I adore mussels and how easy they are to prepare, and impress. It is truly a dish to enjoy on an evening in, or when you entertain friends. This is a recipe I created based on a visit to The Beaufort Grocery, in Beaufort, NC. On a visit over 10 years ago, I ordered the special that night and had a dish “similar” to this one. I say similar because it was based only on the limited description from the specials board and the waiter, and what my taste buds could recall. I remember I made some tasting notes on a cocktail napkin. We returned home and the taste and my notes guided me to create this recipe.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. If you want to try another more traditional version of steamed mussels, check out my post and recipe for French Mussels: https://sassystable.com/french-mussels/
Mussels in a broth of Smoked Tomatoes and Coconut MilkCourse: Appetizers, Celebration Menu, Main Dish, Recipe, Seafood
The broth of fire-roasted tomatoes and the coconut milk makes a luscious combination and compliments the sweet, tender mussels.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 small Vidalia (sweet) onion,, chopped
1 cup white wine*
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (1-2 limes depending on size, and juiciness)
1-14.5oz. can Fire Roasted (smoked) tomatoes
1-2 Tablespoons honey, to taste (optional)
1-13.5oz. can coconut milk
2 pounds fresh mussels, debearded
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or deep sauté pan** over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the white wine, and simmer for a few minutes.
- Add smoked paprika, salt, pepper, lime juice, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add the honey to taste (the honey cuts the acidity of the tomatoes-this is optional and is to be determined by your taste).
- Simmer to slightly reduce to a nice sauce consistency, 8-10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and thyme sprigs and continue to simmer, about 5 more minutes. Taste again to adjust seasonings.
- Place the mussels in the pan on top of the sauce. Cover with lid and let cook for about 5 minutes. Check to ensure the mussels have had time to heat and open. If necessary, toss and cover for 1-2 minutes more. Don’t over cook; discard any closed mussels (you don’t want to eat any that don’t open up).
- Serve in bowls with your favorite crusty bread, because you will want to sop up all the goodness. A nice, light mixed green salad goes well with the mussels, and dinner is served.
- *White wine – I usually use what I have on hand – a Pinot Grigio, Vihno Verde, or Chenin Blanc – something dry and crisp and something you would like to drink (but nothing too sweet). Don’t ever buy wine labeled “cooking wine” as they tend not to be very good, and are of very low quality. I try to keep an inexpensive ($5-$7) bottle of white in the refrigerator for recipes….but I’ve also been known to drink it too.
- **Make sure you chose a pot which has a good lid. You have to cover the mussels in order for them to steam open and cook.
- Why do salt, pepper and honey say “to taste”? Good cooking is about layering seasoning. And how do you know if there is enough without tasting. Your palate and mine taste things differently – for instance, you may not need or want to add any honey to the tomatoes. I may not either, just depends on the acidity of the tomatoes. Taste along the way, and your cooking will improve. Speaking of tomatoes, you could use regular non-fire roasted, but the flavor won’t be as interesting.