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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise



Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.


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Recipe - Favorite Seafood Curry Paste
by Wen Zientek-Sico

This savory curry paste is excellent for flavoring all sorts of seafood. I especially like it on scallops, tilapia, and grilled sea bass. You can use the paste as a rub before cooking, or you can add it to other ingredients to form a sauce to marinate the seafood, cook the seafood in, dress the seafood in, or even to dip the seafood in.

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Favorite Seafood Curry Paste

This savory curry paste is excellent for flavoring all sorts of seafood. I especially like it on scallops, tilapia, and grilled sea bass. You can use the paste as a rub before cooking, or you can add it to other ingredients to form a sauce to marinate the seafood, cook the seafood in, dress the seafood in, or even to dip the seafood in.

3 ounces dried New Mexico or California chile peppers
1/2 cup minced shallots
6 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup minced fresh galanga
1/2 cup minced fresh gingerroot
1 cup minced cilantro
Freshly grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons peanut oil

Cover the chile peppers with warm water and let sit for 30 minutes. Place the shallots and garlic into a large mortar and mash coarsely with the pestle. Transfer the shallots and garlic to the food processor. Place the salt, galanga, ginger, cilantro and lime zest into the mortar and pound with pestle briefly to break down the fibers and release the oils. Add the galanga mixture to the food processor along with the turmeric and lime juice. Drain the chile peppers, reserving the liquid. Halve all of the soaked peppers using gloves and a sharp knife. Remove the seeds and any tough ribs and then coarsely chop. Add the chiles to the food processor. Process the ingredients until a thick smooth paste forms, adding a tablespoon of the chile liquid and every 30 seconds or so until you have added 3 tablespoons of liquid. Continue processing, adding the peanut oil a tablespoon at a time until the paste is thick and smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Makes about 2 cups curry paste.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This recipe is part of our special feature on Thai Curries: Thai Curry - Adding the Flavors of Thailand to Your Table Tablespoon by Tablespoon. Read the article for hints and tips about making and using Thai curry pastes along with dozens more great recipes.