Recipe Roundup :: Cooking with Bourbon

Happy holidays! I've been busy enjoying one of my favorite seasons, and I'm excited to share with you some of my recent culinary adventures soon. In the meantime, bourbon, my spirit of choice. I enjoy cooking with it just as much as I enjoy drinking it. It's one of those liquors that compliments hearty meat dishes but adds a unique flavor to baked goods and other sweet treats. I've rounded up a few recipes for cooking with bourbon that I'm anxious to try as well as one from the Chasing Crumbs archives. Enjoy!

Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze
In 2013, I had the pleasure of dining at one of Edward Lee's restaurants in Louisville. He combines ingredients in ways that will continually surprise your tastebuds. Thus, I was excited to find this recipe in Bon Appétit for his braised brisket. His seasoning calls for a bath of stout, bourbon and soy sauce -- three of my favorite ingredients. Finished off with a bourbon-spiked peach jam glaze, needless to say this brisket is one of the recipes at the top of my list to try in 2015.

Apple Bourbon Bundt Cake
There are some specialty tools in my pantry that rarely see the light, but my bundt cake pan is not one of them. It's oft-used for everything from dark chocolate pound cake to hopefully this apple bourbon bundt cake in the near future. This recipe embraces all the flavors that reminds me of fall and the holidays -- cinnamon, vanilla, apples and toasted pecans. The cake is soaked in a bourbon glaze as it cools. We'll see if I tackle this one before we even reach 2015.

Bourbon-Brown Butter Pecan Pie
I've always liked the idea of playing with my favorite recipes, taking one ingredient and changing it up. Sometime it's a terrible experiment, other times I'm delighted to turn a favorite recipe into two favorites. Pecan pie is one of my favorite treats, and I think the clever change to brown butter in the filling is worth a try.

Bourbon Peach Crumble
This crumble is quick to prepare and the perfect use for those slightly bruised fruits you'll find at farmers markets. When I trek to the local farm in the spring, I usually come home with way more than I can eat before they'll over-ripen and this is my go-to recipe for using up what's left.

Recipe Roundup :: Comfort Foods

Before long, it'll be rainy day, gray skies and cooler weather. There's just something about curling up on the couch with a good book and a bowl mac and cheese. Comfort foods are called so for a reason, but I'm always on the hunt for an interesting twist. Here's a few of my recent finds.

I recently learned about a new trend "waffling," essentially putting unexpected foods into a waffle iron to see what happens. I'll admit I was skeptical at first, but then the idea actually intrigued me. However while waffles are a brunch staple, I'll order in a restaurant, a waffle iron is one of the few gadgets missing from my kitchen. I've never really been able to justify it, knowing it would probably gather more dust than oil. But this recipe from FWx has me wanting to run to the store right now. It throws some of my favorite flavors into the same dish, ones I might never have put together. Cheddar and beer are perfect compliments, I don't know why I never considered using them together in a biscuit batter or waffles as FWx did. And the honey and sriracha, perhaps unexpected, sound like a great spicy-sweet glaze for fried chicken.

My breakfast staple. I could eat eggs over easy day in day out, even with all the talk that eggs can lead to bad cholesterol. I loved this roundup from Food 52 because it speaks to one of my favorite aspects of cooking. No two cooks are the same, give them the same recipe and every person will put their own spin. Even with a simple fried egg, there are endless ways to make it. My preferred technique is similar to Emily Vikre's -- a frying pan on medium-high heat and a pad of butter, and I remove the pan from the heat when I flip my egg. It's been fun trying these other methodologies to see how the end result differs.

Mac and cheese, I've been known to make lists of restaurants to try based on hearing they have a great macaroni and cheese, I've got one entire cookbook devoted entirely to the dish, and I will constantly experiment with different cheeses and mix-ins. I made these macaroni and cheese muffins for a going-away potluck a while back, and they're much easier to eat while mingling carrying around a bowl and spoon. What's great about this recipe is the addition of the Dijon mustard and butternut squash puree.

I immediately cut out the recipe card for this from the back of this past month's Real Simple magazine. Of course, it's got bourbon, apple and vanilla, an absolutely delightful combination of flavors. But what really intrigued me was the use of grits in the cake batter. This is definitely on my "Must Bake" list, and I can't wait to share with you how it turns out. 

Bourbon has been my spirit of choice now for a while. While I usually drink it neat or with one or two ice cubes, I do enjoy finding creative cocktails that utilize it. The bourbon brulé from NY Times Cooking combines some flavors I wouldn't have imagined trying together all at once -- bourbon, orange, ginger and sherry. If it tastes as good as it looks in the picture, it'll make a worthy drink for holiday celebrations.

I love sweet potato fries. What I really need to find is a place that serves endless baskets. But let's be serious, they're really not that difficult to make at home, I've just never tried. I found this great recipe on NY Times Cooking, just six ingredients and barely any time at all. What took me so long?