Beer Steamed Mussels @StanelyParkBrew

This is a story about beer.

A little over a week ago, early in the morning, my buzzer rang. Now, as a food blogger, it’s pretty normal for me to get deliveries. Sometimes I know they are coming, sometimes I don’t. This particular morning I was not expecting a delivery, so I was curious to see what was coming around the corner.

There was the sound of clanking glass… and my eyes got really, really wide when I saw the delivery man.

Stanley Park Brewing Sunsetter Summer Ale Steamed Mussels

He was carrying 2 huge cases of beer.

My friend Raj has recently been crafting some Instagram posts for the nice folks at Stanley Park Brewing, and last month asked if I could come along to be a “beer hand model.” One of the things I love about my life and work is that it allows me the flexibility to say yes to stuff like that, and so of course I did. We had a blast, and got some quality hang out time to boot, which is rare for the two of us in real life.

It was something I did for a friend, but it turns out, I got paid in beer. it could be worse, right? Much, much worse.

I stared at those cases of beer in my kitchen and thought, yeah, I could hoard them and drink them all myself. Or I could share the wealth. So I got on Facebook and invited some people over.

There are so many good things going on in my life right now, I feel so grateful and happy. There’s much to celebrate, including the beginning of summer, my favourite time of the year.

Sunsetter stanely park brewing beer collage

So, Sunday night, a group of my friends gathered on the roof of my building and helped me drink beer. Because those are the kinds of friends I have–self-sacrificing and unselfish. 😉

I should say for the record that I’m not generally a huge beer drinker. I tend towards wine or cocktails or cider. But the summer ale, SunSetter, from Stanely Park Brewing is very tasty and an incredibly easy summer-lovin’ beer. It has overtones of peaches and is just alltogether refreshing and light. It will have a place in my fridge this summer. Everyone at the party loved it, as well.

Yes–back to the party. It’s irresponsible to just serve beer at a party, right? You need to provide your guests with food as well. I decided to make beer steamed mussels. This is partly because every time I go to Costco I want to buy mussels. They are only $12 for 2 giant containers, but I can’t eat that many by myself, so having some people over to help me eat them was perfect. And steaming them in beer?? Even more perfect.

These were amazing. I can’t wait to make them again. So simple and easy, but the mussels are juicy and plump and you will want lots of toast to sop up the juices. I also think they tasted better because we cooked and ate them outdoors.

Happy Summer, everyone! I hope my beer-themed summer kickoff party inspires you to do something similar. Let’s celebrate!

sunsetter summer ale steamed mussels

Beer Steamed Mussels

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 2.72kg of mussels
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bottles SunSetter Summer Ale (or some other light beer–a wheat beer or a hefeweizen would be perfect)
  • fresh herbs to finish: chives or green onions or flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly

Method:

  1. Wash the mussels well, and pick through them, discarding any that are open or broken.
  2. In a very large pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat, and then add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and stir well.
  3. Add the beer and bring the temperature up to the boil.
  4. Now add in all the mussels. Put the lid on and allow to steam for about 10 minutes.
  5. You’ll know the mussels are done when they are open.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, and serve in bowls with crusty bread.

A very special thank-you to Stanley Park Brewing for supplying my party with awesome beer!

 

Green Goddess Salad Rolls [Vegan, Gluten Free]

There’s just something about this time of the year that makes me want to eat all the green things!

Everything is so fresh right now, and it’s just going to get fresher… While I have yet to get to a Farmer’s Market this season, I’m still working my way through the ginormous box of organic produce I got from Organivores a few weeks back, so I haven’t needed to. I’ll be for sure finishing up everything in there this week.

green goddess salad rolls vegan gluten free

One thing I love to eat, especially in the summer, is a salad roll. They’re a little like a burrito, but more plant-based. Instead of using a tortilla, they use a rice wrapper, which makes these babies both vegan and gluten free.

You can basically fill them with anything. They are, after all, salad rolls, so you can pretty much put anything you’d put in a salad in there. And what can’t you put in a salad? As long as your vegetables are prepared the right way (meaning: sliced thinly), throw them in!

This particular variation on the theme is a green salad roll, so all the ingredients in there are green. This one is also filled with these green (spinach) rice noodles I impulsively bought at one of my favourite Asian markets. I just couldn’t resist! It also includes avocados, baby spinach and cucumbers.

Now, just a salad roll by itself is kinda boring. I mean, it’s just vegetables. It demands sauce, so, in the spirit of my green salad roll, I made a matching green sauce.

Green Goddess dressing is a favourite around here. Its base is an avocado, which gives it, as a salad dressing, that creamy mouthfeel that you’d expect from a mayo-based dressing, but without the mayo. I made this version slightly thicker, and also added some tahini to give it a bit more body for dipping.

Roll up a bunch of these and then just keep them around in the fridge for easy lunches and snacking.

green goddess salad rolls

Green Goddess Salad Rolls [Vegan, Gluten Free]

Ingredients for the salad rolls:

  • rice salad roll wrappers
  • baby spinach
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • rice vermicelli

Ingredients for the Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice, or a mix of both
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of chipotle powder or a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

Method:

  • Fill a large bowl with warm tap water. Remove a handful of the rice vermicelli from the package, and drop it into the hot water for about 5-10 minutes, or until its soft and pliable.
  • While that is soaking, prep all your veggies. Wash the spinach, and spin them dry.  Spiralize or thinly slice the cucumbers. Pit and slice the avocado. Set aside.
  • With a slotted spoon, scoop the rice vermicelli out of the hot water, and place it in a bowl. Do not throw away the bowl of water, or you can refresh the water in there if you like.
  • Dampen a kitchen towel or napkin and wring it out. Lay it flat on your work surface. Now take one of the rice wrappers and gently soak it in the bowl of warm water. You’ll want to leave it in there for about 20-30 seconds, until it’s soft and pliable, but not so soft that it’s ripping and falling apart. Remove it from the water and gently lay it down and spread it out on your damp towel.
  • Now start building the roll. Begin with spinach, then layer your cucumber and noodles on top. Finally, lay the avocado on top. Be careful not to fill it too full.
  • Now roll it up, burrito-style. Once you have completed one, repeat the process for the remaining ingredients.
  • To make the Green Goddess sauce: place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Serve along side your salad rolls for dipping.

 

 

 

 

« Older Entries