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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 - Laab Gai
by Viraj Talpade

This easy Thai main dish is quick and simple to prepare...even for the inexperienced cook.

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Laab Gai

Recipe Submitted by Viraj Talpade.

2 pounds ground chicken
1/2 cup green onion
1/2 cup red onion cut in thin wedges
1/2 cup shredded mint leaves
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grounded roasted-rice
1 teaspoon sliced green pepper

Stir in the ground chicken in a (very) hot pan until it is quite done. Leave it to cool. Mix the chicken with fish sauce and then add lemon juice; add green onion, red onion, pepper, and mint leaves; add fish sauce or lemon juice to taste. Add the roasted rice powder. I've found that anchovy paste is a good substitute for fish sauce if you can't find it in your supermarket. Eat the Laab Gai with boiled rice. However, it is traditionally eaten with some chilled crunchy vegetable like cabbage or spring beans.

(Note: To prepare the grounded roasted rice: first of all heated a pan and put in one cup of rice, stir it back and forth until it gets brown. Use a coffee grinder to grind it. Some like it fine while others may like it rough. The rough rice adds an interesting texture to your laab. If you cannot find green pepper, use the dried one but you have to roast it first and then grind it. The laab should have a combination of sourness, saltiness, and hotness. Don't ever add sugar!)

This recipe reprinted with permission from Viraj Talpade's Easy Bachelor Recipes Column.