Curry Paste 101: Cook with Curry Paste at Home

Thai curries are a mainstay of traditional Thai cuisine and one of the easiest dishes to make at home. There are three main types of Thai curries—red, yellow, and green—which are categorized by the color of the curry paste. They all share some common ingredients, but the addition of different types of chilies, spices, and herbs add to the overall color and flavor. It’s the color of the chili that imparts each signature hue to the paste, and each curry paste has its own distinct flavor.

It should come as no surprise that red curry is made with the addition of several red chilies, while green curry is made with green chilies, and yellow curry is made with yellow chilies. In Thailand, these chilies have slightly different taste characteristics in addition to their colors. Over time, however, other ingredients have also been added to the curry pastes to enhance each recipe, making them even more distinct from one another.

Red Curry Paste

The most common (and versatile). It’s used in a variety of dishes usually with the addition of coconut milk, making the flavor a little spicy and sweet. Try with vegetables, chicken, salmon, or tofu.

Yellow Curry Paste

The mildest out of the three, it’s the fresh turmeric and sometimes cumin that give it that beautiful color. Try with a little coconut cream and simmer it with some mild white fish or chicken.

Green Curry Paste

Made with green chilies, this curry paste is so flavorful! Lots of cilantro, basil, and Kaffir lime helps round out the spice level. Try it with fish, shrimp, zucchini, or chicken.

When it comes to Thai cuisine, it’s important to refer to both the dish and the curry paste used to make it. As we celebrate Thai cuisine, we hope you feel adventurous to explore with curry pastes in your kitchen! Keep reading for some ideas of how to integrate curry pastes when cooking at home:

Ideas for Using Curry Pastes

Curries and Stews

Probably the most common use for Thai curry paste is in curries and stews. Cook the curry paste in a little oil first to bring out its flavors, then coat proteins — like chicken, pork, or tofu — and vegetables with the warmed paste. Then add stock, coconut milk, or a little of both before slow cooking until it’s flavorful and tender.

Salad Dressing

For a spicy salad dressing, blend Thai curry into a basic vinaigrette or whisk it into yogurt or mayonnaise for a creamier salad dressing. Use this dressing for green salads, cold noodle salads, or even as a dip for raw vegetables. Make sure to balance out your dressing with some acid, like vinegar or lime juice, and some sweetener if needed.

Marinades

Mix a small amount with some vegetable oil and a splash of lime juice. Brush meat or let sit in marinade briefly before cooking. A good starting point would be to try yellow for chicken, green for fish, and red for beef.

Seafood

Thai curry paste can add tons of flavor to seafood dishes, especially more mild-tasting seafood, like white fish or shrimp. Spread it on fish before roasting or steaming, or use it in the saucy base of a mussels or clam dish.

Noodles

Make a Thai curry sauce and serve it over noodles instead of rice for a change of pace. You can also use Thai curry as a base for stir-fried noodles; just thin it out with some broth or coconut milk before you toss everything together.

Soups

The beauty of soups that use Thai curry paste is that you usually don’t have to simmer them for very long since the paste is so flavorful by itself. Many soups combine Thai curry with coconut milk since the milk adds richness and tempers the spiciness of the paste

Looking for a Finished Thai Sauce?

Cooking with curry paste is something that every home cook can do! But if you still find it intimidating or you just want to enjoy the pleasure of a finished sauce, we also recommend a new product to Dorothy Lane Market. It’s a line of authentic Thai sauces created by Watcharee Limanon, a culinary artist from Bangkok. Made from all-natural ingredients, these gluten-free sauces are a great way to prepare authentic Thai dishes at home, whether you choose their Thai Peanut Sauce, Thai Yellow Curry Sauce, Thai Green Curry Sauce, or Thai Massaman Curry Sauce.

7 Fantastic Food Finds

We love good food and sometimes that passion takes us to food shows across the country where we get to taste a myriad of new products. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy 7 recent fantastic food finds that you can now find at Dorothy Lane Market. Enjoy!

