This is a super easy, classic Belgian recipe with a Thai twist. It doesn't take a lot of time and requires only that you manage your process a little bit so that the fries and mussels are done at about the same time, since neither can sit for long (though if you have to err, err on the side of the fries being done first). Things come together very quickly at the end, so make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and easily accessible. Want to make it easier? Omit the fries altogether and serve with a crusty bread.
I've tried the recipe with white ale and white wine, but a Hefeweizen or an IPA would work well, too. Use something you'll drink so you don't waste the beer.
This recipe can be pretty mild which suits mussels well, but feel free to kick it up with a little sriracha or add 1/4tsp of cayenne at a time until it's to your liking. —Snafu06
Olive Oil, divided
russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch matchsticks
shallot, finely chopped
cloves of garlic, minced
stalk of lemongrass, bruised with the back of a knife
mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
red curry paste
unsweetened coconut milk
cilantro, chopped, for garnish
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Put the potatoes in a saucepan with the vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove fries from the water and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Blot dry and allow to drain for 10 minutes.
Toss fries with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the fries over the parchment paper. There will be some overlap, that's okay, but try to spread them evenly so they cook evenly. I trust you to make good fry choices.
Bake the fries for 25-35 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point, until crispy and golden brown.
After flipping the fries, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the shallot, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until tender.
Add the beer (careful, it foams) and the lemongrass to the saucepan. Bring the beer to a boil. Don't worry if it doesn't look like a lot of liquid, the mussels release a lot of liquid when they cook. Drink the rest of the beer. You've earned it.
Add the mussels to the saucepan and cover. Cook until all the mussels have opened, 2-3 minutes.
Once the mussels are open, remove them to a bowl and cover with tin foil to keep them warm. Discard any that stubbornly refuse to open. You don't need that in your life.
Add the curry paste, fish sauce, and coconut milk to the saucepan and stir to combine. Add the lime juice and give the broth one last stir.
Divide the fries and mussels between serving bowls. Pour the curry broth over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.