…on good food, questionable judgment, and making life work
So, I guess flavored vodkas are a thing now, which means they’ll be passé in no time. I’ve never bought a flavored vodka and likely never will due to its reliance on the Jersey Turnpike, but I’m still on the vodka infusing bandwagon. And I’ll stay on that bandwagon when the trend has long passed, because I’m loyal, dammit. I liked Falco back in the ’80’s and clunky shoes in the ’90’s–and I’ll like them both ’til the day I die. This dedication to impractical fads has the added bonus of being intensely embarrassing to your children, which as we all know, is the most important reason to ever have children. Honestly, if you’ve never had She’s a Lady blaring from the open windows of your Momvan as you adjust your Scrunchie in the soccer practice pick-up line, you are doing it wrong.
My favorite go-to infusion is chili. I use dried chilies, because they’re easy to keep on hand. I don’t have a specific recipe, I usually take about 12 dried chilies and pour some vodka over them in a big mason jar.
Usually 3-4 days is adequate, but you can use fewer chilies and let it go longer. If it winds up too hot, don’t freak–just cut it with some plain vodka until you reach the heat level you desire.
Once you have made your chili vodka (or have purchased it because you aren’t hardcore, or maybe you have a real job, or because you pay adequate attention to your offspring…) you can reward yourself with this, my signature drink:
A hearty pinch of cilantro leaves (6-10)
1.5 oz chili vodka
3/4 oz heavy simple syrup
1 oz lime juice
Muddle (or shake really hard) the cilantro with some ice in a cocktail shaker.
Add liquid ingredients and shake. Pour into a cocktail glass, rimmed with equal parts sugar and salt.
And now that you’re tuned up, why not make some dinner? Here’s what you’ll need:
Yeah, you could make your own green curry paste. I’ve done it, and the taste is superior. But you’ve already crafted a cocktail, and you deserve a break! The Maesri stuff is pretty good, and it’s best to save the effort for homemade laska.
1 tbs sesame or canola oil
1/2 of a 4oz can of Maesri green curry paste
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 can of Mae Ploy coconut milk (give it a good shake for this application)
1/2 lb fresh tofu
Cooked chicken or pork; or raw fish/seafood–totally optional. I threw in some gutterfish…*ahem*…tilapia. It’s what I had in the freezer.
Prepared noodles–bean threads are great in this–please review our discussion of all things Asian noodle
Cilantro, thinly sliced scallion, fish or soy sauce, and lime
Heat the oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add the tofu and the optional protein, cover and simmer until the tofu and meats are heated through, or until the seafood is cooked. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Place a handful of noodles in a large bowl and ladle the soup over. Hit it with some fish sauce, scallion, cilantro, and lime to taste.