Tag Archives: recipes

thai night: coconut-curry mussels and peanut rice noodle salad

When I was home over winter break my mom asked me to help her make a nice gluten free meal for our cousins who were coming over for dinner (one of them has celiac).

Pretty table setting

Cheese plate

We looked at food blogs and magazines for inspiration before finally landing on an article in Food Network Magazine which provided us with the recipes for this delicious dinner.

I really love mussels, and almost always order them if they’re on the menu at a restaurant, but I don’t make them at home very often for no reason at all. In fact, I am going to start making them more often because they are inexpensive, incredibly quick and easy to make, and impressive to boot!

The peanut noodle salad is also very yummy. The rice noodles aren’t too filling, the peanut sauce is savory and a little salty, and the veggies give a nice crunch. It’s also a nice compliment to the spicy mussels.

Coconut-Curry Mussels

Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
  • 1/4 cup green curry paste (use less if you don’t want it very spicy)
  • 2 15-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 4 limes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Crusty bread, for serving (optional but DO IT)

Directions:

Trim the lemongrass, leaving 6 inches at the root end; discard the tops. Smash the stalks with the flat side of a knife and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Mise en place: all ingredients prepped and ready to go!

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in each of 2 large pots over medium-high heat. Add 1 sliced onion to each and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add half each of the garlic, lemongrass, ginger and curry paste to each pot and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 can coconut milk, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1/4 cup water to each pot and bring to a simmer. Divide the mussels between the pots; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mussels open, about 8 minutes. (Discard any that do not open.) Add the juice of 2 limes to each pot, then add the lime halves. Stir 1/2 cup cilantro into each. Serve with bread, if desired.

Peanut Rice Noodle Salad

Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (use tamari if you need it to be GF)
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions:

Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the noodles soak until tender, about 10 minutes; drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Whisk the lime juice, soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar and vegetable oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour the dressing over the noodles. Add the bell pepper, scallions, basil, cilantro and mint and toss to combine. Season with salt and sprinkle with the peanuts.

Final product!

even Zara had a good time 🙂

Bon appetit!

 

 

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rhubarb compote

One glorious Saturday morning my flatmates and I stumbled upon the Eveleigh markets outside of Carriage Works near the University of Sydney. All I can say is WOW. Tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, organic meats, bread, sweets, fresh dips and FREE SAMPLES of everything. And I mean everything. I hadn’t planned on eating lunch at the market, but by the time we left we were stuffed! It made us all nostalgic for our wonderful Ithaca farmers market with its similar wooden overhang, but (sorry Ithaca), this one definitely takes the cake.

fresh flowers

pretty labels, right?

veggies straight from the farm

I decided to buy some rhubarb as it has just started popping up everywhere and looked nice and fresh. Berries are way too expensive in Sydney so I knew I wouldn’t be making my usual strawberry rhubarb anything. I decided to make some rhubarb compote, versatile enough to top my yogurt in the mornings and my vanilla ice cream/apple crisp/you-name-it in the evenings.

Rhubarb Compote

6 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup apple juice or orange juice (i used apple)
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey (i used brown sugar)

  1. In a saucepan, bring apple juice to a boil.
  2. Add rhubarb and brown sugar and stir until sugar is melted and mixture is combined.
  3. Cook mixture slowly for about 8-10 minutes until the rhubarb has started to break down. Remove from heat. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if desired.
  4. Cool compote completely; mixture will thicken as it cools. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

too steamy for a cooking shot

As the market started to come to a close, many of the vendors start to slash prices in order to get rid of whatever was leftover. I walked away very happy with a $5 bag filled to the brim with apples and pears. Turns out one of my flatmates had also bought one! I have officially declared an “apple challenge” at my apartment. We have been going apple crazy and you will get to see some of what we have been making soon. Stay posted!Cheers,
E