turns out i use liquor quite often, like on the fish last night, a pink grouper, roasted over high on one side in butter and oil. after the fish turned crisp, i poured a slug of ricard into the pan and set the whole thing on fire. the flames flared for a second, i covered my pan with a lid and finished the filet on low. the anisette fragrance melded nicely with the fish and the resulting sauce, somewhat reduced, worked well over roasted cauliflower. a handful of petit pois were contrast in color and texture.
while i'm on saucing: a fire roasted flank steak, nicely blackened and flamed in a mellow jack has the subtle scent of that tennessee whiskey. similar, shrimp in the soft glow of sake, potatoes in peel once steamed, might get lit on vodka, wild rice as it begins to flake, perfected with a spoon of gin, cognac for a confit, bourbon to tender wild duck, a shot of straight rye blazing garlic and black beans, moules frites in a fog of the green fairy, my list might go on, excepting that you've got the drift, kindling new notions priming your food.
needless to say flaming a food might set more than your pan on fire, so stand back and tie off your do, and smother that flame with a lid, if it won't burn off in a few seconds.
you think me a lush, but hootch of such flavorful sapids is spirited off into fragrance, adding a depth to those dishes otherwise left to a buttery flavor alone. mind you i love butter, and use it freely, but in a silly way, liquor is quicker, even though a grain's lightning has burned off and gone, it turns to sweetness and depth, aroma and essence, rendering dark to dishes, a distinctive glow into a semblance of candle light, bearing a moody warmth these wintery nights.