Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Like Whiskey

That will not come as a surprise to people who know me. What may surprise is that I don't drink it much any more. In my far away youth, I could down my share and still be able to undress and put myself to bed. (We won't discuss the next morning. . .) No, I didn't become an alcoholic, but one stinkin' hang-over too many and I decided enough was enough. Occasionally I do enjoy a beer or Rye Presbyterian. Anyway, a few months ago I found a bottle of Irish Whiskey I'd bought, oh, 30 years ago when Irish coffee was all the rage. Since I don't do Irish coffee any more, I wanted to come up with some use for the half-full bottle. Everyone knows wine is not only good to drink, but it's also an excellent ingredient in recipes. Being a daring type, I discovered that chicken cooked with Bourbon is even better. Irish Whiskey didn't work as well. As I often do when working up a new recipe, I went sniffing. Yeah -- I would be totally unable to cook without a sense of smell! How better to figure out what combination of ingredients will end up as a satisfying dish? Mushrooms and sour cream ended up partnering with my Irish Whiskey. Along with angel hair pasta and a few seasonings, it makes a tasty side dish or main course. The recipe is also quick, easy to make and inexpensive. Here's how it's done: Clean 8 oz. of button mushrooms by quickly rinsing them in water, or use a mushroom brush to remove dirt. Trim stems. Here's where you have a decision to make. Spouse doesn't like the texture of cooked mushrooms so I chop them in a food processor. You can do that or slice them -- it's your call. Cook a pound of angel hair pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, over a med. high flame, heat up a large skillet and add 2-3 Tbs. butter. Add the mushrooms and a couple large pinches of kosher salt. Saute til the mushrooms start to brown. Lower heat and carefully add 1/2-2/3 cup Irish Whiskey. Add freshly ground pepper, more salt and onion powder to taste. Stir in a generous cup of sour cream and warm through without boiling. Add cooked pasta to the skillet along with a cup of the pasta cooking water. Cover and warm an additional 5 minutes. Serve. Don't be afraid to experiment with booze. DO be careful when adding it to a hot pan!

3 comments:

nutmeg96 said...

I'm a Jamesons girl myself. Makes a smooth hot toddy. Of course I haven't had one of them in a long time.

I tried to make my own vodka sauce a couple of years ago. I cooked it forever and it still tasted like booze. I think my husband got drunk when he ate it! :)

dcpeg said...

Jamesons is what I use! I'm thinking it might be time for you to enjoy a toddy. Heaven knows you've earned it!

Never heard of Vodka sauce. What do you put it on?

My bourbon balls sometimes make my sister tipsy. They're not cooked, so the only alcohol that escapes is from slow evaporation. YUM!

nutmeg96 said...

Vodka sauce goes on pasta. It's a red cream sauce -- or rather, a pink cream sauce. It's most commonly used in "penne a la vodka" -- yum...