1. Trident Seafoods 10g Protein Noodles

Made with wild Alaska pollock, these noodles are rich in protein, gluten free, and a great alternative to high-carb pastas. They are made with eight all-natural and non-GMO ingredients and are fully cooked. Because they’re flavor neutral, they’re a great base for a variety of pasta dishes. Look for these noodles at our Seafood Bar located near the Seafood department. SEAFOOD

2. Maistrello Bontà Artigianali

Made with simple ingredients, these crunchy breadsticks come in a variety of different flavors and are great additions to your hors d’oeuvre spread. Serve alongside tomato sauce, olives, cheese, and of course, a glass of wine. GROCERY

3. Giuliano’s Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

This luscious sauce is made in small batches with imported D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes. Made with only four ingredients, tomatoes, onion, butter, and sea salt, this sauce is vegetarian and gluten free. Delicious and versatile, try it with pasta, meats, vegetables, and seafood. GROCERY

4. Il Molino Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Residing in the heart of the Lazio countryside, Il Molino strictly farms organically and only uses the olives grown on their grounds to produce their olive oil. The olives are hand picked and immediately transferred to the mill for grinding. The quality of this olive oil is easily noticed in its color, smell, and flavor. GROCERY

5. Sale Alle Erbe dell Marlunghe Vignalta

This herbed sea salt that has become a staple in many kitchens blends Sicilian sea salt with fresh rosemary and sage for one incredible seasoning. With its amazing flavor, this salt can be used for almost every dish! Switch up your standard run-of-the-mill salt the next time you decide to grill up a steak and taste the magic this salt has to offer. GROCERY

6. Le Dolcezze di Nanni

These artisan biscotti are made using traditional Tuscan recipes. The use of natural ingredients and the process during which these treats are made are reflected in their quality and artisan nature. Look for varieties like Hazelnuts, Gianduja, and Cocoa Cantucci, Hazelnut Brutti Ma Buoni, and Almonds and Pistachios Cantucci. GROCERY

7. Bella Cucina Spreads & Crostata

Making dessert is a breeze with these buttery and decadent Crostata pastry tarts. Filled with velvety, curd-like fillings, like Key Lime Spread or Meyer Lemon Spread, these tarts are quite delicious and the perfect finale to your dinner spread. GROCERY

Destination: Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexican food—who doesn’t like it? It’s a cuisine that’s embraced worldwide. Interestingly, Mexican cuisine was the first to be awarded an UNESCO Culinary Heritage Status. As we embark on a new Food Explorer destination this month, we’re especially drawn to the cooking coming out of Oaxaca, Mexico (pronounced Wa-ha-ka).

We’re not the only ones who are slightly obsessed with Oaxacan cuisine. American chefs, restaurateurs, and cookbook authors are heavily influenced by Oaxaca, including Rick Bayless, Alice Waters, and Diana Kennedy, to name a few. It’s become quite the trendy food-lover destination bringing in tourists to the region and flooding their food markets. Although we can’t hold a candle to that experience, we’re excited to bring our interpretation of some of these food experiences to DLM.

Oaxacan cuisine has a large variety of ingredients coming from mountain areas, central valleys, southern coastline, and in and around the capital city that shares its name. Think staples like not only corn and beans, but a variety of chiles and stunning produce, seafood, chocolate, avocados, cheeses, and even the smoky mezcal that heavily influences this cuisine. Other more exotic ingredients are the delicious, but not super attractive, corn fungus called  huitlacoche (or corn smut) and a small type of grasshopper called chapulín that is full of protein and plentiful to the area.

We especially love favorites from Oaxaca, such as tlayudas, tamales, quesadillas, black beans, and Oaxacan cheese, also known as quessillo. Chocolate also is plentiful, mostly drunk hot. But the primary focus and foundation of Oaxaca cooking is mole, see page 6 for more! We’re excited to explore Oaxaca and we hope you join us for the journey.

Click here for some recipes to try at home or ways you can bite into Oaxaca, Mexico, via DLM.

Let Summer Be-Gin!

I am not a Scotch drinker nor am I really a Bourbon drinker, but I can appreciate a well-made Old Fashioned or Manhattan every once in a while. So when planning our last vacation to Scotland, I knew my husband would be extremely happy enjoying the local spirits. The Scots aren’t known for wine and not being a beer drinker I thought I was going to be “Debbie Downer” at the pub. But, I had no idea how much the UK was into gin and other non-Scotch-based cocktails.

