Cooking in high spirits

Published: Nov 18, 2012, 11:43 IST | Yoshita Sengupa |

Had enough of sweets this Diwali? Well, the festive season has only begun, and you can rest assured that your sweet tooth will be coddled with a lot more sugar in the days to come. Until then, however, how about some alcohol-infused food to keep you warm this winter and add an edge to all the cloying saccharine?

Tequila Fired Chipotle King Prawns
Recipe by Vikas Seth, corporate head chef, Sanchos

24 pcs King prawns, deveined with tail on
20 g garlic, chopped
20 g onion, chopped
20 g mixed peppers, chopped
20 g chipotle in adobo sauce, blended
10 g cilantro, chopped
10 ml lemon juice
15 ml tequila
30 ml oil
Salt to taste

Chipotle King Prawns
Tequila Fired Chipotle King Prawns. pics/ Sameer Sayed Abedi

Ø Marinate the prawns with salt, half of the lemon juice and blended chipotle. Store in the fridge for 10 minutes
Ø In a heavy bottom pan, sauté garlic and onion, mixed peppers in oil. Add prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes till done, by flipping over a couple of times. When the tails turn pink or orange, the prawns are done
Ø Heat tequila in a ladle over the flame till it catches fire and pour over the prawns. Add salt to taste and the remaining lemon juice and stir
Ø Sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot

Sautéed Chicken tarragon and Chilli
Recipe by Vicky Ratnani, head chef of Aurus

Saut �ed Chicken, Tarragon and Chilli
Sautéed Chicken, Tarragon and Chilli. pic/nimesh dave 

For marinade:
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
To sauté:
2 tsp olive oil
2 g (1 tbsp) chopped garlic
½ chopped green chilli
180 g boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
5 ml (1 tbsp) white wine
1 g Tarragon
2 leaves basil
One big pinch of lemon zest
1 ladle stock
1 tbsp butter
1 (medium sized)
Blanched diced tomato
1tbsp chopped parsley

For Mango Jalapeno Dip:
1 tbsp mango puree
1 jalapeno chopped

Ø Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive
oil and keep aside for half an hour
Ø Heat olive oil in a pan and add butter. Add garlic and green
chillies and sauté. Add marinated chicken and sauté it till has a golden brown crust
Ø Add white wine. After a minute or so add chopped lemon peel, basil, tarragon, diced cooked tomatoes, and chicken stock. Check for salt and pepper. and finish it off with chopped parsley
Ø Blend the mango puree and Jalepeno in a grinder. Strain
Ø Serve the chicken and dip together

Salmon Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce
Recipe by Sid Khullar, editor, Chef at Large

Salmon Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce. pic courtesy / Sid Khuller

250 g penne pasta
5 bottled caper berries, crushed
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp fresh, ground black peppercorns
200 g cream
60 ml Vodka
1 whole onion, finely sliced
5 large garlic pods, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
200 g can pink salmon, mashed and deboned
Salt to taste

Ø Boil water and cook pasta per packet instructions. Toss in some olive oil; keep aside, covered
Ø Heat the oil and fry the onions
and garlic
Ø Add vodka; stir for a minute to let the alcohol evaporate
Ø Add the rest of the ingredients (berries crushed, salmon mashed, picked clean of thorns/bones)
Ø Simmer for 10 minutes. Season
Ø Toss with penne and serve hot

Beer Bundt Cake with Bourbon Sauce
Recipe by Nikhil Merchant, food blogger

Beer Bundt Cake with Bourbon Sauce. pic courtesy / Nikhil Merchant 

( and gourmet consultant

For Beer Bundt Cake:
2.5 cups plain flour
1 cup butter
¾ cup lager beer at room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 and ½ tsp vanilla powder / 1 vanilla Pod/ 1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup castor sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup cream
¼ cup buttermilk
For Bourbon Sauce:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup cream
½ cup butter
½ cup bourbon

Ø For the Bundt cake, Heat oven to 350F. Butter a mid-sized Bundt pan and dust with flour
ØIn a bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder together
Ø Heat a small saucepan on low heat and add the frozen butter followed by beer. Melt the butter in the beer for about a minute or two on low heat. Remove from heat
Ø Beat the three eggs together with castor and brown sugar, using a wire whisk or, ideally, an electric blender, till it becomes fluffy
Ø Add buttermilk and continue beating till well it is incorporated. After it froths, turn down the electric blender to low and add the flour slowly till it is well Incorporated. Add the vanilla and stir well
Ø You should now have a smooth batter which you pour into your buttered pan
Ø Pop into the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes or till cooked (insert a toothpick in the cake and if it comes out with a few crumbs, it’'s done)
Ø Cool in the pan for some time and invert onto a wire rack. Make sure you let it rest on the wire rack and cool completely
Ø For the bourbon sauce, in a small saucepan, place the sugar in the centre and add the water around it
Ø Start the flame on medium and bring to a boil without stirring
Ø The sugar will start to caramelise. Now, stir well and get it nice and golden brown
Ø Turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir briskly till the butter
browns the sauce and turns it into a caramel colour
Ø Heat a little more if it’s too light
Ø The last step is to remove the
bubbling butter and add the cream. It will instantly simmer down. Finally, add the bourbon and drizzle it over the cake

Cointreau and Dark Chocolate Truffles (25 pieces)
Recipe by Pooja Dhingra, executive chef/ owner, Le 15 Patisserie

Cointreau and Dark Chocolate Truffles.pic/ Neha parekh

250 g dark chocolate
100 ml cream
20 ml cointreau
1 tbsp orange zest
Cocoa powder for dusting

Ø Cut chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Ø Bring the cream and orange zest to a boil over low heat
Ø Pour it over the chocolate and let it stand for five minutes
ØStir until smooth. Add cointreau and whisk well
ØChill for a minimum of four hours or overnight
ØShape into balls with your hands and roll in
cocoa powder
ØUse a strainer to dust off the excess cocoa powder

Pooja Dhingra: The alcohol should be a subtle touch and not used in excess, it shouldn’t overpower
The dish

Sid Khullar: It is important that the alcohol complements the dish. It mustn’t be used for the sake of saying that there’s ‘wine in the food’. It may sound great but may not translate well in culinary terms. All the alcohol you add to the dish doesn’t evaporate, up to 45 per cent could still be left in there. So, dishes with alcohol mustn’t be served to children

Best combinations
Vikas Seth: Wine is good for reducing and making sauces, it’s also a good addition to pastas
Nikhil Merchant: Cointreau with chocolate mousse is the sexiest combination ever made. Alcohol also makes the best additive to any marinade, because of its flammable nature and alcohol content combined with natural sugars  

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