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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 - Thai Chicken with Basil for Two (Gai Pad Bai Gaprow)
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Simple, quick, and full of flavor, this classic Thai chicken dish is a great recipe to keep on hand when you need a fast dinner. Very organized cooks can prepare and cook it in about seven minutes. Even if you take your time preparing it, it is still super fast.

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Thai Chicken with Basil for Two (Gai Pad Bai Gaprow)

Simple, quick, and full of flavor, this classic Thai chicken dish is a great recipe to keep on hand when you need a fast dinner. Very organized cooks can prepare and cook it in about seven minutes. Even if you take your time preparing it, it is still super fast. So fast that sometimes it is ready before the rest of your dishes are! If that happens, don't add the basil, add a tablespoon of water, turn the heat off, and let the dish sit. Right before serving, toss with the basil. Thai basil can be difficult to find in all areas, if you cannot find it use some dried Thai basil with fresh sweet basil, or all fresh sweet basil.

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 chopped Kaffir lime leaves
1 minced shallot
3 minced garlic cloves
2 diced boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 Thai bird chiles or serrano chiles (or to taste)
1/4 cup torn fresh Thai basil leaves

Heat the oil in a wok until very hot. Add the Kaffir lime lives and chopped shallot and stir-fry for a minute. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a minute more. Add the chicken, fish sauce, and hot peppers and stir-fry fir a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and toss with the basil. Serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes