CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 66

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M THUA THAWT SAMUN PHRAI  Fried peanuts with makrut lime leaves, garlic, and chiles When I first started traveling to Thailand, peanuts like these often came complimentary with your beer at drinking establishments, particularly those that served farang like myself. Nowadays you see them everywhere— markets, bus stops, bars—though they’re rarely free. You’ll even see a sort of kitch- en-sink version, thua raboert (explosion peanuts), that includes ingredients like dried shrimp, dried anchovies, lemongrass, and cashews. So go wild. But first make this version. What makes it great is the dried chiles, makrut lime leaves, and garlic, all fried to a fragrant crisp, that infuse salty peanuts with flavor. ◊ serves 8 to 10 SPECIAL EQUIPMENT A deep-fry thermometer  A large spider skimmer (recommended)  Neutral oil (such as soybean or palm), for deep-frying (about 2 cups / 480 ml)  36 g / 3 tablespoons finely chopped (⅛ inch / 3 mm) garlic  2 g / about 5 dried Thai chiles  5 g / 6 large fresh or thawed frozen makrut lime leaves, patted dry  455 g / 3 cups unsalted Spanish (red-skinned) peanuts  4 g / 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt  Line a large sheet pan with paper towels or newspaper. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof con- tainer. Pour the oil to a depth of ¾ inch / 2 cm or so into a wok or large saucepan and set the wok over high heat until the oil is 275°F / 135°C. Use the thermometer to test the temperature, measuring the oil at the center of the vessel and carefully stirring the oil occasionally to ensure a consistent temperature.  Add all of the garlic to the hot oil, immediately turn down the heat to low, and stir the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle sizzle, until the garlic is light golden brown and  completely crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour the contents of the wok through the prepared strainer. Transfer the garlic to a corner of the prepared pan.  Return the oil to the wok and set over medium-low heat. Add the chiles and cook, stirring often, until they turn a deep, dark brown (but not black), 5 to 8 minutes. Using the spider or a mesh strainer, trans- fer the chiles to the prepared pan to drain. Scoop out any loose seeds from the oil.  Increase the heat to high and bring the oil to 300°F / 150°C. Add the lime leaves and cook, stirring oc- casionally, until the leaves are crisp but still bright green, about 10 seconds. Using the spider, transfer them to the prepared pan to drain. Lower the heat to medium.  Once again, set the fine-mesh strainer over the heatproof container. Add the peanuts to the hot oil and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour the contents of the wok through the prepared strainer and transfer the peanuts to an empty part of the prepared pan. Reserve the oil for another use.  When the peanuts are cool enough to handle but still warm, transfer them to a large bowl. Add the garlic, chiles, lime leaves, and salt and, using your hands, mix well, crushing the chiles and lime leaves so they break into small pieces. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.  PHOTOGRAPHY: Austin Bush Serve warm or at room temperature. The mixture will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.