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PUT THE LIME IN THE COCONUT MUSSELS – THAI-INSPRIED

Ingredients

4-4 ½- pounds mussels, beards removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 large cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and minced

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeds included)

1 Thai chili, finely chopped

1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 3, 5-6” pieces and smashed with a meat tenderizer until the stalk is broken and the inner layers are visible (this allows flavor to escape into the sauce)

¼-pound cured (cooked) chorizo sausage, chopped

¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1, 12-ounce beer (your favorite flavor)

1, 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

Zest and juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons corn starch

2 scallions, chopped

⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)

1 French baguette, cut into ½” thick rounds, lightly brushed with olive oil and toasted

Instructions

Soak the mussels in a large bowl of cold water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Gently scrub the mussels to remove any debris and change the water until it is mostly clear.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cook the garlic, ginger, chilis, and lemon grass until soft and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.  Add the chorizo and cook 2 minutes more until oils begin to release.  Add the coconut, salt, and black pepper and cook 2-3 minutes more until the coconut begins to brown and get toasty.

Drain the mussels and add them to the pan.  Pour the beer over them and cover the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes and toss the mussels in the pan.  Cover again and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes until all of the mussels are opened.  Total cook time will depend on the size of the mussels.  Discard any mussels that do not open.

Remove the mussels from the pan with a spider or slotted spoon to serving bowl or deep platter.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the coconut milk, zest, and lime juice to the pan and bring to a boil.  Whisk in the cornstarch and let boil until the sauce is reduced by about one third and coats the back of a spoon.  Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Pour the sauce over the mussels

Serve with toasted bread on the side for dipping in that YUMMY broth.  Also delicious over pasta or rice!

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