teaspoon Thai red or yellow curry paste
teaspoon curry powder
tablespoons white-wine vinegar
tablespoons olive oil
pounds mussels (preferably cultivated)
red bell pepper
cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
In a large bowl stir together curry paste, curry powder, vinegar, and 4 tablespoons oil. Scrub mussels and remove beards. Mince shallots and cut carrot, celery, and bell pepper into 1/4-inch dice. In a 12-inch skillet heat remaining tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saut vegetables, stirring and adding salt to taste, until slightly softened but not browned. Add vegetables to curry mixture. In skillet steam mussels in 1/4 cup water, covered, over moderately high heat, 3 to 8 minutes, checking occasionally after 3 minutes and transferring them as they open to another bowl. Discard any unopened mussels. Remove mussels from shells and add to curry-vegetable mixture, gently tossing to coat. Wash and reserve half of each shell. Marinate mussels, covered and chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Just before serving, chop cilantro and stir into mussels. Fill each reserved shell with a mussel and some curried vegetables.