Month: June 2016

Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Curd Cake

My daughter has been a baking machine lately. Every chance she gets she asks if she can make some cupcakes. Cupcakes are her thing. As a matter of fact she is measuring sugar in front of me as I right, only to bake away an…

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup

These past few weeks, our farmer’s market has yielded some pretty great stuff, in particular strawberries (which actually taste like awesome strawberries), rhubarb, all sorts of herbs and onions, and one of my favorites this time of year, garlic scape. I buy garlic scape every…

Thai Curry Mussels

Thai Curry Mussels

It was not too long ago when fresh mussels were on sale at one of our local grocery stores. In the past, I typically would buy them frozen, then steam them but as they were fresh, I decided I would go all in. It was my kids last day of school, and I figured I would throw it out there and see if they would be keen on the idea of having them as an end of year celebration. Low and behold they did and I decided to buy a few pounds of mussels. What’s funny is that one of my pickiest of eaters (he’s getting much better) was stoked about eating them. So I arrived home, and got to work. At first I thought I would do a simple wine and butter sauce to steam the mussels in, but then I quickly turned my attention to making a killer Thai curry and coconut broth, introducing something a bit different to them. These Thai curry mussels had just the right amount of heat that did not distract from the flavor of the mussels, and my kid ate a ton of them.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 can of Thai green curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 lbs fresh mussels

Simple stuff here, and feel free to use other types of curry paste. I used the prik king curry paste from Maesri which is a spicy ginger style of curry paste, and one that I really like, but feel free to use their red or yellow paste if you have that in stock.

To a large pot, large enough to house the mussels, get the heat going on medium heat. Add the canola oil and bring it to a light smoke, only a couple of minutes, then add in the green curry paste. Stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the coconut milk, and water, and stir to incorporate and break down the curry paste. Once this comes to a simmer, add in the mussels.

Make sure that all of the mussels are closed, and feel free to scrub off any exterior beard material from the mussels ahead of time should they not already be cleaned.

Thai Curry Mussels
Thai Curry Mussels

Stir the mussels into the coconut curry mixture, then cover, and cook and steam the mussels until they all open up.

Please note, that any mussels that do not open up, then discard.

Once the mussels are all opened, pour the mussels and broth into a large serving bowl and dig in.

Feel free to serve these with some nice crusty bread, or spoon the broth over some cooked jasmine rice.

It was funny watching my oldest go to town on these. He could not stop eating them, and he loved the spice from the broth. These Thai curry mussels were a great way to end the school year that’s for certain. Hope you enjoy!

Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb has been in abundance at our local farmer’s market these last few weeks. We purchased a plant last year and are waiting to harvest the rhubarb, most likely next year, so I decided to buy some from our favorite farmers. When growing up, we…

BBQ Baked Salmon

BBQ Baked Salmon

I’m a huge fan of salmon. Whether it is baked, grilled, or smoked, there is something about the texture and flavor that keeps me coming back for more. On a recent stop at my local grocery store, the butcher had asked if I checked out…

Candied Ginger

Candied Ginger

Recently I visited a local grocery store in town called Cermak. I’ll state that I pretty much love this place, especially their produce section. You can pretty much get anything you want at this place as it is also an ethnic market. On this recent trip I ended up buying, among other things, a huge chunk of ginger. At that time I had no idea what I was going to make with it.  At first I thought I was going to make a ginger paste and use if for a bunch of Indian cooking I’ve been doing lately, but that’s when I decided to change gears and try to make a candied ginger. Good idea? Yes.

Candied Ginger Recipe
Candied Ginger Recipe

This stuff is not only way too easy to make, but it lends for a spicy, and sweet snack. I’ve minced it up and put it in sauces, marinades, and even smoothies. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack

You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!

Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a 1/4 inch.

Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.

Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about 1/2 cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.

Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved 1/2 cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.

Candied Ginger Ingredients
Candied Ginger Ingredients

Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.

Take the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc. They last for a few months, and that is always great when you are looking for that sweet heat from ginger. Hope you enjoy!

Candied Ginger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1½ cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack
Instructions
  1. You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!
  2. Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a ¼ inch.
  3. Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.
  4. Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about ½ cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.
  5. Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved ½ cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.
  6. Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.
  7. Take the remaining ½ cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours. Shake off any excess sugar before storing.
  8. Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc.