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Many people love to have a glass of wine (or two) with dinner, and many home cooks been known to dabble in cooking with wine, too. But why not include some less traditional spirits right into your dinner dishes?

Different spirits are a great way to enhance rich new flavours into your meals, after all!

Chef Jeff Richards has some tips below to help us take on some new flavor profiles with a few recipes that will get us in the spirit of cooking...with spirits.

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Vegetarian Coconut Rum Stir- Fry with Snap Peas, Cabbage, Sesame, Pineapple

Serves 2

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1.5 cups rice (preferably basmati or jasmine)
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut rum
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • ½ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Start by making rice. Bring coconut milk, rum, water up to a boil and then add in your rice
  2. Cover and cook for 15 minutes
  3. In the last 3 minutes of cooking rice, crack the lid open to let the alcohol steam away.
  4. Take the stems and membrane off the snap peas and put to the side
  5. As the rice is about to finish cooking, start by cooking off our vegetables together in a pan, leaving our pineapple until last.
  6. Cook snap peas, garlic and finely sliced cabbage for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  7. Toss in your pineapple, and warm through and then add in your rice. It is important to get some crispy texture on the rice.
  8. Once everything has come together, squeeze half a lime, season with salt and pepper add the toasted sesame seeds and plate up garnishing with cilantro leaves.
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Molasses and Bourbon Kalbi Beef Ribs

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1.5-2lb Kalbi beef ribs
  • 1 Bunch green onion, sliced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire
  • ½  tbsp garlic powder
  • ½  tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chunky dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Start by making the BBQ sauce. Add all ingredients except for the ribs and green onions to a pot and bring up to a slow simmer. You do not want this to be a rigorous boil because of the natural sugars in the sauce will burn, so keep it low and slow, approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Once the sauce has come together, put it to the side and let it cool completely.
  3. Take beef ribs, put in a big bowl, and pour over the BBQ sauce. It is important to cover every nook and cranny of the ribs to make sure the flavour permeates the meat.
  4. When the ribs are covered, put into the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours to make sure the marinade has done its work.
  5. To cook the ribs, get a hot pan (or use a grill) with some olive oil and wait until the oil just starts to glisten. Add the ribs in batches, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. Once seared, let sit for 5 minutes before eating. The sauce should get nice and caramelized and the ribs should be saucy and sweet.
  7. Garnish with sliced scallions and enjoy.
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Gin and Tonic Cured Salmon

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1lb fillet of salmon with skin on – no bones
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 small red beet, grated
  • 10 pieces of cucumber round
  • 1/4 cup Gin
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Note that adding more sugar or salt for curing purposes will only make it sweeter and saltier, so it is best to stay on track with this recipe
  2. First, take your fish and put it into a dish with raised edges to catch the leakage. Make a cure using all the ingredients except the cucumber and really massage it to perfume the cure and make sure everything is combined.
  3. Evenly spread this cure over the top, bottom of the fish, and if there is any residual cure left over, put it underneath the fish and top the fish with the cucumbers.
  4. Cover the fish and put a weight on top, not to crush the fish but to force the cure into it. Let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours, turning and draining half way through.
  5. After 24 hours, your fish should be cured and ready to go! Enjoy on a bagel, rye bread or on its own!
PeachCrumble_624x351.jpg

Moscato Peach Crumble

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 cups sliced peaches>
  • 1 cup moscato wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Crème fraiche or ice cream to accompany

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. First take peaches, Moscato, salt, vanilla, 2 tbsp sugar and cook in a pot over medium heat for an hour
  2. While the peaches are cooking, combine the flour, sugar and butter into a bowl and start squeezing them together until they form a crumbly texture; this is called a streusel.
  3. Once our peaches have cooked, let them cool slightly in the baking dish you will be using. Once they are room temperature, evenly coat the top of the peaches with the streusel until nothing is showing.
  4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown and the flour is cooked away.
  5. Top your slice of peach crumble with crème fraiche or ice cream