Monday, January 19, 2009

Thai Influenced Shellfish

First off I must say this was a very very entertaining night. Second I'm sorry for all the shitty pictures, but since there was a lot of alcohol consumed during the prep, the composing of the meal and the consumption. I am plaesently surprised on how well everything came together.

What you have to your left is a dish inspired out of a cookbook called Wok Works. I was looking through it one day and saw mussels cooked in coconut milk, but it looked a little plain so i thought I'd put my spin on it. So the dish you have in front of you is mussels, bay scallops and shrimp cooked in a coconut broth infused with lemongrass, ginger and a homeade shrimp stock....oh and there's some chicken breasts in there also. So on for the recipe.......

2 cups Shrimp Stock (Recipe Follows later)
3/4 # Shell on Shrimp (Shelled and devained, w/ shells kept to make stock)
3/4# Bay Scallops
1# Mussels
2 Small Potatoes, Diced
1 Mango, Diced
Juice and Zest from 2 Limes
2 Cans coconut milk
2 Serrano Peppers, Finely diced
1 Lemongrass stalk, beaten with the back of a knife
1/4 Cup chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup chopped Basil
1/8 Cup chopped Mint
1 T grated Ginger
1/4 Cup finely sliced Scallions


1/4 Stalk of Lemongrass, smashed w/ back of knife
Rind of 1/2 Blood Orange (or any small orange)
1/2 Small Onion
Shells from Shrimp for the stew

First I started by making a stock using the shells from my shrimp....... It's very simple. First saute the onion in a little butter and after they cook a bit and start to carmelize add the shrimp bodies and cook until orange. You can really get the true sweet smell of the shrimp. Then add the lemongrass and the orange rind and fill with water a 1/4 inch above the bodies. Bring to a boil then simmer and skim to get any gunk off the top. Cook until the liquid is very flavorful (about an hour). Then strain through a fine mesh sieve or chinnoise. Put back on fire and reduce until there is about a pint of liquid left....and there you go a nice flavorful stock ready in about an hour and a half.

Now for the rest of the dish. This is fun and easy to do with friends or famil cause like I did you can get them to help out a little and make them earn their dinner. first things first is you want to infuse the cooconut milk with the lemongrass, ginger, and serrano. So put both cans of coconut milk along with 2 cans of water, the lemongrass stalk, grated ginger, and serrano into a medium sized pot and bring to a simmer. while the soup base is infusing you and/or your friends can start dicing all the garnishes. When the coocnut milk starts to taste like lemon and ginger then you can start to add the seafood. Put the shrimp in first, the the scallops, and finish with the mussels. The beauty of this dish is that the fat from the coconut keeps the seafood from becoming tough and the flavor of the milk really gets into the meat. When the mussels have opened everything is done. To plate just spoon everything in a bowl and top with mango, tomato and the herbs. It's great by itself or as we did it on top of some jasmin rice. Enjoy!