I was in Chicago this past June and every restaurant had a dish that included bourbon. Personally, if you gave me a glass of the stuff, I would cringe at the intensity of the flavour. But in food, it’s a whole different story. Bourbon is the new bacon! Okay, maybe bacon is irreplaceable, but it, too, makes a deliciously savoury combination with bourbon. Let’s spike up our meals with these recipes.
Since September is National Heritage Bourbon Month, here’s a quick overview of this popular beverage.
Whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain such as wheat, rye, barley, and corn. Though all bourbon is whiskey, this doesn’t mean that all whiskey is bourbon. The difference is based on geography and the type of grain used. There is Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and American whiskey. Scotch is whiskey (or whisky) from Scotland made with malted barley. For a whiskey to be classified as bourbon, it must be distilled in the United States, contain 51% corn, and be aged in new charred oak barrels.
But enough about the technicalities. Let’s get into the recipes.
Bourbon and bacon are soul mates
You can’t deny the strong connection between the duo, as they make magic together to create culinary satisfaction for most foodies. Let’s start this recipe roundup with a concoction of both by making Candied Bourbon Bacon. Bet you can’t stop at one piece! This candied bacon may not be a meal per se, but it will complement your next glass of bourbon. Or use it to upgrade a burger or sandwich. Is anyone else drooling? Here’s a great recipe from Brown Eyed Baker:
8 to 10 slices of bacon (however many will fit on your baking sheet)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Lay the slices of bacon down on the baking sheet, as many as will fit.
3. Using a pastry brush, brush the bourbon evenly over the slices of bacon. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bacon.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bacon is dark brown and crispy. Using tongs, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Bourbon and Fish
Finding new ways to glaze your salmon can be challenging. Bourbon to the rescue! You can WIP up this easy recipe in five minutes by adding the necessary ingredients to a saucepan. If you have a roasting pan with a rack, then use that. If not, a baking sheet will work just as well. If you are in market for a roasting rack, like the one from Paderno shown at the bottom of this page. I found this recipe in Health Magazine, so it must be healthy, non?
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 1/2 hours, turning occasionally.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish and marinade to pan; cook fish 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; drizzle each serving with about 2 teaspoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds.
Bourbon and Wings
Could someone tell me a restaurant that serves bourbon-flavoured chicken wings? If so, message me below, preferably if it is in Toronto. But how about making your own? Sounds AH-mazing, right? Make these smoked honey bourbon wings before BBQ season is officially over! You’ll love this recipe from Extrodinary BBQ:
- Combine all Sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Set aside.
- Set up grill for indirect cooking or use your smoker
- Cover wings with rub
- Smoke for about 90 minutes at 225 using fruit woods
- Sear over direct heat for just a couple minutes.
- Dump on/Mix/Stir the sauce with the wings and serve!
Bourbon and Soup
Since winter will soon be upon us, soup will be a bigger part of our lives. Bless the chef who invented this beautiful recipe: Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque with Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Croutons. The title alone makes me sad because I’m not eating it right now. This recipe takes appetizers to a whole new level. This recipe from How Sweet Eats is to die for.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add onions with pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and stir to coat, then cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for another minute. Increase heat slightly and add bourbon, stirring well. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, stock and water to the pot. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.
While sweet potatoes are boiling, add bread cubes to a baking sheet. Toss with cinnamon and sugar, then brown butter, and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside until soup is finished.
After sweet potatoes are soft, carefully pour the entire mixture into a high-powdered blender and pureed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Additionally, you can use an immersion blender but the soup may not be as smooth. Transfer creamy soup back into the pot over low heat. Stir in half and half, salt and pepper, then taste and season additionally if needed. Serve with croutons on top!
Bourbon and Baking
Banana bread has mass appeal. But have you ever thought of adding bourbon to the mix? If your answer is yes, I applaud you for your creativity. Those who didn’t think to do that, like myself, need to catch up. So put a shot of bourbon in your next batch of banana bread. Here’s a great recipe by My Baking Addiction. If you need a loaf pan, check out the one shown at the bottom of the page from Wilton.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In another medium-sized bowl, mash bananas.
4. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. Add well-beaten eggs, sugar and bananas. Beat on medium speed for three minutes. Add lemon juice and bourbon, beat 30 seconds.
5. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
6. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
7. Pour into pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in top center comes out clean. Loaf should spring back slightly to the touch.
8. Cool completely on wire rack, wrap in foil. (For knock-out flavor, let sit 24 hours before eating.)
Happy Bourbon Eating. Share with us your favorite recipe that’s spiked with bourbon.
Wilton Loaf Pan
By Leila Pejman, Home and Lifestyle
Leila Pejman is a producer and storyteller whose work encompasses content creation, media, social media, and communications, topped off with a passion for emerging technologies. On the domestic side, she’s on a mission to create the best quinoa muffin recipe.
Those are great recipes @ThePej , There’s a local restaurant chain called Memphis-Blues BBQ house, that also uses Bourbon when cooking their delightful dishes, and I must say, you can hoist a cheerful toast using their bean chilli, and those awesome ribs.
Thanks @Elico47! I’ll have to check it out when I’m in Vancouver next.
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