I found something to drink there and it was so crisp and just plain refreshing! I had no idea that it would take a trip to Scotland to make me realize just how good a well-crafted tonic could be! Almost every pub and restaurant we went to had not only amazing Scotches to choose from, but a HUGE selection of gin. The variety of mixers was incredible but the one that was most recommended to me to was Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water. I was pretty familiar with that brand name although this particular flavor was one I never had in the States before. It’s a little hard to describe in flavor. Reminiscent of a salty ocean breeze, it has a slightly herbal component to it that kind of reminds me of rosemary or herbes de Provence. Plus, I didn’t even need to add the gin! (But I did—more than a couple of times.)

What I can describe is how easy it is to make a simply stunning and refreshing drink. Cut a thin slice of grapefruit, lime, or orange and place it in the bottom of a glass. If you happen to have some fresh herbs handy, throw in a small sprig of rosemary or a basil leaf (thyme will work too).  Add ice and pour a bottle of Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water to the rim. Muddle or stir, and voila! Or, do like the Highlanders do and add a little gin. Perfect summer drink!

Get Your Kicks with These 8 Recipes from Route 66

The ultimate road trip in America has got to be driving Route 66, spanning eight states with iconic comfort foods along the way. Although it was officially decommissioned in the 80s, it continues to attract tourists, road warriors, and food lovers looking to taste pure Americana. Today the historic route boasts vintage motels, nostalgic roadside attractions, and some really good road food.

After the Great Depression, folks finally had a little extra cash so they piled into the family car and embarked on a road trip of a lifetime with destination spots like the Grand Canyon or Disneyland Park in mind. Even great movies, songs, and books were inspired by the open road and aura of Route 66. For many, this road trip is also about the iconic flavors, like home-style baked goods, spicy chiles, BBQ, and all-around good country eating!

Buckle up and take a bite out of these eight recipes representing the eight states along Route 66!

1. Chicago Dog

2. Kansas BBQ Rub

3. Country Fried Steak

4. Buttered Pecan Blueberry Cobbler

5. Cowboy Steak

6. Easy Sticky Buns

7. Chicken Posole

8. Fish Tacos with Lime Crema & Cabbage Slaw

DLM Food Explorer Viva Italia

On my first trip to Italy some years ago, I was surprised to learn that Tuscans largely ignore balsamic vinegar, and Milanese favor rice over pasta. And right in between Milan and Tuscany you find many recognizable delicacies from lasagna to Prosciutto di Parma to balsamic vinegar in the region of Reggio Emilia. Hazelnuts are a big deal in the north and hot peppers in the south.

You learn that when speaking of Italy’s great food culture, it’s impossible to describe it without putting it in a regional context. Maybe it’s the Italian connection to the land, a long culinary history, or simply local pride. In any case, discovering the regional foods of Italy is both educational and incredibly fun. Over the years, so many of us at DLM have traveled to Italy to discover its food treasures, and we’ve made it a point to bring a number of those back to you.

You see Italy’s influence at DLM in the Italian products themselves, like our Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil hailing from the hills of Tuscany or our Parmigiano-Reggiano from Modena. Other times, you’ll find its reach in the form of a technique we’ve learned from studying with Italian masters that we then replicate here, such as our DLM Handmade Mozzarella, Naples-Style Pizza, and Tuscan butcher-inspired specialty prepared meats, to name a few. As you can imagine, we could write a book on our passion for Italian food, but for the purpose of giving some focus, we are spotlighting a few regions of Italy that have inspired us the most: Tuscany, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, and Southern Italy, mainly Calabria and Sicily.

We’ll be celebrating Italy all month culminating with our Food Explorer Day taking place May 18. Join us for great fun and good Italian eating on our next stop as Food Explorers…buon appetito!

TUSCANY

FOOD

Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (GROCERY), Pane Toscano (BAKERY), Pecorino Toscano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP), Italian Oven-Ready Meats (MEAT)

WINE

CAPPONE CHIANTI CLASSICO – Count Sebastiano Capponi is a dear friend to DLM, hailing from his lovely Tuscan estate that’s been in his family since 1524! This young-vine Chianti is named for the first ancestor of Sebastiano. It’s 100% Sangiovese, brimming with beautiful fruit and richness.

VILLA CALCINAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA – 100% Sangiovese from the best blocks of old vines near Greve in Chianti. It’s a well-structured wine that’s full of rich black fruits, leather, spice, cigar box notes, and supple tannins.

