Cooking with Booze! Sheer Delight!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by markswill, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. markswill

    markswill

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    Is it just me or is it fun to experiment with different types of liquors, wine, or beer. Not only do I enjoy mixing and drinking, I enjoy cooking and bringing different flavors out. Any ideas, from midori to sake.
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I am a big fan of bourbon and whiskey for cooking. It can often be used in place of brandy in many recipes. It is a little stronger both alcohol wise and flavor wise and a little sweeter, but I find that I really enjoy the flavor it brings to many dishes.
     
  3. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    Absolutely. Brandy is a favorite, along with a nice dark beer. Nothing tastes quit like my Beer Braised Beef Ribs, especially finishing some onions in the reducing liquid to put the ribs on top of.

    I have been known to raid the bar on a whim with an idea - Sunday Morning Pineapple/Rum Pancakes to Vodka Sweetened French Onion. Plus, who does like doing Sherry Mushrooms, espically with that flame in the pan.
     
  4. keeperofthegood

    keeperofthegood

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    Hey oh

    Well, the other year my wife says to me, Hun, my co-worker saw this interesting recipe on Rosy O'Donnel......

    Hmmmm, says I. Having watched many a useless hour of daytime TV, I didn't hold much hope.

    Big Mistake.

    I since learned this is a traditional German type thing to do. In various ways and means, the combining of Pork, Sauerkraut, and Beer.


    I have talked to Chef's that use, loin, chops, centre cuts, hams, hocks, and stew cut. I have read and heard of browning the pork with no coating, flour coating, bread crumbs coating, and paste mustard coated. I have also been told that however you do it, you always brown the meat first.

    The traditional German beer, Beck, is a light coloured Pilsner type beer. I don't like it. I find that all light beers, especially the Pilsner types, have a very bitter taste when cooked, only being made worse with seasoning.

    Aside:
    I did a summer of beer recipes. I wanted to know the difference in flavour and colour of the various beers, and if some work better in one dish or another, or if beer has better affinities for some meats Vs others. I found that for pork and beef a dark stout is great. Guinness or the like. I found that a med-dark like Old Speckled Hen good for chicken. I also did not find a dish in which I liked, as I said, any Pilsner type beer.

    So, if you want to try the Pork, Sauerkraut, and Beer....

    1 - 5 pounds (hey, make enough right) pork << does the cut matter?
    breading of choice (Personally I use 1 cup semolina #1 or #2, 1 tbsp pepper 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp ground caraway seed)
    1 - 2 tart apples (granny smith, nothing sweeter than a Mac)
    1 - 2 pounds Sauerkraut (there is good Sauerkraut, and there is bad Sauerkraut... I use Kune brand, I can and do eat this straight from the jar with a fork :))
    1 - 2 cans beer (ok, here I use a stout!!)
    flavours - pepper, cloves, juniper, caraway... << I just toss this in random amounts in a mortis and pestle and go

    1. brown pork
    2 brown Sauerkraut (yes, Sauerkraut can be browned, and it is a very wet product, at least letting the moisture steam off first helps with the consistency of the final dish)
    lay Sauerkraut on the bottom of roaster, cover with grated apples and spices, then cover with browned meat. Fill to braising level with beer (drink the excess of course, may need three cans, just in cas there isn't enough excess) cover with a tight lid, and 225 for 2 - 4 hours (Time really depends on how tough a cut you use or how big a piece you use.)

    I serve this on a bed of rice. I have tried various noodles or tatters but the dryness of rice works better. I also like to have hot buttered pretzels on the table as well (my German friends always give me a shocked look when I say that, and then nod their heads and say, "not the way I would do it, but it sounds good")

    Hmmmm, yes, good eats.


    I am also thinking of Irish dishes that use beer, but I think I should stop typing now, maybe later!!
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Keeper, the dish you just described is a take on the traditional Choucroute. This is one of my all time favorite dishes. When I do mine I usually like to use smoked pork chops (or smoked pork loin) and at least 2-3 different German-style sausages. Also I find rinsing your sauerkraut first makes it a little more mild (learned this from a German chef I used to work with). Along with the apples I also use quite a bit of onion. And for the beer I look towards the German dark beers. They have a nice sweet maltiness that you don't find in Stouts and Porters. The procedure is to brown your meat in a large skillet (I don't bread or flour the meat) and remove. Then saute the onions, in the pork fat, until starting to brown, add the sauerkraut, apples, and seasonings (I usually use carraway, and if available some juniper). Then add the meats back in, add the beer (about 1 1/2 bottles for a large skillet, serving 4-6 people). I cover the skillet and allow to slowly braise, on the stovetop, for about 45 minutes. Remove the meat to the oven to keep warm and increase the heat to reduce the liquid. When the liquid is reduced to your liking add the meats back in and take the whole skillet to the table and let people serve themselves. I always accompany this with Spatzel (or if feeling lazy buttered boiled potatoes) and a couple of German mustards, one hot, one sweet. You can also add a tablespoon or 2 of brown sugar to the Choucroute, when you add all the ingredients, to help mellow out the sauerkraut, if you want.
     
