Spirited Recipes

Alcohol can add nuance to the same old same old

By Jennifer Cohen-Katz

Cooking is an art and adding a splash of flavor with wine, beer or spirits is like adding a splash of color to the canvas. It’s also an often used culinary secret to step up your cooking style with only a little effort. Alcohol enhances both the flavor and aroma of your dishes. A few tablespoons added to a marinade or sauce, or even swirled right into a batter will take your dish to the next level.

What quality should you look for in a cooking spirit? Any selection you would want to drink (unlike the stuff you use for that spiked watermelon recipe). And never use the cooking wines from the grocery store. They contain salt and aren’t anywhere near the quality we are talking about here.

Are you worried your family might get tipsy after enjoying that steak you marinated in red wine? How much alcohol remains in a dish depends on the cooking method and cooking time. Alcohol simmered or baked as part of dish for 15 minutes will retain 40 percent of its alcohol content. After one hour of cooking, 25 percent will remain. This is good to know.

Tap into your sense of adventure in the kitchen and swap a few tablespoons of the water in a recipe for a fancy craft beer. Change the personality of a bland fish fillet with a pan sauce spiked with sauvignon blanc. Dinner guests will be stunned after tasting your classic desserts now kicked up a notch with the addition of a little bourbon.

Fresh Dill Bread

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Flounder with Lemon Wine Pan Sauce

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Lemon Cashew Bourbon Pie

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Jennifer Cohen-Katz RD LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Fresh Balance Nutrition, helps clients identify their personal nutrition style to become their healthiest self. In addition to nutrition for hormonal balance, she offers cooking sessions and VIP personal nutrition services. Find out more at FreshBalanceNutrition.com.

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