After hosting Christmas and New Year's Eve parties, you're probably going to have a lot of alcohol leftover.
At that point, the easy thing to do is drink yourself into oblivion, or you can challenge yourself to use all that alcohol to enhance your cooking.
With help from Barilla executive chef Lorenzo Boni, here are some practical, and useful ways to use all that leftover alcohol.
Champagne and Red Wine
These are already commonly used as cooking enhancers. Chef Lorenzo said to use the champagne for salmon or oysters, and the red wine for crispy prosciutto and risotto-style pasta with red meat.
"You'll want to ensure your boozy post-holiday brunch doesn't taste like a meal soaked in champagne overnight. Instead, reduce the alcohol so it cooks off leaving behind the sweet, acidic or aromatic flavors."
You can also go the marinade route, pouring that red wine (with garlic) on red meat and leaving it overnight for extra flavor.
If you're familiar with TGI Friday's Jack Daniels menu, you know how good whiskey can be when applied to food. Chef Lorenzo suggests using your leftover whiskey to add a sweet and smoky flavor to shrimp and a scampi sauce. Combine with linguine for a really good time.
Yes, that leftover beer can be useful since it acts as a natural tenderizer. Chef says it is ideal for stewing meats and making marinades. Keep the dark beer with red meats, and the lighter beers with poultry. Easy peasy.
With the weather cooling a bit, beer can also add "deep, rich flavor" to your soup.
It's damn near unethical to drink flat hard cider, but you can definitely still use it in the kitchen. Cider acts similarly to white wine, and can be used in any recipe that calls for it. Chef Lorenzo suggests using it for mac and cheese, or mushroom dishes. Just make sure the cider doesn't have added sugar, that'll just end in disaster.
The most logical cooking idea here is tiramisu. It's not the easiest thing to make, but channel your inner Cake Boss, turn on that oven and put that rum to good use. Or just get wasted with it. Whatever. It's your life.