  6. ma facon

    ma facon

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    Pete , That is the recipe that I use except for that I start with rendering some apple smoked bacon then proceed with browning the pork etc... etc... I love this dish when having people over for a oktoberfest party . YUMMM!!!! :lips: :chef:
     
  7. keeperofthegood

    keeperofthegood

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    Hey oh

    Well, thank you kindly indeed!!

    Yes, it is a well loved dish here. I have only tryed it with sausage once. I have also used smoked bacon. It is a fun dish to play with, because it addapts so well. Here, where I live there is a fairly strong German comunity. Not as strong as Kitchener-Waterloo, but there is a presence for sure. The difficulty here is that many are third or fourth generation Canadians, and are seperated by time and distance from a lot of their original German culture (or in my case, my mother's father's mother, who is the German in my family tree). The result is a wide variety of views on German foods. I have tried both rinsed and unrinsed saurkraut, and I like to dry it by frying rather than draining or rinsing. But that is also because of the saurkraut I use. Well-made saurkraut is a joy to eat. When I get the chance to get out into the Mennonite community, saurkraut is always on the shopping list.

    I will need to try the German dark beer next time. Here, when I asked for German beer, our LCBO said they only carried the Beck. So I will need to do some more research into it.

    I am kinda embarrased for forgetting the onions.....[​IMG] I do add them as well. I have tried the Spatzel, but to be honest I am not that good at making it. Mine turns out overly soft and wet. I think I may need to spend some time just making this German noodle to really get it right.
     
  8. michigan dave

    michigan dave

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    Bananas Foster

    From the below-noted web site - I am not the author just so there is no misunderstanding.

    A quintessential New Orleans dessert, and a favorite among most locals.

    * 4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
    * 1 cup dark brown sugar
    * 2 bananas
    * 2 oz. banana liqueur
    * 4 oz. dark rum
    * Ground cinnamon
    * Vanilla ice cream (optional)

    This dish cannot be prepared in the kitchen. It must be performed, in front of your guests. Use a chafing dish, and some kind of portable heat like Sterno. Don't be sloppy, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. There's no need to burn the house down just for dessert, but this really must be done right. I learned to cook this dish from Chef Joe Cahn at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and he spun dire tales of what befell those who dared sequester themselves in the kitchen when making Bananas Foster. Seriously, bad gris-gris will befall you if you deprive your guests of the spectacle. Plus, they'll talk for years about how cool you are to have made this for their dessert.

    First, you should make some preparations. Peel a thin strip of peel from the bananas, and use your knife to slice the banana crossways into coins. Then replace the banana peel so that it looks untouched (as best as you can, anyway). This way, you can pretend to "peel" your bananas, and dump them into the put already cut, as if by magic. Cheesy, you ask? Well, it still looks cool, particularly if you're really nonchalant when you do this in front of your guests. If you insist, you can slice the bananas the classical way, quartering them by slicing thm lengthwise and then in half. I still think the other way is cooler.

    Put your ground cinnamon into some kind of non-standard container, or even a little muslin bag, the better to "convince" your guests that it is, in fact, not cinnamon but voodoo dust, scraped from the tomb of Marie Laveau at midnight on All Soul's Day ... some kind of delightfully corny crap like that. Also, I recommend taking a cinnamon stick and grinding it fresh in a spice or coffee grinder instead of using pre-ground cinnamon. Sieve the result through a tea ball strainer to remove the larger pieces which won't grind finely. This will maximize the fresh, aromatic cinnamon flavor. If you use your coffee grinder, it'll also make your coffee taste great.

    Now, to business ...

    Melt the butter and add the brown sugar to form a creamy paste. Let this mixture caramelize over the heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the banana liqueur and rum. Heat until the liquor is warmed, about three minutes. Add the bananas, cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, then ignite with a flourish. Here's the best way to do this:

    Using a long, bent-handled ladle, scoop up some of the warm liquor. Hold it a foot or two above the chafing dish and ignite the liquor in the ladle. VERY CAREFULLY, pour the liquor into the dish. A column of flame will descend from the ladle into the dish, which will ignite with a marvelous *poof*! Keep a pal nearby, subtly wielding a fire extinguisher. Try not to become a human torch in the process.

    Agitate to keep the flame burning, and add a few pinches of "voodoo dust" to the flame. The cinnamon will sparkle orange in the blue flame, and looks really neat.

    Let the flames go out. Serve over ice cream if you wish, but some hardcores like me like it just like it is. Yum.

    Variations: one may substitute any fruit for this dish that has a correspondingly flavored liqueur -- peaches, pears, whatever.

    This recipe was stolen from...
    www.gumbopages.com/food/dessert/ban-foster.html
    with credit and apologies. I tried this the other night with the ice cream...mmm good.