Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Curry Paste, How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways...

So I finally got to dig into my new cookbook, Buddha's Table - and just two recipes into it, I think I'm in love.

This is what my kitchen island looked like on Sunday after I got back from shopping.

Between the advent of Daylight Savings time and a short detour for drinks overlooking the Oakland Estuary at Quinn's Lighthouse (thanks, Suki!), we didn't get around to eating dinner until like 10 pm, but boy, was it worth the wait. Homemade red curry paste! I made some, and so can you! It blows away anything you could buy in the supermarket. It features the tantalizing and complex combination of cumin, coriander, shallot, lime zest, garlic, red chiles and galangal, among other things. We blended it into a luxurious stew with kabocha squash, japanese eggplant and coconut milk, and trust me, this picture doesn't do it justice. It was a reason for living, I tell you.

We also made - from scratch! - a totally authentic green papaya salad, and I dare say it was as good as anything you could get in a restaurant. And I was glad we had leftovers because it tasted even better the next day.

The green papaya salad didn't use curry paste as an ingredient, but we did have some left over. So tonight, I smeared some of it onto asparagus that I roasted in a skillet along with some sliced shitake mushrooms, minced garlic and a handful of diced fermented black beans.

This might be one of my favorite dishes yet, and I'm going to post a more detailed recipe at some future point, but for now, the point is, homemade curry paste is my new favorite food! I am nothing if not obsessive, after all.


Lisa Mc said...

What a fantastic array of food in this post! I'm currently very into spiciness (maybe it's the long winters here). Anything to make my mouth feel extra "alive." Your book sounds like it's been very inspiring!

Vicki said...

It looks like all three of these dishes are vegetarian!! It's so nice to see people making yummy stuff out of veggies. When I watch the cooking shows (which isn't very often given my lack of kitchen savvy), it's always meat. MEAT MEAT MEAT. Your asparagus looks scrumptous. In fact, all of your food looks like restaurant quality. I don't know how it tastes, but it sure is perdy.

Soup and Song said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies! Yes, spicy and veggie is a great combo in my book. The cookbook is exclusively vegetarian, in case anyone out there was wondering. I have found it to be greatly inspiring. Cheers!