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The West End Grill has the best mussels in a green curry and, I believe, white wine broth. We would love to have the recipe.

Prince Edward Island mussels are sold in the seafood department of most large supermarkets, but call in advance to make sure they will be available when you want them. Optimally, mussels should be stored in your refrigerator in a ventilated box for no more than 24 hours before cooking. One pound will contain about 30 mussels.

Buy mussels that are tightly closed, and ask the seafood clerk not to include any that do not close with a sharp rap.

These bivalves cook rapidly. The shells should open when they are added to a hot sauce, as in this Thai-influenced dish. Discard any mussels that do not open during cooking.

This very spicy dish uses prepared green curry paste, available at international markets and Asian specialty stores., "Green curry is usually the hottest, though it varies. We use Mae Ploy brand," said Neill Costello, one of the owner-partners of West End Grill and Pub. The cook can control the heat by reducing the amount of curry paste. "But I wouldn't recommend substituting (the milder) yellow or red curry. Green works best with all the other ingredients," he said.

To make sure the curry paste does not scorch, stir constantly for two or three minutes. Other spicy overtones in this dish come from garlic, ginger, jalapeño and chile paste.

Green Curry Mussels > West End Grill and Pub

Yield: 2 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup minced red onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño

1 tablespoon green curry paste

1 cup white wine

1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon chile paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 cup minced cilantro

1 pound fresh Prince Edward Island mussels, cleaned and debearded (see note)

Bread or crostini for dipping

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat; add onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño. Sauté until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Blend curry paste into vegetables; cook about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to "toast" the curry, being careful not to let it burn.

2. Stir in wine, coconut milk, chile paste, soy sauce, lime juice and cilantro; bring to a boil. Add mussels and cover pot; steam until mussels open, about 3 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

3. Serve on a large, deep platter with bread or crostini to dip into any leftover broth.

Note: To clean and debeard fresh mussels, scrub them with a stiff brush under cold running water just before cooking. Remove any moss-like bits. Discard any mussels that do not close tightly when tapped on the counter.

Per serving: 976 calories; 72g fat (66 percent calories from fat); 41g saturated fat; 64mg cholesterol; 32g protein; 29g carbohydrate; 3.5g sugar; 3g fiber; 1,300mg sodium; 122mg calcium; 1,360mg potassium.

West End Grill and Pub

354 North Boyle Avenue

St. Louis


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