Every now and then I’m left to fend for myself at home whilst my wife goes out gallivanting with her girlfriends.
I miss my wife dearly on such occasions, I really do. But as soon as she’s out the door I start whoopin’ and hollerin’ as I revel in the chance to revert back to bachelordom, if only for a few precious hours.
Although I can, and probably should use this time alone for more noble and productive activities like putting up some shelves in the garage, doing the laundry, or showering, more times than not I just end up drinking copious amounts of beer. Well, more copious than usual.
My wife’s most recent excursion couldn’t have come at a better time as I’ve just discovered malt liquor from the Philippines.
Malt liquor! From the Philippines!
Now I’ve had my fair share of San Migs in my lifetime as that beer is fairly easy to find in any supermarket here in SoCal. But I’ve never had the pleasure of Red Horse Malt Liquor before. And I use the term "pleasure" loosely here–Red Horse isn’t exactly great beer, but it hits the spot when you have absolutely nothing to do and few other beer options in the fridge (how’s that for a ringing endorsement?).
I’m not exactly a connoisseur of malt liquor, but I’d be lying if I said my lips have never touched the welcoming wide mouth of a Mickey’s 40, or if I said my fingers have never caressed a slender Colt 45 tall boy. (Wow, that last sentence could use some heavy-duty masculine editing. Eh, I’ll leave it be.)
Anyhoo, unlike the 40 of Mickey’s or the Colt 45 tall can, the Red Horse I found at a local Filipino market came in the form of a 6-pack. A sixer of malt liquor isn’t something I see everyday, but then again it’s not often that I’m shopping for malt liquor. And it’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t discovered Red Horse until recently. If Red Horse were around while I were in college, I’d probably be writing this post with black crayon on a piece of cardboard from beneath the comfortable confines of a freeway overpass–or at the very least still living with my parents and having to split my sixer of Red Horse with my dad.
Red Horse weighs in at 7% alcohol by volume, which is a bit more alcohol than typical American beers. And it also isn’t very red in color, but more of a pale golden (and no, I don’t usually drink malt liquor out of a glass). Also, according to some stories I’ve read on the internets, legend has it that in the Philippines, a bottle featuring a "smiling horse" signifies a bottle with even more of an alchol kick. I’m not sure how true that story is, but I’d be more than happy to find a smiling horse in my six pack–it’d kinda be like finding the prize in a cereal box, but for adults, drunken adults.
After downing my first bottle of the Red Horse, I needed to put something solid in my belly lest my wife come home to an unshowered husband passed out on the floor (which is worlds worse than a showered husband passed out on the floor. The act of bathing signifies real spunk and gumption and should count as a household chore when applied to weekends). Luckily, I’m always prepared for such occasions. While I may be unfamiliar to the wonders of Red Horse, I am an old veteran when it comes to Filipino canned sardines in tomato sauce.
Whenever my mother was short on time and ingredients, she would sometimes open up a can of sardines, heat them up with some onions and tomatoes, and then serve the whole shebang with rice. As basic as that sounds, I loved it. In fact, ever since I graduated from college, I’ve always made sure to have a few cans of sardines in my cupboard for when times were tough. It was bachelor food at its finest.
Even now, with a pantry that is stocked much better than my days as a bachelor, I still keep a small stockpile of canned sardines. And what better time to enjoy canned goods and malt liquor than when the wife’s away?
Stop rolling your eyes. Canned sardines are delicious, especially if you gussy ’em up a little bit. What’s that you say? It’s food only a lonely husband/swingin’ bachelor would enjoy? Well, I say nay to that notion (or should I say neigh? Ha!). It’s food fit for a king.
Gussied Up Filipino Canned Sardines for One
2 tsp. oil
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 small onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small can sardines in tomato sauce (I prefer Ligo brand found in Asian markets)
In a small pan, heat the oil and chili flakes over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and sweat the onion until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and tomato and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the sardines and tomato sauce and continue cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Serve over steamed rice.