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Old 01-29-2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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When you cook with alcoholic beverages, the alcohol is not what you want to affect your flavor.
That's not true, actually. Alcohol is a flavor enhancer.

Alcohol dissolves flavor components that are not water or oil soluable, so very often alcohol is added to bring out the flavor in other ingredients and not for the flavor of the alcohol itself.

Vodka sauce for pasta is a good example of this.

Alcohol also is used for other purposes, too. It prevents cheese from curdling in a fondue and other preparations, for example.

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What's left after the alcohol is burned off, is the flavor of the beverage. As mentioned already, Bananas Foster would not taste like Bananas Foster without the rum flavor.

It's important to remember that alcohol never burns off entirely.

Flambeeing burns off only a small percentage of the alcohol. 75% or more of the alcohol will remain. Flambeeing takes the harsh edge off, leaving both flavor and the distinctive "sharp" (my word) character of the alcohol itself. The alcohol itself can make food taste good, not bad.
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:09 PM   #12
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I flambeed myself once while drinking Cognac and cooking at the same time...wasn't what I intended but it sure entertained the guests...
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:13 PM   #13
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I flambeed myself once while drinking Cognac and cooking at the same time...wasn't what I intended but it sure entertained the guests...

I've flambéed myself a time or two as well, but it was on the grill.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:15 PM   #14
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I flambeed myself once while drinking Cognac and cooking at the same time...wasn't what I intended but it sure entertained the guests...
Well, that convinces me. I will not start drinking. For cooking or social reasons.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:09 PM   #15
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I've made Steak au Poivre with the sauce flambé a number of times for dinner guests, and it's pretty impressive, especially if you douse the lights first.

I had one mishap where I didn't pull the pan far enough off the burner and the heat coming off the skillet was so hot it melted part of the plastic door handle on the microwave that was mounted right over the stove. Oops.

In my opinion, the alcohol most certainly flavors the sauce. However, one thing to note: you mention white wine in your post, but the fact is that wine doesn't contain enough alcohol to burn. I could be wrong, but I believe whatever you're going to set the flame to must be at least 80 proof in order to ignite.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:22 PM   #16
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Well, that convinces me. I will not start drinking. For cooking or social reasons.
Hey, just because Rock set himself on fire doesn't mean the rest of us will
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:04 AM   #17
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I accidentally flambéed a ribeye, no cognac, it flambéed itself. Somewhat of a surprise. It was quite impressive, scared me to death. But one of the best steaks I've ever had.

Keep a pan lid handy for smothering, and take the pan off the burner before you pour in the alcohol.
Just what I was going to say! And I'll add "Don't panic". It's a bit frightening the first time you do it but if you keep your cool and, as Dawgluver says, keep a pan lid close at hand you'll be OK. (Don't use water or a cloth to quell the flames.)

Yes, it does make a difference. Not sure I'd use a Cognac though. I tend to use a reasonable quality 3* brandy of the sort you'd use with mixers rather than some really expensive Cognac. Much cheaper.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:11 PM   #18
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Just what I was going to say! And I'll add "Don't panic". It's a bit frightening the first time you do it but if you keep your cool...
Yeah, the first time is always scary, but when the house doesn't burn down, you reflect, and realize it wasn't that bad.

I work around classic and antique cars. The first time somebody sees a backfire set a carburetor on fire is something to behold. Eyeballs get really big. It's the same with a pan fire. Stay calm, smother the fire.

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Old 02-05-2017, 11:24 AM   #19
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Flambé in Cognac/other alcohol - is there really a point?

Quote:
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Yeah, the first time is always scary, but when the house doesn't burn down, you reflect, and realize it wasn't that bad.



I work around classic and antique cars. The first time somebody sees a backfire set a carburetor on fire is something to behold. Eyeballs get really big. It's the same with a pan fire. Stay calm, smother the fire.



CD

Heh. I ran the flaming ribeye that flambéed itself outside in its cast iron pan to fling it into the grass, then thought, wait a minute, Dawg. I'm not going to throw away a perfectly good steak. So I took it back in, and smothered the flames with a pan lid.

It was au poivre, and absolutely delicious. And terrifying. A hard-won victory.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
Yeah, the first time is always scary, but when the house doesn't burn down, you reflect, and realize it wasn't that bad.

I work around classic and antique cars. The first time somebody sees a backfire set a carburetor on fire is something to behold. Eyeballs get really big. It's the same with a pan fire. Stay calm, smother the fire.

CD
I have seen that happen caseydog. There was a garage not far from where I was living. I was on my way to the library and the door to the garage was up. As I was going by, POOF! I stood there wondering why no one was calling the fire department. All I heard was "hey guys, come see this."
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