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What a charm this type of cooking, even when you hear it in a restaurant, makes its scene and I can't help but order that dish, whether it's sweet or savory. Without detracting from the dish we ordered, it's not that difficult to learn how to cook flambé and we can also prepare something extraordinary with this so spectacular technique. It is necessary to use caution, because everyone knows that there is the middle fire, the living flame, but we must not be afraid of this: it is possible to proceed with maximum safety.
Flambé: what it means
Flambé is an almost onomatopoeic name because in French means flame and its sound seems to be exactly that of the fire we see light in front of us when we order a dish like this. The flame we see on the plate is produced thanks to alcohol-based liqueurs or distillates that we pour over pan-fried foods so that it seems to catch fire. Fortunately, we can then safely eat them enjoying their flavor not at all burnt.
How to cook flambé: what you need
Let's equip ourselves to cook flambé so as not to look like a beginner and not to run the risk of making the kitchen catch fire. Let's take one low pan which can be either of stainless steel or copper, little changes, the essential thing is that it is equipped with a long handle and that it can withstand the temperature we will have to reach to flames.
Also serves a cover that it can help you if the flames exaggerate and take up too much space: with it we may have to suffocate them so it must be adherent. As for the stove, we can use both a classic and a portable one. In terms of flavor, the dish is not needed, but this affects the way it is presented at the table.
To make a flame then you need a long barbecue lighter or a match but also very long, to ignite the flammable liquid with complete safety. A glass jug can be used to contain the liquid to make the flame which is not trivial to choose. This liquid must be highly flammable, it is therefore essential never to pour it directly on the fire from its bottle but to put it first in a jug.
Its gradation must be about 40 °, the right middle ground. If we go far above, we are in the presence of too flammable liquids but vice versa, below or 40 ° we risk not being able to flambé. Wine and beer are therefore clearly unsuitable for any flambé dish you want to prepare while we often find used rum, vodka, cognac, armagnac, calvados, gin and brandy. Our choice partly depends on our tastes, but we don't think as if we should drink these drinks because they must be associated with the food we are about to prepare. Brandy, with its sly flavor, is perfect for desserts and fruit while for a second course of fish, cognac or whiskey is better. You will then be yourself with your experiments to decide which combinations you consider best.
How to cook flambé: tips
There flambé cooking it is fascinating but it must also be used at the right time and with the right food because it does not give excellent results with all foods. In general we can find first, second and even desserts to cook with flambé but we choose one for dinner to leave our guests speechless. Three in one dinner is over the top and you'll end up boring rather than surprising.
The second courses are perhaps the dishes that best lend themselves to flambé cooking, whether they are meat or fish. For the second category we find many crustaceans such as prawns, but also fillets and steaks. The meats that are best suited for flaming are those that we can cut into small pieces, to be flavored, such as lamb and veal but also poultry, game and game.
The desserts are not far behind and we find very tasty starting from crepes Suzette, classic. Flambé fruit is also used a lot, especially bananas, pineapples or even figs, oranges and apples, to be served with creams and ice creams to accentuate the hot - cold contrast.
When we proceed with the flambé cooking remember to never stay too close to the pan, and especially beware of flammable hair and fabrics. We put the liqueur first in a glass and never pour it from the bottle. The alcohol we pour on the food evaporates so let's not expect to taste the liqueur we used, we will only notice a brownish color and a particular flavor.
How to cook flambé: history
Who ever thought of inventing this particular technique? No exhibitionist but someone who just needed reheat ready meals and to keep warm dishes that were already at the table. Over time this type of cooking has begun to be very successful also for its choreographic side and has therefore been cleared and exploited by many chefs.