March 27 is International Whisk(e)y Day! From bourbon to scotch and everything in between, it is the perfect day to cook with the stuff and add a little richness and complexity to your meals.
What's the difference between whiskey and whisky, anyway?
You might find people in some circles discussing and debating this issue at length, but the very basic answer is this, simply: In Scotland, it's spelled "whisky," while the Irish and Americans spell it with the extra "e." In terms of flavor ... well ... that's the fun part, and we'll let you figure that out for yourself. Here's a little more information on the subject.
Whatever variety of whisk(e)y you prefer, we highly recommend that you join us in celebrating this lovely occasion by cooking dinner with your favorite spirit. Here are some of our favorite ways to use booze to up the intensity of your meal:
Breakfast for dinner? We think so! That pumpkin puree will make all the difference in your pancakes, giving them a slight savory-sweet dinner appeal while adding a little extra insurance against dryness. And don't even get us started on that heavenly syrup ...
If you love barbecue chicken, consider taking the sweet, smoky, oniony flavors to the next level with this surprisingly not-too-difficult sauce. You can use pretty much any whisk(e)y you want -- a nice bourbon would be delightful -- but if you love smoky barbecue sauce, we recommend using a peaty scotch.
If a sweet-savory whiskey glaze, pungent blue cheese, crunchy fried onions and rich, gooey beer cheese is somehow not enough to sell you on this, we're totally fine with that. More for us!
We know, we know. We also thought it wasn't possible to improve on classic mac and cheese. But we were wrong, and you'll thank us for bringing this to your attention.
If you've never put dark chocolate or cocoa powder in your beef chili, you'll be amazed at the subtle yet deeply complex flavors that it brings. Now dump in a few tablespoons of whiskey (you can do this just after you cook your onion if you want to cook all the booziness out), and we're in business.
Ribs are great, but they can be a real pain if you don't have anywhere to grill or smoke them. Enter the slow cooker! Impossibly simple process, fall-off-the-bone results.
We admit, gnocchi takes a fair bit of time to prepare, but you're more than welcome to make it ahead of time and freeze. (Freeze them raw in a single layer on a baking sheet and then transfer to a Ziploc bag once they are frozen solid. Defrost before boiling.) The cool thing about this recipe is that butternut squash is WAY less finicky than regular potatoes, so you don't have to worry as much about the usual gnocchi fine line between falling apart and glue.
Don't forget about dessert! Boozy truffles are life.