Coconut Lime Mussels

Coconut Lime MusselsI only started eating mussels in the past few years, and have become a total sucker for them. They are easy to prepare, delicious, and a nice (affordable!) departure from typical fish dishes on nights we want seafood. My go-to mussel dish is on the heavier side, served with pasta and a rich, spicy sauce. With the weather being so warm, I decided to try a lighter approach to mussels!

Using this recipe as a point of inspiration, I set about whipping up some Coconut Lime Mussels!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh Mussels
  • 1 small piece of fresh Ginger, grated
  • 2 Shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, pressed
  • Zest from 3 Limes
  • Olive Oil
  • ¾ cup White Wine
  • Fresh Basil (and Cilantro if desired), torn for garnish

Coconut Sauce:

  • 2 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce

Step One:  Clean the mussels in cold water (more on cleaning mussels in this post).

Cleaning Mussels

Step Two: Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and blend well (I used my immersion blender, but a food processor would work well also). Set sauce aside.

Step Three: Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add the grated ginger, shallots, garlic, and lime zest, and sauté over medium high heat for 3 minutes.

Ginger Shallots Lime

Step Four: Add the white wine and mussels to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce heat to simmer, cover with a lid, and allow to steam for another 3 minutes (or until all mussels have opened).

Mussels in White Wine

Step Five: Remove lid and add the sauce to the mussels, stirring well. Remove from heat, top with torn basil leaves, and serve immediately.

Finished Product

The coconut and lime make this dish feel light and summery. I loved the flavor the sauce added to the mussels; I would recommend serving with a baguette to sop up the excess sauce, because it was too good to let go to waste!

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

Baked Lemon Dill Tilapia

Tilapia is a wonderfully versatile fish – the flavor is mild enough that the taste can be drastically altered depending on how it is prepared.  Usually when I cook tilapia, I like to make it on the stove… but when the days get hot and humid, standing over a hot stove is the LAST thing I want to do! So today I thought I would share a light, easy recipe for baked tilapia! The dill and lemon flavors are fresh and crisp, making this dish perfect for warm weather dining. And best of all? This dish can be prepared in under 25 minutes!

Baked Lemon Dill Tilapia

  • Fresh Tilapia Fillets
  • 1/2 stick of Butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup chopped Dill
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tilapia fillets in a glass baking dish.

Tilapia in Pan
Step Two
Juice one lemon, and set the juice aside. Cut the other lemon into thin slices.

Sliced Lemons

Step Three
Season the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the fillets with the cubes of butter.

Seasoned Tilapia

Step Four
Pour the reserved lemon juice over the tilapia, then coat with the chopped dill.

Tilapia with Butter and Dill
Step Five
Arrange the lemon slices over the fillets and bake for 12 – 15 minutes (until the fish is opaque all the way through).

Lemons on Herbed Tilapia
What are some of your favorite ways to prepare tilapia?
Happy Cooking!
~Megan

Farm to Table Friday: Beets, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard

This week’s Farm to Table Friday Dinner was inspired to be a Belgian-style Feast! We were so excited to eat this meal, that we forgot to take a good picture of the completed recipes together (oops!), so enjoy photos of the individual completed dishes with their respective recipes. Warning – we made a LOT of food (we had to call in reinforcements to help us eat it all!), so it’s a lengthy – but delicious – post. Here’s what was on the menu:

Mussels with Beer, Shallots, and Garlic
Mussels in Bacon, Apple, and Potato Cream Sauce
Pasta in Cream Sauce with Sauteed Swiss Chard Ribs
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

Full Dinner

From Bailey:
Mussels Two Ways

As soon as we settled on a goat cheese beet side salad, I was drawn right to mussels! Yum! Okay, well..I’ve never made mussels. I’ve eaten many but never attempted them on my own. I will say it was a successful adventure. First of all, mussels are not that expensive. I got 2 pounds for six dollars at our local Wegmans. I bought three bags for 6 people and started to plan.

For both recipes I started by cleaning off the mussels. I put them in a sink of cold water and cleaned off the shells. If any were open, I tapped the shells on the counter. If they closed, then they were still alive and okay to eat. If not, they needed thrown away. I had to throw away only about 6 out of the six pounds. Next I put them in the fridge and got ready to prepare the sauces.

