales allows.  Maybe this is why I’m not a good baker!) And it was just ok.  So I’ll share the recipe and see what you think.

Red Curry Mussels

 I don’t want you to be disappointed as I was tonight so I think you should really try my Thai Moules. I made this dish…well the original version…..from a recipe I found in a cook book at home in Ireland(Linda, I need your help again….a blond lady with the perfect family).  I really can’t remember the recipe at all and each time I make it I wonder what I put in it last time!

Here are things I always put in:

1 finely chopped shallot, 2 inches fresh ginger grated, 1 hot hot hot red chile pepper, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 can coconut milk, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt and pepper, 2 or 3 lbs mussels, 2 juicy limes, chopped cilantro, 1 heavenly baguette

Sauté the shallot, ginger, hot hot hot pepper in some vegetable oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and do that deglaze thing for a minute or two.  Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar and salt and pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the mussels, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook until the mussels have opened.  Squeeze in the lime juice and stir in the cilantro and gently stir well.

thai moules2

Serve with that baguette…if it has lasted to this stage of the day!



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