Cooking With Vodka? We've Answered These FAQs For You — II
If you like experimenting in the kitchen and are only just learning how to cook with alcohol, vodka is the perfect place to start. However, even if you’re an intermediate cook, you might have a couple of burning questions about this spirit. Luckily for you, we have answered all those queries You’re welcome!
Q. How can I use vodka in baking?
When it comes to pies both savoury and sweet, vodka helps keep the dough tender, which makes it easier to roll. This makes the crust crunchier. For pastry glazes, it gives the pastry a lovely shine and if you use vodka-infused berries or herbs, it’ll take the flavour a few notches up.
Vodka can also be used to make the cake denser and keep it from drying out. If you add just 2 tablespoons of vodka to your desired cake batter, it’ll enhance the flavours in the batter and provide a lighter texture to the cake. If you’re making other desserts such as tiramisu, vodka can also be a great soaking agent.
Q. Which ingredients pair well with vodka to create both savoury and sweet dishes?
If you’re leaning towards savoury, tomatoes mix really well, especially in pasta sauces. Cream and dairy also go really well, again, mostly in pasta sauces or even cheesy risotto. It also goes really well with all seafood. So, feel free to make a seafood marinade with vodka. Onions and garlic also go really well with vodka in pastas. When it comes to the sweet and satiating, vodka complements berries, vanilla, citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee and caramel.
Q. Are there vodka-based preservation techniques for items such as homemade vanilla extract or fruit preserves?
Interestingly enough, vodka is a great medium for preserving foods. The alcohol in the vodka acts as a preservative and doesn’t let the intended item accumulate mould or other yucky bacteria. Just remember, that you’ll need a higher quality of vodka, usually 40 percent and above for it to do the trick. Also, be sure to store and can the extracts and fruits properly to avoid moulding as well.
Q. How can I reduce the alcohol content in a vodka-based dish, such as in a sauce, for a family-friendly meal?
Ah, cooking for the family is always tricky when you’re expected to please children and adults alike. You can easily reduce the levels by allowing the dish to simmer for longer. Alcohol tends to evaporate when exposed to heat. You can also flambe the dish, which also makes the alcohol evaporate quickly, just be careful when doing so because if you’re not used to it, it can go horribly wrong.
Q. What are some of the most common mistakes of cooking with vodka?
For starters, don’t pour the whole bottle in. Usually, recipes don’t call for more than 2-3 tablespoons of vodka, this isn’t a cocktail and the purpose of the vodka is simply to enhance the flavours and texture of the original dish and spices. Also, don’t add vodka to boiling or heated pans. Always take the utensil off the heat and gently add the vodka. Always allow the vodka to simmer for long enough so that the alcohol evaporates, or you’ll end up with a yucky and boozy dish and you won’t like it.