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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 - Jade Curry Paste
by Wen Zientek-Sico

My personal favorite curry paste, this paste is as well known for its brilliant green color as it is for its fiery heat. Both of which I love. This curry is excellent added to a wide variety of dishes, blended into sauces, or used as a blisteringly hot rub for grilled meat.

Hal Morey - Grand Central Light, c. 1934
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Jade Curry Paste

My personal favorite curry paste, this paste is as well known for its brilliant green color as it is for its fiery heat. Both of which I love. This curry is excellent added to a wide variety of dishes, blended into sauces, or used as a blisteringly hot rub for grilled meat. I especially like it on chicken. It also makes a great sauce simply mixed with coconut milk for dipping cooked seafood, vegetables, and other cooked meat into. When I make Thai style sushi rolls this is what I use in place of wasabi.

2 teaspoons coriander seed
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
1 cup finely minced shallots
1/2 cup finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
3 tablespoons minced galanga or fresh gingerroot
1/3 cup minced cilantro root or 1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced Kaffir lime or lime zest
1/2 cup chopped green serrano chiles
1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp paste

Toast the coriander and anise seeds in a wok or small frying pan over medium low heat for five minutes, tossing frequently, or until the seeds are toasted and fragrant. Grind or crush the seeds into a fine powder, and then place the powder in the bowl of a food processor along with the white pepper. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, or until the garlic and shallots are tender and just starting to brown. Do not overcook. 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, lemongrass, galanga, cilantro root, and lime zest into the mortar and pound with pestle briefly to break down the fibers and release the oils. Add the lemongrass mixture to the food processor along with the serrano chiles, lettuce, and shrimp paste. Process the ingredients until a thick smooth paste forms. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to ten days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Makes about 2 cups curry paste.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 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.