Normally, a giant fire erupting at your dinner table would seem like a bad thing, but flambéed foods make for a spectacular visual effect that upends that conventional wisdom. The basic idea of behind the process is simple: you throw a little liquor onto a delicious food, light a match, and voila - you're a flambé master! However, if you want to get the technique down properly, here are a few helpful tips to go by.
What kind of alcohol should you use? Only liquors with a high alcohol content over 80-proof will achieve the desired effect, so most beers and wines will not work. Additionally, something to keep in mind is that the higher the alcohol content, the more readily it will ignite, so anything over 120-proof is considered too dangerous for the technique. Liquors like brandy, cognac, and rum are considered very good options.
Safety Tips and Instructions
- Warm the alcohol to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit, never letting it reach its boiling point (175 degrees Fahrenheit), since this will cause the alcohol to burn off.
- When you're ready to add the alcohol to the pan of whatever it is you would like to flambé, remove the pan from heat first. For safety reasons, do not flambé something over a hot burner.
- Use a long fireplace match to ignite the flames.
- The flames should fade on their own since the alcohol vapors burn off, but if you need to stifle the flames, use a pot lid or shake the pan vigorously.
Here are a few Yummly recipes that utilize this technique that you should try!
Peach and Berries Flambe (from The Ravenous Couple)
Grilled Pork Medallions with Apple Maple Glaze (from Nibble Me This)
Steak Flambe Moutarde