I enjoy a night in, staying at home, cooking – especially if it’s for someone, but even if it’s just for me – just as much as I enjoy a night out with friends. And I love to cook just as much as I love to paint and write.
I still have Thailand on my mind. (I don’t think Thailand and India will ever leave it.) Though it’s been a month now since I’ve been back, it only seems like yesterday. And I’m fascinated with Thailand‘s different curry pastes. Since coming back, I had bought ingredients that I needed that I didn’t have when I originally made the paste last month. And since that paste was now over, it was time for another. So I made both a Panang Curry Paste and a Thai Chilli Paste. Of course, though I had the directions, I still took liberties with proportions and portions.
While the recipes called for just a couple minutes grinding the paste using a mortar and pestle I found myself taking an hour to even come close to the pastes Chef CarToon prepared in Chiang Mai a month ago. (Perhaps he was getting me back for not following the cooking instructions to the letter.) I was determined not to use my Cuisinart, opting instead for an authentic Thai experience in Sausalito, pounding away onto my mortar.
Afterwards, I cooked two single servings of rice noodles, each serving flavored only with the pastes. Without sounding cocky, both pastes turned out splendid! The Panang tasted like Spring, the flavours just bursting out, tasting fresh with a pop against the noodles. The Thai Chili was both smoky and earthy, reminding me of Autumn. Because many of its ingredients were cooked before grinding, there was a warmth to it that counterbalanced the vibrancy of the Panang.
The next day, I used the Panang to cook a Shrimp Panang Noodles with curry leaves and Thai basil. I also used the Thai Chili to cook Thai Fried Rice with Fried Egg.
Both incredibly spicy (both hot and flavourful), I couldn’t get enough of either. And for the next couple weeks, I won’t have to worry about not getting enough.
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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