Unknown holiday alert: Today is National Tequila Day! The weekend alone is cause for celebration, but National Tequila Day is an added excuse to get the party started. So. . .you've got the drink settled for the night, but what about the food? De-glaze the pan with some reposado or añejo, and you'll find the toasty, tart, sometimes smoky flavor of tequila packs a punch in your meal, too. Need some ideas? Keep clicking for more.
Aside from the occasional glug of white wine, most of my cooking is done san alcohol. But after making a fiddlehead fern salad dressed with a luxurious cognac vinaigrette, I was reminded of how spiking a dish truly can take its flavor profile to the next level. As for my concerns about getting everybody woozy: "Don't worry about cooking with too much booze," every television chef has said over the airwaves. "It'll all burn off anyway." But is this true?
According to authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, it's not. "Every dish made with booze still has ethanol in it," they write in their forthcoming book, Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them: And 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking.
In fact, one minute into a full simmer, your braise, stew, or sauté will still have 85 percent of the alcohol's ethanol left behind. To get that number down to five percent, you'll need to cook your dish for a whopping three hours!
Ethanol isn't without its benefits, which include tenderizing meats and making flavors more accessible. But if you want to cater to those with personal, social, or religious conflicts, sub in white grape juice or vegetable broth instead.
Source: Flickr User enersauce
Lots of recipes call for a small amount of alcohol to enhance a dish's flavor. However, often times the alcohol is a little used spirit, like banana liqueur, and you probably don't want to purchase an entire 750 ML bottle of it. When that's the case, head to Bevmo or another beverage store and pick up a nip. Nips are miniature bottles of alcohol that are sold for about $2 (or less) each. You're not only saving money, but you're also saving precious cabinet space!