Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Thai Curry Paste

I don’t know that this recipe qualifies as a true, authentic curry paste, but it’s my version of a simple condiment that adds loads of Thai flavor to anything, from simple soups or stir-fries to rice or noodles and Thai Shrimp cakes.  And the ingredients are available at almost any grocery these days, so no need for any special expeditions. I like to make a batch of this to keep in the fridge to add a boost to anything I stir up.  It will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container or can be frozen.

Thai Curry Paste

I don’t like overwhelming heat, so I use one mild jalepeno with the seeds removed.  Feel free to make this as spicy as you want, or use red chili.

1 shallot, peeled

1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed

1 green chili, or to taste

2 garlic cloves

Small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (about ½ the size of your thumb)

Small handful of fresh cilantro leaves

2 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional) or a few strips of lime zest

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

1 – 2 Tablespoons safflower or canola oil

Cut the shallot, lemongrass, chili and ginger into small chunks and drop in a small food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients excluding the oil and grind to a paste, scraping the sides often.  Drizzle in the oil until the mixture is a smooth paste and your desired consistency.

Cover and refrigerate.

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