We’ve all watched our favourite chefs douse some wine or beer over a cooking pot. It looks so fancy and something that only chefs can do. Right? Yeah, well, have you ever thought about cooking with alcohol in your own home? Today is the day you might reconsider and actually try it.
There’s no end to the dishes that can benefit from a shot of alcohol: meats, sauces, desserts, even cakes can be improved with alcohol.
Here are some tips to remember if in case you choose to travel this route that is least followed:
Use any alcohol you would drink
First things first, when picking out alcohol to cook with, always use any alcohol that you would enjoy drinking. Why? Because, the tastier your bottle of wine or liquor, the more flavour and aroma on the plate. If you go with something you don’t enjoy drinking, you’ll be able to taste whether it is in your food or pastries.
Use just enough
You don’t want to get your food drunk, now, do you? I don’t think so. Think of adding alcohol to your food as working on a curve. Too little and you won’t taste it, and too much means that the alcohol will mask some of the dish’s flavor.
It’s almost impossible to say how much alcohol you should put into your dish when cooking, but it’s always best to follow a recipe to attain a certain flavour.
When to add which alcohol
Now comes the juicy part. What do you cook with alcohol and which type of alcohol do you use?
Because of its strong taste, cooking with beer adds a deep, earthy flavour to dishes. Beer is great for just about every cooking technique: baking, braising, deglazing, battering, sauces, marinating, and simmering.
To really get the full taste of beer in your food, sauces are a wonderful place to start. When added to breads and meaty braises, much of the beer’s flavour usually cook out. But don’t let that stop you.
When cooking with wine, most of the wine will be cooked off (or evaporated), leaving tons of flavor and some moisture behind, as well as creating thickness in your sauce.
If you’re looking for smoky flavours, try whiskey. This is because whiskey has sweet, smoky, and caramel flavor profiles that can be used in either sweet or savory dishes.
An important tip to remember, though, is make sure you cook on low heat and do not add into a pan over an open flame – this can start a fire!