Tuesday, July 9, 2013

gulf shores.

For the weekend of July 4th, Peter and I, along with our friends Jon and E, decided to go to Gulf Shores, AL. We were looking forward to a weekend filled with good food, relaxing time with friends, and sunburns. It was overcast alllll weekend, so that last one didn't happen, but the first two did!

Every morning, we'd go get coffee and sit on the balcony listening to rainy day music mixed with the falling of actual rain around us. We'd read or play cards or chit chat. It was the perfect vacation setting -- excepting the rain.

In the afternoon, it would clear up enough to go set up on the beach. There we'd do much of the same: read, chit chat, but this time with a beer instead of coffee. While the rain wasn't something we had planned for, it still made for a great weekend of relaxation.

Before we went, we'd decided to cook most of our food instead of spending our money on eating out. The first night we got there, I planned to make mussels in a Thai-based coconut curry broth. Being so near the ocean, we were happy to discover that mussels were only $3.99/lb! (Compare to Dallas' $8-9/lb). This meal was by far our best. The broth was perfectly dippable, the mussels incredibly fresh. I will definitely be making this again...just have to be on the lookout for seafood sales!

Red Curry and Coconut Mussels
(recipe adapted from here.)

2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp red curry paste
2 tsp fish sauce
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup coconut milk
3 lbs mussels
a handful of roughly torn cilantro
the juice of 1 lime, plus an additional 2 for garnish

Melt the butter in a medium pot that has a lid.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, but not burned.
Add the curry paste and fish sauce and mix until paste is thinned out some.
Pour the broth and coconut milk into the pot and stir to mix.
Add cilantro and lime juice (plus salt to taste, if needed).
Add the mussels and give them a quick toss in the sauce to coat, then cover with lid for 8-10 minutes or until most mussels have opened. Discard any that remain closed.
Serve in bowls with crusty bread to soak up that delicious broth. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro if you'd like.


Have you ever had a vacation that didn't go according to plan? Did you still love it?
I already miss the ocean.

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