I’m not one to pass up a good libation, so Asian Caucasian is ringing in the New Year with this mildly spicy, Thai-inspired cocktail! Damien is not a drinker, so guess who was “forced” to do the taste-testing on this one? You got it! Really tough assignment! This spritzy muddled vodka drink is SO good — it has a touch of sweetness from the simple syrup, flavorings from the lemongrass, mint, and basil, and a touch of heat from the chili peppers. Wow! Wow! Wow! Could be my new go-to cocktail!
- 1 piece lemongrass, tough outer skin removed
- 4-5 Thai basil leaves or regular basil (more for garnishing)
- 4-5 sprigs mint leaves (more for garnishing)
- 2 ounces vodka
- ¾ ounce *simple syrup
- 8 ounces club soda
- Juice from ½ lime
- 3-4 cucumber slices
- 4 thin slices jalapeño peppers
- 2-3 thin slices red Thai chili peppers (seeded)
- In a martini shaker, muddle the first three ingredients. Add the vodka, simple syrup, and club soda to the shaker and lightly shake to combine.
- Using a strainer, pour the mixture into a cocktail glass and squeeze in the lime juice, stir well. (Discard the ingredients from the shaker.) Garnish the drink with cucumbers, jalapeño peppers, red Thai chili peppers, basil, and mint.
Pour equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat the ingredients until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Fa-La-Latkes! Hanukkah falls on X-Mas this year (“Chrismukkah!”), so we’ve created an Asian latke to partner with your traditional latke using sweet potatoes and Chinese Five Spice! With a little help from Raw Spice Bar, we upped our game with this sweet and savory latke complete with the traditional toppings — sour cream and applesauce. This potato pancake is not your grandmother’s latke. Sorry, Bubbie!
Shred sweet potatoes in a food processor.
- In a food processor using the shredder blade, shred the sweet potatoes. Place in a large mixing bowl. Shred the carrots and place in the bowl with the potatoes. Grate the onion with the slicer blade, strain in a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove any liquid. Add to the mixing bowl. To the potato mixture add the Chinese Five Spice, eggs, coconut flour, and salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands until well-combined.
- Heat the oil on medium-high in a heavy cast iron skillet. Forming small patties with the potato mixture, place into the hot oil and cook patties (latkes) until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side, pressing down periodically. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel to drain. Keep warm while cooking remaining latkes. Serve on a platter with a side of sour cream if desired, and sprinkle the latkes with the scallions.
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The holidays would not be complete without chocolate bark, am I right? Here’s our twist on this classic dessert with an Asian holiday chocolate bark featuring the key ingredient, Japanese matcha (green tea) powder. This recipe was inspired by a recent post on FoodandWine.com, but we added a surprise kick to our bark with a “smidge” of cayenne pepper! For an extra crunch, add chopped, roasted almonds to the matcha mixture. Make this in advance, store it in the fridge or freezer, and pull it out for your party guests!
Swirl the chocolate with a skewer or toothpick to make a decorative design. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Canola cooking spray
- 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon (Japanese) matcha powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups white chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Spray a 9x13 inch cookie sheet with cooking spray. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper, with overlap.
- In a medium glass mixing bowl, microwave 1 ½ cups of the bittersweet chocolate chips in 30-second increments until melted. Remove bowl from microwave and add in remaining ½ cup chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted. Spread the melted chocolate into the sheet pan in an even layer. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the canola oil, matcha powder, and cayenne powder. Set aside.
- In a large glass mixing bowl, microwave 3½ cups of the white chocolate chips in 30-second increments until melted. Remove bowl from microwave and add in the remaining ½ cup of white chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted. Pour the matcha powder mixture into ½ cup of the melted white chocolate chips and mix well. Using a large spoon, spread large spoonfuls of the matcha chocolate and white chocolate over dark chocolate layer in the pan. Use the tip of a skewer to decoratively make swirls in the chocolate. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. Break off into uneven bite-sized pieces when ready to serve.
- Let sit at room temperature about 2 hours, until firm. Can be stored in the refrigerator in a container for 2 weeks.
Adapted from Food and Wine, December 2016.
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