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cooking with vodka

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Is there any advantage to using vodka as opposed to another liquid in a recipe?

I have a pasta recipe which calls for 1/2 cup vodka. Since vodka is a neutral spirit, what advantage would there be in using it? (I would think it would add no flavor...and if that's true, why not just use water (it's a lot cheaper :D ).

I've been wanting to know the answer to this question for a long time and had no one to ask, so thanks for any information :)
twy
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twy
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post #2 of 14
Are you making penne ala vodka? The idea that vodka has no flavor isn't really right. Yes, it is a "neutral spirit" but it does have flavor. To find out the difference, try making two small batches of your recipe using water in one and vodka in the other. You'll see what I mean. Don't forget to carefully burn off the alcohol. You don't want booze in your food. ps. I don't like to cook with vodka. I don't like the flavor. But hey, that's me. Enjoy.

[ June 17, 2001: Message edited by: mofo1 ]
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post #3 of 14
Heh, Mofo, unlike you, I don't need to try one recipe with water and one with vodka to see the difference. I KNOW vodka has flavor :eek:

On a more serious note, a half cup of vodka seems a lot. That's like a sixth of a bottle. In most recipes function of alcohol is to deglaze the pan with added flavor being a side effect of the type of alcohol being used. Try a different beverage. I know some people who have used coca-cola!

Kuan
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks! At least now I know :)

This is the recipe I was referring to. I grow herbs in the summer, so usually like to throw in a few other fresh herbs not mentioned, depending on what I have.

Pasta with Creamy Vodka and Herb Sauce

[ June 18, 2001: Message edited by: twylyn ]
twy
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twy
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post #5 of 14
Kuan,
I know it has flavor, as well. I was trying to illustrate a point. Put them sidexside and taste. The difference will be obvious immediately. I also thought that sounded like a lot of vodka. Yuck!
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post #6 of 14
It's not only that the vodka has flavor, but the alcohol in the vodka does something else. It unleashes flavor compounds that dissolve in alcohol. In the side x side taste test, I think you'll notice because in the absense of alcohol, you don't get that "can't put your finger on it" flavor.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
monpetitchoux - thanks! That's the kind of information I like to learn about.

Kuan - If it had been for deglazing a pan, my reaction to 1/2 cup would have been "uff da!" :eek:
twy
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twy
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post #8 of 14
I was reading this thread and was thinking not put rosemary or thyme in the vodka and let it be for a few weeks....


I'm sure it would work with spices too. What about rum with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for fruits cakes.....


I see Cabal had a simmilar thought. Do you ever leave herbs in your vodka?
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I saw a segment on "infusing vodka" on Martha Stewart a year or two ago.

Here's a page with some ideas:
Infusing Vodka
twy
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twy
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post #10 of 14
Thanks Twylyn it's a great site. I think I'll try some herbs vodka and see how it turns out.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #11 of 14
I have used vodka to make vanilla extract for years. I know others who use bourbon or brandy, but I think Vodka has a more neutral flavor.
post #12 of 14

This may be a stupid question since you're burning off the alcohol when you cook with it. But I heard about this Voli brand vodka the other day at sam's club that supposed to be a low calorie vodka, so I was wondering if that would affect the calorie counts of dishes you cook with? If it did, it could be really handy for calorie counters and dieters. I'm a gym nut, and am really anal about how many calories I eat and when.

post #13 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

a more serious note, a half cup of vodka seems a lot. That's like a sixth of a bottle. In most recipes function of alcohol is to deglaze the pan with added flavor being a side effect of the type of alcohol being used. Try a different beverage. I know some people who have used coca-cola!

Kuan


This isn't a deglaze.  Penne ala Vodka, as I learned to make it was a tomato sauce with plenty of bacon or prosciutto, a good amount of vodka added and then reduced down to a volume less than the volume you had originally of just tomato sauce alone.  For a large enough batch to feed at least four people, that's not a lot of vodka at all, and after simmering for at least 20 minutes, then richness added by both heavy cream and cheese, the alcoholic taste will be subtle even in that quantity. Promise.  This is actually an excellent way to improve sauce that is... well... poor or even awful.  But I've made enough tomato sauces and stews in my time to know Cognac, Bourbon, or Brandy are all way better choices.

post #14 of 14

Well, everyone knows the eastern Europeans are famous for their pasta sauces. And, of course, Italian Vodka is the best. What's not to like?

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