To the cookbooks I have returned as readers will note from this and upcoming posts. I started to feel the internal pressure again to use the cookbooks I have on the shelves, so recently pulled out Nancie McDermott's Real Vegetarian Thai to try her Nahm Prik Pao or Roasted Chili Paste with Tofu and Vegetables.
The chili paste was recently easy to make - had to roast dried chili arbol and garlic to achieve the roasted/smokey flavor of the paste, and otherwise just blend the ingredients together. The one mistake I may have made (which has the potential for significant ramifications) was to over-roast the chilis so that they may have had a slightly burnt flavor. Unfortunately I couldn't ultimately tell if I prepared the recipe correctly or not because even the arguably light smokey flavor was generally a little unpleasant for my taste.
I tossed several tablespoons of the roasted chili paste with a block of extra firm tofu, onion, bell peppers, zucchini and ultimately some chili-garlic paste to soften the smokey flavor of the roasted chili paste. The result I have to admit was just ok - I think this recipe is probably not going to be repeated in the future.