Happy Monday my little munchkins!
Can I just say, just for a moment, that I am obsessed...
I've come to the realization in the past couple weeks that if I get into something, I absolutely fixate on it. It's all I breathe, sleep, eat, think and do.
This probably isn't very healthy for me. I like balance. But it's hard to be balanced when I just get so friggin pumped!
Current obsession?..... I'm reading.... The Hunger Games. And not because it sounds like it's related to food.
In fact, it really isn't - except that all the characters in the book are starving to death.
Have you heard of it? No details!! I'm only on book 2 of 3 and I don't want any spoilers... But have you heard of it?? Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Obsess over it like I am right now? Seriously. All I want to do is curl up with a cup of tea...or a glass of bourbon... and read read read.
I'll be honest - I don't ordinarily read such fantastical books. They're a little over the top for me. And when it comes to romance, I find it cheesy and way too stereotypically heterosexual. In books, not in life. And excessively violent stories give me nightmares. So I was completely taken aback when I picked up the first book of The Hunger Games and I couldn't put it down. Literally. I read it in a day. And the only reason I haven't read the second one in a day is because I'm here talking to you... And yes, I'm also having nightmares. But it's so worth it.
So yes. I am fixating and obsessed. It feels good to confess that to you.
Turns out, after talking to my good friend Elise, I'm also currently fixated on spot prawns.
Apparently I talk about them every time we see each other. But if you've experienced the glory that are in fact, spot prawns, you'd understand. Besides, they're only here for 2 months of the year and once they're gone, I'll find something new to dwell on. But right now, I'm all about the spot prawns.
Spot Prawn Shellfish Pot
Serves 4 people as a light appetizer or two as a main course.
12 Fresh Spot Prawns.
12 Fresh Mussels.
12 Fresh Manila Clams.
1 Large Shallot, diced.
2 Stalks Green Garlic, sliced.
1 Bunch Chard, roughly chopped.
Handful or Two of Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
1 Ear of Fresh Corn on the Cob, shucked & boiled for 7-10 minutes, and cut from the cob.
1 Bird's Eye Chili, seeds removed & finely chopped.
1 Small Handful Fresh Parlsey, roughly chopped.
2 C Dry White Wine.
1 C Coconut Milk.
2 Tbsp Curry Powder.
Pinch of Saffron Threads.
1 Lime for Juice.
2 Tbsp Butter.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
Some Fresh Baked Bread of your choosing (for serving).
What to Do:
Prepare the shellfish. Before you can cook them you'll have to clean them. This means dumping them into a bowl and one by one rinsing them very briefly under cold water to remove any sand, snap off barnacles, etc...
If you can help it - buy the mussels with the "beards". Don't worry, they aren't really beards - they're just seaweed. I think. They should snap shut as you pick them up if they aren't closed already (I tapped mine with a spoon before I picked em up), and as you rinse them, if there are beards, pull them off with a firm tug.
And please be careful with the prawns. They're often sold still alive (think like lobster) and they have long pointy spears at the end of their noses. They will try to get you. Pick up the prawn by the waist and quickly rinse under cool water then set aside. No need to de-vein them - these aren't the creepy farmed mass-produced shit-laden prawns you ordinarily buy. For more info on selecting spot prawns, storing and preparing, click here.
Do NOT soak your shellfish before cooking - these are salt water animals. If you soak them in fresh water = less happy, more dead fish. And if they're dead, you can't eat em. After they're cleaned, place in a separate bowl and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter of medium heat. Once it starts to sizzle, add the shallot and garlic. Sitr well.
Once it begins to get a little bit of color on it, add the chard. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Next, toss in the tomatoes, corn, chili. Stir. Add the wine, coconut milk, curry powder, saffron, half the lime juice, and a good helping of salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium, toss in the shellfish, stir, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells of the mussels and clams have opened up and the prawns are light pink. Add the parsley and second Tbsp of butter.
Discard any mussels that didn't open during the cooking process. This means they were dead to begin with and if they were dead you can't eat them. There is no way to tell how long they've been dead and if you try to eat them, you can (and likely) will get very, very ill. And anyone who's had shellfish poisoning will tell you, you don't want it. Just chuck em in the garbage. The rest are completely devourable.
Serve with a side of bread of your choice and the other half of lime as a garnish.
Okay seriously - Hunger Games anyone?? Reminder: No details about the story itself or how things turn out!
Or if not, books you'd recommend? I need some Summer reading!
This post is linked up with The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop; Tasty Tuesdays; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; Tuesday Talent Show; Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Tastetastic Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Foodie Friday; Fight Back Friday; Fresh Bites Friday.