Mussels with Beer, Shallot and Garlic
  • 3 lbs Mussels
  • 1 bottle Palm or other Amber Beer
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup mined garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onion

Diced Shallots   Chopped Spring Onion   Minced Garlic

This one was traditional but very easy.  I started with a 1/2 stick of butter in the pan. I got the pan hot then added minced garlic and diced shallots. I sauteed these in the pan and got everything browning. When the pan was ready, I deglazed the pan with a bottle of Palm beer. (Go Belgium!) I let the beer get warmed up, then added about 1/4 cup of diced spring onion. Next I added about half of the mussels. I put a lid on the pan and waited. Every few minutes I’d hold the lid down and toss the mussels around in the liquid, mixing them up. When the shells were all opened, in to a bowl went the mussels, ready to eat!

Deglazed Palm Pan Garlic Beer Mussels

Mussel in Bacon, Apple & Potato Cream Sauce
  • 3 lbs Mussels
  • 3/4 lb diced bacon
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup spring onions
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1.5  pounds diced fingerling potatoes
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bottle Hoegaarden or similar beer
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • dash of salt and pepper

  Diced Bacon in a pan  Diced Potatoes  Chopped Apple

This one was slightly more complicated, but not too bad. I started, instead of using a big saute pan, I used a large pot. I started out with about 3/4 lb of diced bacon. I cooked this in the bottom of the pan until the bacon started to get crispy. Next I added 1/4 cup of shallots, and about a tablespoon of minced garlic along with about 1/4 cup of the spring onions and two diced granny smith apples and about 1.5 pounds of diced fingerling potatoes and a dash of salt and pepper. After this all cooked down, I deglazed the pan with about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, a pint of heavy whipping cream,  and a bottle of Hoegaarden beer. Next  I let the liquids heat up then when the potatoes seemed mostly cooked with a fork test, I added the mussels. I put the lid on the pot and let them cook until the mussels were done.

Pan of potatoes, bacon, etc Completed creamy mussels

From Megan:
Swiss Chard Ribs in Cream Sauce

Creative CookingI had never made anything using Swiss Chard Ribs before, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a go! Swiss Chard leaves can also be eaten, but for this dish, I used the vibrantly colored, mild tasting ribs. We were cooking so many things simultaneously for this dinner that we ran out of burners and had to get a little creative…


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chopped Swiss Chard Ribs
  • ¼ cup of Butter
  • 1 diced Shallot
  • ½ cup of chopped Spring Onions
  • 1 pint of Heavy Cream
  • 1 lb. of Pasta (we used this gluten free option)
  • Salt and pepper

Chopped Swiss Chard RibsStep One: Separate the ribs from the greens, and cut the ribs into 1/2-inch pieces.

Step Two: Blanch the ribs by boiling them in lightly salted water for 3 minutes, then draining them and transferring them immediately into ice water until cooled. Once cooled, drain again and set aside.

Swiss Chard in ButterStep Three:  Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the blanched ribs, diced shallot, and chopped spring onions. Simmer for 4 minutes.

Step Four: Add heavy cream and cook, stirring frequently, until cream reduces by two-thirds. While the cream is reducing, cook pasta, drain, and transfer to a serving dish.


Step Five:
Once the cream has finished reducing, season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and toss with the pasta. Serve immediately.

Pasta with Cream Sauce Pasta with Swiss Chard Cream Sauce

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

I’m not a big fan of beets. At all. In fact, most of my beet-cooking adventures have ended horribly, so I was a little apprehensive when I found out that beets would be on our menu this week. When we saw this recipe, though, it sounded too tempting to pass up!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups mixed Baby Greens
  • 4 small Beets
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 4 oz of Goat Cheese
  • Pecans

Step One: Wisk together the Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Honey to make a dressing, and set aside.

Step Two: Wash, trim, and peel the beets, then cook until tender. Beets can be boiled, baked, or microwaved… we opted to chop them into cubes and microwave them since we were short on time. Lesson learned: make sure you use a well fitting lid in the microwave. If you don’t, your microwave will look like something exploded in it.

   Beet Ready to Chop    Diced Beets   Beets in a Sink   Microwave Beets

Step Three: Add the cubed, cooked beets to the salad greens. Add the honey balsamic dressing and toss to coat.

We put the goat cheese and pecans in separate serving bowls and let everyone add their own to taste. The combination of the honey balsamic dressing with the creamy goat cheese really made this salad pop. Those flavors took center stage, while the beets added subtlety and depth to the overall flavor and texture.