I impulsively bought some mussels and Thai basil at the West Hollywood farmers market yesterday. Since I feel like I’m at the beginning of a cold, I thought a spicy broth for the mussels would push the cold out of me making Jean Georges’s Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Thai Basil, Chilies, and Coconut Juice very appealing.
Alterations: I used 5 serrano chiles instead of bird’s eye chiles as neither of my two local grocers carried the thai chiles. I also used one can of coconut juice and one can of light coconut milk.
Do-again?: This was delicious but WAYYYYY spicy. I would definitely make this again but would halve the number of chiles used. We like spicy food but this was almost inedibley spicy, which was too bad because we could tell the broth would have been incredible if it was just a little less spicy.
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A dozen years ago (yikes, I’m getting old) my family took a trip to Cabo San Lucas and ate at a restaurant that is now a family favorite - Felix’. In addition to feasting on the amazingly varied salsa bar, it was also our first time trying Chiles en Nogada (chiles in walnut sauce). This sinfully delicious meal commemorates Mexican Independence Day because the colors resemble the flag. My mom and I both subscribed to the Felix’ newsletter, which shares recipes and stories from the restaurant. Luckily not long after we subscribed, they issued the famous Chiles en Nogada recipe. The chef’s recipes are more of a loose guideline than those found in most cookbooks, but that’s the way I cook so it worked out okay for me.
Alterations: I used pork loin chops instead of shoulder meat since this is what was available at Trader Joe’s and cooked enough to stuff six large peppers. I also should probably have cooked my meat more to tenderize it but as I was cooking this after work, time was of the essence. For the walnut sauce, I used Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
Do-again?: The flavors of this dish really come out the longer they sit around. The leftovers of this meal (even four days later) were better than on the first night. The flavors are really complex and layered. My attempt was not as good as Felix’ but was pretty damn good for a Tuesday night.