Cooking with Spirits
Tequila-Spiked Caramel Corn
More suited to a cocktail party than a baseball game, this riff on Cracker Jack by Atlanta pastry chef Taria Camerino is sweetened with agave nectar and spiked with tequila. Slow-baking turns the popcorn-nut mix fabulously crunchy.
Barley Soup with Scotch
The idea for this hearty, risotto-style soup came to Frédéric Morin while he was sitting on a combine in his uncle's barley field. He could smell the peat from the neighboring farm, which reminded him of Scotch whisky.
For this vegetable side, L'Etoile chef Tory Miller's local gin source is Death's Door Spirits in Madison, Wisconsin, a distillery that uses wild juniper berries harvested on Washington Island in Lake Michigan. "I love that they pick all those juniper berries by hand up in Door County," he says.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Rosemary Sauce
Because stovetop smoking is so fast, lean pork tenderloin won't become too dry.
Matt Lewis is enamored of fondue—in fact, he had a special pot made for dessert fondues at his former Manhattan shop, Chocolate Bar. His terrific cheddar-Jack cheese fondue includes whiskey, which adds a great kick.
Dark & Stormy Ribs
The glaze on these spicy, tender ribs cleverly incorporates the major components of the classic Dark 'n Stormy cocktail: ginger beer and dark rum.
Sweet Spiced Chicken Breasts with Anisette
Aguardiente de anís, a clear, anise-flavored brandy, complements the cinnamon and other spices in this succulent chicken dish. Use dry aguardiente or substitute Pernod.
Watermelon and Papaya Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette
This refreshing and complex salad—made with jicama, watermelon, papaya and a bold tequila-based vinaigrette—usually includes little pieces of deep-fried tortilla rounds.
To keep the ingredient list in check, omit the deep-fried tortillas (or opt for store-bought chips).
Smoked and Cured Salmon with Orange Zest
Cold-smoking salmon usually requires an elaborate setup. Jason Alley's brilliant trick of quickly smoking the fish, then curing it like gravlax, is a great option for the home cook.
Pork Rib Roast with Orange-Whisky Glaze
Ask your butcher to remove the chine bones from the rib roasts. The meat needs to brine for two days.
Tequila-Mustard-Glazed Chicken Skewers
James Holmes, a Farmhouse Delivery CSA customer, developed the glaze for this recipe while experimenting with homemade mustards.
Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Whiskey Marinade
At Pok Pok, Andy Ricker roasts these meaty, tender ribs for two to three hours over a low fire for a fabulously smoky flavor. In this easy adaptation, the ribs are slow-cooked in the oven, then finished on the grill. Baby back ribs cut across the bone are the classic Thai choice, but whole ribs are just as delicious.
Tequila-Flamed Shrimp Tostadas
"I created this dish late one night when I was hungry and tired of my menu," Sue Torres says. "The tequila adds a little smokiness to the shrimp, and I liked the great textural difference between the creamy avocado and the crispy tostada." At Los Dados, Torres fries homemade tortilla rounds to make the base for this crunchy appetizer; here, we've substituted store-bought chips.
Crispy Fresh Ham with Rum Sauce
Fresh hams, or whole uncured pork legs or half legs, need to be special ordered from your butcher, but they are great for large parties and guarantee delicious leftovers. Linda Japngie, who creates imaginative Latin American cuisine as chef at New York City's Ixta, slow-roasts them to crispy perfection.
Salmon with Vodka Sauce and Parsley Salad
The parsley in the bright salad here is loaded with antioxidants; the capsaicin in the chiles can, counterintuitively, relieve pain; and the salmon is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.