Show Me ‘Em Mussels!

a few weeks ago, as i walked by the frozen seafood aisle, i picked up a box of frozen mussels and placed them into my basket. i wasn’t quite sure what i’d do with them at the time but a quick pinterest search for “spicy mussels recipe” brought me to melissa d’arabian’s “spicy mussels with chorizo and wine” recipe on foodnetwork.com. my boyfriend commented that this was probably the best meal i’ve ever made and that’s saying alot considering we’ve been dating for well over 10 years now! so if you definitely want to impress your significant other with your cooking, please give this recipe a try! i won’t relist the ingredients and instructions here, since that can be found in the link above, but i will post the before, during, and after pictures for your viewing pleasure 🙂 the only adjustment next time for me would be to buy fresh mussels instead; the frozen ones were a little too chewy for my liking but the spicy chorizo flavoring was all there! it was also a pain to scrape off dried barnacles and seaweed on the mussel shells so beware of that and make sure you clean it thoroughly before you toss it into the pot. for the bread, i cut the loaf into thick slices with a serrated knife and sprayed both sides quickly with pam butter spray, then sprinkled some dried oregano on both sides as well. i baked these in the oven for about 3 minutes per side at 350 degrees and they were so crispy and delicious. 10/10 i’d make this again!

Comfort Food

my dad is buried at the greenwood memorial park down in south san diego. i visit him from time to time throughout the year and every time i go, i always make a pit stop at the mom and pop shop down the street: bane phonkeo’s (110 47th st, 92102). this hole in the wall place sells legit laotian/thai food. their sien hang, or beef jerky, is fried to crispy-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside perfection. there is so much flavor packed into one strip of meat. their papaya salad with a spicy level of medium is so delectable and pairs really well with white sticky rice. and the beef larb, medium spicy level as well, definitely hits the spot. it’s a little bit of crunchy, a little bit of sour, and a little bit of spicy all rolled into minced beef.

this. this is comfort food to me. i have fond memories of my mother cutting up strips of beef, baking it in the oven, which made the whole apartment smell amazing, and letting the meat out to dry in the sun for days.. then the waking up to the smell of sticky rice cooking in the bamboo steamer and realizing that the sien hang was ready to be eaten. it is the laborious act of love in which my mom made sien hang for us that this mom and pop shop brings me back to my childhood :]