Panang Curry Paste
3 oz dried New Mexico chilis
1 Tbsp whole corriander seed
2 Tbsp shrimp paste (available @ oriental markets) This gets double wrapped in foil, about a 2" square package.
Zest from 1 small persian lime or 2 kaffir limes (if you can find them)
10 (5 pairs) kaffir lime leaves
2-1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, including stems
1 large stalk lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, using about the first 3" from the root end only. Cut into thin rounds.
2 Tbsp finely chopped, peeled fresh galanga or fresh ginger. I use frozen galanga.
1/3 C chopped garlic
1/2 C chopped shallots or red onion
Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil. Stem and seed chilis. Cut in 1/2 lengthwise and remove as many veins as possible. Cut halves into 3/4" strips crosswise and reserve. When water comes to a boil, remove from heat, add all the chilis and let rehydrate for 30 minutes.
In a small skillet toast the corriander seeds until fragrent, making sure to shake the pan to prevent burning. Transfer seeds to a small bowl to cool. Place the skillet back over medium heat and add the packet of shrimp paste, cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrent, turning packet several times. Set asided to cool. In a spice grinder, process the corriander seeds to a powder and transfer to a blender or food processer (metal blade). Separate the pairs of lime leaves, stack them and cut into fine slivers.
Add the lime zest, lime leaves, cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, garlic and shallots to the food processor. Add the shrimp paste. Drain the chilis, keeping 1/2 cup of the liquid. Add chilis to the blender. Blend/process ingredients until a thick, smooth paste is formed. You will have to pause to scrape down the sides. You can add a couple Tbsp of soaking liquid to assist in the processing if it appears too thick. This recipe will give you about 1-2/3 cups. It will last about 1 month in an air tight container in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
You can add as much heat as you like. Simply add more hot chilis in the paste or fresh chilis in your final dish recipe.
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.