Wine certainly has its place in the kitchen. But it’s by no means the only alcohol to use in the kitchen. If you’re a whiskey fan, there are plenty of ways to incorporate bourbon, rye, or Scotch into your dishes. Just like other spirits, whiskey adds loads of flavor and depth to your food.
“I love cooking with whiskey even more than wine because it lends itself to so many more dishes from savory to sweet,” says chef and author Maureen Petrosky. “You can infuse everything from appetizers to dessert with a little whiskey and it will always elevate the dishes and create unique layers of flavor.”
Robert Ramsey, chef and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education also agrees. While he does caution that you do need to be aware high-proof booze can catch fire and that, if you have under-age diners at your table, you need enough time and heat for the alcohol to evaporate. (Cooking off the alcohol also in helps eliminate the “burn” on your palate.) But, when used properly, says Ramsey “whiskey adds a depth of complex flavor that can truly elevate dishes.”
Just as with wine or beer, you want to cook with a whiskey you enjoy drinking. It doesn’t have to be an expensive bottle, but if the spirit itself doesn’t have flavors your enjoy, you’re not going to want to eat the food. If you’re ready to start cooking with whiskey, here are a few ideas, recipes, and bottles to get you going.
Pan Roasted Steak with Four Roses Deglaze
Use: Four Roses Bourbon
“While most people immediately think of dessert when cooking with bourbon due to its pronounced vanilla, buttery oak, and caramel flavor profiles, it’s great for savory preparations as well,” Ramsey says. “Next time you sear a steak, try deglazing the pan with a rye-heavy bourbon like Four Roses. The spicy-sweet flavor profile adds an intense richness to pan roasted meats and compliments the flavor of black pepper perfectly.” Cook your steak to your desired temperature and spoon the pan juices over the top.
Apple Pie and Whipped Cream with Scotch
Use: Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
Want to elevate your traditional apple pie? Try adding a half cup of The Balveine 14 Caribbean Cask to your usual filling and pre-bake it in a cast iron skillet for 20 minutes or so to reduce and cook off the alcohol in the Scotch Fill your crust as normal and bake. The tropical fruit, honey, vanilla and toffee notes add depth and dimension to this classic desert. For an indulgent, adult twist add a shot or two to fresh whipped cream for the top.
Chili with Campfire Whiskey
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