Laura Avery welcomes a new vender to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market. She chats with Robert Jenkins of Carlsbad Aquafarm, which raises clams, mussels, abalone and oysters in an inlet in Carlsbad, California. The fresh shellfish will survive one week in the fridge as long as they aren't submerged in fresh water. To prolong their shelf life, cover them with a damp towel to keep them moist. Call ahead to order fresh abalone.
Thai Style Carlsbad Mussels
2 lbs Carlsbad mussels
2 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
2 cans coconut milk
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tsps ground red Thai pepper
If mussels still have their beards, give them a sharp pull toward the mussel's pointed tip. (Wait until within an hour of cooking to remove them.) Lightly rinse the mussels under fresh running water before cooking, then set aside. If any mussels are gaping open, they are getting weak. Discard any that will not stay closed after squeezing its shell shut, as well as any that have an off odor or broken shell.
Saute coconut milk, fish sauce, ginger and pepper on medium high heat until sauce thickens. Add mussels and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until the shells open and the meat is no longer translucent. Stir mussels into sauce, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed rice or crusty bread.
Laura also chats with Jason Chamberlain of Wong Family Farms, who grows Shady Lady (beefsteak-style) tomatoes hydroponically outside at their Salton Sea farm. The plants' roots are suspended in water and fed nutrients. The tomatoes are firm and will ripen to a ruby red.
French Kiss by Pierre Adenot