FONTALEONI VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO – A wonderfully dry, minerally, and extremely pleasing white wine from the surrounding vineyards of the hilltop town of San Gimignano.

CAMPANIA

FOOD

Naples-Style Pizza (DLM WASHINGTON SQUARE & SPRINGBORO), San Marzano Tomatoes D.O.P. (GROCERY), DLM Handmade Mozzarella (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

COLLI DI LAPIO ROMANO CLELIA FIANO DI AVELLINO – A white wine from the Avellino province and a varietal the Romans called Vitis Apiana, vine beloved of bees. It’s dry, lovely, and has hints of pear and hazelnut, floral tones, and a hint of minerality.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

FOOD

Prosciutto di Parma (DELI), Mortadella (DELI), DLM Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (GROCERY), Lasagna (GOURMET TAKEAWAY), Parmigiano-Reggiano (THE DLM CHEESE SHOP)

WINE

CASALI ROSA DI ROSA RED SPARKLING WINE – Perfect chilled with a plate of charcuterie enjoyed al fresco with its bright raspberry/blueberry fruit and soft bubbles.

LO DUCA LAMBRUSCO REGGIANO – Lambrusco does not exactly excite most after we’ve suffered so many terrible mass-produced and exported representations of this wine. However, Lo Duca is bright, semi-sweet, and has a naturally carbonated essence. Try it in a cocktail.

SOUTHERN ITALY (CALABRIA + SICILY)

FOOD

Cannoli (BAKERY), DLM Gelato (FROZEN), Scalia Anchovies (GROCERY), Marinated Anchovies (SEAFOOD BAR)

WINE

VILLA POZZI NERO D’AVOLA – The Pozzi family is a fifth-generation winemaking family located on the island of Sicily.

DONNAFUGATA ANTHILIA BIANCO – An amazingly crisp, minerally, and vibrant white wine blend from Sicily that’s perfect for light seafood dishes, salad, or poultry.

 

The Treasures of Tuscany

Over the years we’ve had the great fortune to travel to Italy several times to find new and exciting foods to bring back to DLM. Often, our home base is Tuscany. Our good friend and partner Alex Zanetti has graciously hosted us at his villa in the small medieval town of Lucignano. The rolling hills of this part of Tuscany are home to the olive trees that produce our signature Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Made exclusively of Tuscan olives, it’s virgin pressed and bottled within a few miles of the olive groves. Its distinctive peppery notes are indicative of Tuscan oils and makes it our go-to olive oil for vinaigrettes, sauces, or simply drizzled over grilled meats or pasta dishes.

A trip abroad a few years back took several DLM food explorers, left, to Tuscany. One stop was at the estate of Count Sebastiano Capponi, right, whose beautiful wine we carry.

Not far from Lucignano is the better known town of Montepulciano. On our last visit, we enjoyed strolling through the street market, sampling pici (long cut pasta that is significantly thicker than spaghetti), pork sandwiches, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Some of the pictures on this page are from that trip. It’s a pleasure to be able to share some of our food finds with you this month.

The olives used in our Vera Jane’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil are grown on the Zanetti family’s estate. This olive oil has flavor, balance, and a peppery kick. Middle, Alex Zanetti shows DLM’s Scott Achs the olive grove.

Hot Stuff!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotta have it. You might even say I am addicted to hot sauce. In fact, I won’t even make or order eggs for breakfast if there isn’t any to be found. (I mean really—why bother?) I actually have something in common with the amazing Beyoncé—she feels the same way I do about hot sauce! She always carries hot sauce in her bag wherever she goes.

Doing a little bit of research on the huge and fiercely loyal following that hot sauces have leads me to believe that this isn’t a fad that is going away any time soon. I think it’s more of a cultural influence on how all of our tastes are becoming more global. Think about it, have you ever heard of a chipotle pepper in mainstream America 20 years ago? Now it is reported that over 50% of all American households currently have a bottle of some brand of hot sauce.

I read somewhere that Tabasco is the “Kleenex brand” of hot sauces and although Louisiana-style hot sauces are most common, what has really taken off in the hot sauce market are ones with ethnic influences and wider ranges of flavors. Sriracha is a good example. It’s not only a new condiment that the restaurant industry had to make room for on their tables, it’s the trending flavor for the snack aisle in grocery and convenience stores. You can find it on popcorn, crackers, and all sorts of other items.

