On this rainy day, I have nothing to do but contemplate the female sexuality. I am trapped in a room with no kitchen and only Sleeping Beauty and Prince Tristan and a collection of lusty poems from my English class.
Yet in the end, my thoughts return to food.
The stiff, proud stalk of an asparagus,
the erotically-shaped, briny muscle hidden inside the hard shell of an oyster,
the creamy texture of an avocado coating the tongue.
Food is sensual.
This deliciously inviting mussel resembles another muscle...no?
Lemongrass Green Mussels
2 pounds green-lipped mussels
1 can fish stock or clam stock
2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass
1 lime (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or piece of rock sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 inch nub of fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 clove garlic
3 stalks green onion (only green part)
1 serrano pepper
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
I love green-lipped mussels. They're so much meatier and tastier than the smaller P.E.I. mussels. Every time I see them at Whole Foods, I buy every last green-lipped mussel they have. This is my favorite way of preparing them. The Thai-inspired broth is deliciously lemony and fresh with a spicy heat from the serrano pepper.
1. Cut the stalk of lemongrass into pieces, dice the shallot, zest and juice the lime, and cut ginger into large slices. Combine with fish stock, water, rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Bring to boil and reduce by a third.
2. While the broth is reducing, clean and de-beard the mussels.
3. Strain the reduce broth through a sieve and reserve.
4. In a large pot, saute minced garlic, sliced serrano pepper, and grated ginger in the sesame oil. Add the mussels to the pot with some salt. Transfer some of the broth to the pot with the mussels. Add enough to cover the mussels only halfway. Cover and let the mussels cook until they open.
5. Plate in a shallow bowl along with some broth and enjoy with someone you love.