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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 - Massaman Chicken Potato Curry
by Wen Zientek-Sico

I can remember the first time I had a Massaman curry…I loved it so much I even tried cutting and eating the cinnamon sticks until someone told me they were only a garnish once the stew was cooked. While it was highly embarrassing, the stew was so fragrant and flavorful I could not forget it.

Calcutta Artist - Steuart Elephant
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Massaman Chicken Potato Curry

I can remember the first time I had a Massaman curry…I loved it so much I even tried cutting and eating the cinnamon sticks until someone told me they were only a garnish once the stew was cooked. While it was highly embarrassing, the stew was so fragrant and flavorful I could not forget it. Here is my version of the stew, something that I always love cooking. It is one of the best smelling things you will ever make in your house and it tastes great too! The stew is best made a day in advance, making it easy on the cook. I use a mixture of light and dark meat chicken with the skin intact in this dish, as is traditional. It is also excellent made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

2 tablespoons oil
3 pounds cubed chicken
1 large chopped onion
2 cups cubed potato
2/3 cup Massaman Curry Paste
1 cup chicken stock
4 cups coconut milk
6 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 cup palm sugar or light brown sugar
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind liquid
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent and the chicken lightly browned. Add the potato and curry paste and sauté for a minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Add the coconut milk, cinnamon sticks, peanuts, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind liquid, and lime juice. Simmer for ten minutes. Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 36 hours. Reheat by gently simmering for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 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.