Right now if you opened my fridge at home, I think I have 5 kinds. I like to use different ones depending on what I am cooking or eating. Tabasco for eggs, Crystal for seafood, Sriracha to kick anything up a notch, Schultz’s for anything Buffalo-style, and Gochujang to help add a warm, slightly smoky depth to sauces and soups.

What’s your favorite hot sauce?

Hot Sauce Hurrah

Hot sauce is one condiment we cannot live without. It’s a sure way to kick your dish up a notch, and with the varying levels of heat you’re able to pick the one that’s perfect for you. We’ve selected a few of our favorites, each bringing its own flavors and complexities to your favorite meals.

1. Crazy Uncle Jester’s Jamaican Hellfire

Dayton-based, award-winning sauce with tropical flavor and heat. Pear purée combines with habaneros, serranos, jalapeños, and sweet bell peppers.

2. Bravado Spice Co. Pineapple & Habanero

This hot sauce has the perfect balance as it’s sweet and spicy, packed with real chilies and fruit.

3. Fix Sriracha

Inspired by a trip to Vietnam, Fix Sriracha was born. It’s simple, clean, and authentic, making it the perfect addition to your bowl of pho.

4. Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Sauce

Kick things up a notch! Add an insane boost to soups, burritos, burgers, and more with this intensely hot sauce.

5. TRUFF Hot Sauce

Crowned with a “truffle” cap, it’s a blend of ripe chili peppers, organic agave nectar, black truffle, and savory spices.

6. Cholula Green Pepper Hot Sauce

Uncap flavor with this zesty combo of jalapeño and poblano peppers in this medium heat sauce.

7. Chilau Original Pepper Sauce

Paying homage to his grandmother’s Crab Chilau recipe, Michael Anderson created this all-natural pepper sauce.

8. Uncle Snorey Taste Bud Annihilator

Locally made in Hamilton, Ohio, you’ll find all-natural ingredients and the ultimate combination of heat and flavor.

Calling All Food Explorers!

Come with us. We’re going on a journey to faraway places and it all starts at one of the most humble destinations—your table and the foods that fill it. No bags or pass ports needed, just an appetite for discovery. Taking flight with us this month is our new Food Explorer series, which will feature culinary stops to some of the hottest food regions of the world in the months to come. First destination is France, so get ready to embrace the fromage, the food, and let’s not forget about the wine!

Our inspiration for launching this journey was not a whim. Travel has become an essential fiber of Dorothy Lane Market’s DNA. For many years at DLM, there has been an underlying philosophy woven into the culture: We travel, we taste, and we meet and learn from artisans and masters in their own craft from faraway places. Then, we bring it back to you. “That gives us passion,” says Calvin Mayne, DLM President. “We are bringing you these great experiences from around the world and it makes us happy and gives our work meaning.”

In addition to so many at DLM, Calvin’s love for travel is inspiring and it walks hand in hand with his love for great food of the world. “You see how people live, you taste, you eat … and those memories stay with you forever.” This is why you’ll find the great flavors of the world discovered during travel being brought back to DLM with authenticity and pride. You’ll see this at play when it comes to our Artisan Bread, Naples-Style Pizza, sushi, Italian-style meats, and DLM Handmade Mozzarella, to name a few. You’ll also find products that we’ve sourced from fine makers and artisans lining our shelves, from the robust wine selection to olive oils, cheeses, and cooking sauces.

“Where else do you go to a grocery store where we’ve actually visited the fisherman or where the Bakery director studied with French masters to learn how to make a baguette?” Calvin says, referring to Jack Gridley’s salmon fishing exploration to the brisk waters of Alaska, Scott Fox’s rendezvous with French bakers in Aurillac, France, Todd Templin’s wine adventure to Austria, all the way to more local treasures, like Dennis Chrisman’s trek to the Amish farms in Adams County, Ohio.

With that said, we are ecstatic to celebrate the foods from afar that you’ll find in our stores the year to come! If you’ve traveled to the regions we’ll be featuring, we hope to revive some of those most delicious memories. If you’ve yet to explore the destinations, then let us give you a small taste of what it has to offer.