Flambé, flambéed food, culinary techniques, alcohol, fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood
This technique is usually applied with beef and pork, poultry, desserts and fruits (bananas flambéed is a very typical and well-known dish), although it can also be applied to vegetables or seafood, for example, prawns with whisky are delicious! (how to make them can be seen in the references section).
Flambé can be done in two ways: by spraying the alcohol (a small amount) directly onto the hot food inside the pan and setting it on fire or by doing the process of burning the alcohol separately. In this case, we use a small, fire-resistant container or frying pan, pour in the alcohol, heat it a little so that it burns more easily, set it on fire and when it goes out, pour it on the food. The fire goes itself out when the excess alcohol has evaporated.
To flambé safely, follow these tips:
- Turn off the cooker hood, if not done, the grease left in it can ignite and set the kitchen on fire.
- Everything unnecessary must be removed, keeping a lid or wet cloth handy to cover the pan in case the flambéing and fire get out of control.
- Ideally, food should be cooked in a deep pot or pan to avoid burns.
- Use a kitchen torch or long-handled lighter to light the fire, this will prevent burns if alcohol has spilled out of the pan and ignites.
- An upright posture must be kept at all times, also keeping the face away from the pan or pot.
Flambéing or flaming is also used in drinks, typically in cocktail making, as it reduces the alcohol content and softens the flavour after burning off the excess alcohol.
Flambéing has certain benefits. Flambéing adds aroma and flavour to dishes, allowing the alcohol content to evaporate. By flambéing, the surface of the food will be crispier and it will also give to dishes a spectacular presentation.
Beef, poultry, desserts (whisky tart, crepe Suzette), fruit (bananas flambé), vegetables, seafood (whisky prawns).
The most important thing about flambéing is that it needs to be done safely to prevent the fire from getting out of control and burning anyone. Also, alcohol should not be added to the flambéing process when the food is burning