Q: We love Sprig. It is one of our favorite Atlanta-area restaurants. They source locally as much as possible and a lot of their ingredients are organic. One of their dishes is outstanding — the Curry Mussels. The broth is a unique combination of ingredients. We believe it’s made with coconut milk, chorizo sausage, fennel, white wine and curry powder. There are probably other things in it, and that’s why we’re asking for the recipe. We tried to replicate it at home, and failed miserably. Please see if they’ll give you the recipe. Thanks. — Tony Seiniger and Wriston Jones, Atlanta
A: Sprig’s executive chef Britt Cloud shared the recipe for his Curry Mussels, one of many mussels preparations he serves throughout the year. This particular one will be back on the menu on April 4. For each of his variations, Cloud starts with a classic mussel preparation and then adds complementary flavors – in this case, coconut milk and curry.
Cloud says to use any curry powder you like. He uses McCormick’s. For the wine in the sauce, and perhaps to drink alongside, he recommends Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
Sprig’s Curry Mussels
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cups heavy cream
1 (6-ounce) can light coconut milk
1/4 cup 1/4-inch diced pancetta
1 medium fennel bulb, leaves removed, bottom trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels
1/2 cup white wine
Toasted bread slices, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put tomatoes on a small baking sheet. Toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay tomatoes cut side down and roast until the skin starts to blacken, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and when tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes then roughly chop. Set aside.
While tomatoes are roasting, in a small skillet, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in curry powder and cook just until curry is fragrant. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cream and coconut milk. Whisk in curried onion mixture when it has cooled to room temperature.
Add pancetta to a large saucepan with a lid and cook over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add fennel and cook 1 minute, then stir in mussels and white wine and cover the saucepan. Steam the mussels until they have opened, about 2 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open after being lightly tapped. Add the curried onion-cream mixture and reserved tomatoes and taste for seasoning. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency. Serve with toasted bread. Serves: 4
Per serving: 818 calories (percent of calories from fat, 72), 36 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 65 grams fat (38 grams protein, 237 milligrams cholesterol, 1,120 milligrams sodium.