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Oct 11, 2012 11:11 AM

Cooking with Vodka

I'm thinking about a 'cooking with vodka' theme week. Beyond the obvious - bloody mary sauces and traditional vodka sauces for pasta...any great ideas and/or warnings about using vodka when cooking?

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  1. by nature, it's a neutral spirit, so not something i ever really use in the kitchen.

    you could make oyster shooters with it and tomato water martinis though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Isn't it weird how yes, it is neutral, flavor-wise, but it does something other worldly for pasta sauce?

      How about Russian or Polish dishes? I realize their traditional things don't call for Vodka, but I'm sure you could find a way to work it in just as you would with another liquor or wine.

    2. CI has a rather famous "vodka pie crust," but I haven't tried it yet.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chowbird

        This is now my officially favourite pastry recipe. I'm not sure if it's the vodka or the method (which is slighly different than usual) but it's absolutely perfect - a dream to work with and beautifully light and flaky. There's not a lot of vodka in it, though. 1/4 cup for two crust recipe.

        1. re: Chowbird

          Another fan of using a small amount of vodka for pie crust.
          Keeps the dough malleable, yet evaporates. Leaves no moisture or flavor behind.

          1. re: Chowbird

            It's my favorite pie dough recipe as well - I only use half as much vodka as called for, though. Cheaper and I can't tell the difference in the final product. The dough is incredibly easy to work with and turns out flaky and delicious every time.

            1. re: biondanonima

              Agree on the pie crust, so glad to find that recipe. Easy as pie!

              If you would rather cake for dessert, Black Russian Bundt Cake is a family favorite around here.

          2. Sorry to go off topic, but could you share a simple recipe for vodka sauce for pasta? I'd like to try it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jvanderh

              My favorite is tomato cream sauce with vodka. Saute some onion and garlic, deglaze with vodka perhaps. Add whatever bag of tomatoes I happened to pull from my freezer, rough chopped or halved. Fast simmer until most of the liquid has reduced. I'm going for not much liquid left but also not cooking the bejeebers out of the tomatoes to keep most of that fresh tomato flavor. Add a big glug of vodka and simmer another few minutes. Zizz everything with the immersion blender if desired. Finish with a glug of heavy cream, adjust seasonings and toss in fresh marjoram or basil before serving.

            2. In Susanna Foo's book, Chinese Cuisine, she incorporates vodka into a number of her recipes - Breast of Chicken Sauteed with Mushrooms, Steamed Crabmeat Souffle, Black Bean Sauce, and Pan-Sauteed Pompano, to name a few. You can find out a bit about her from this article:

              1. Thank you All!!! Great input and amazing ideas. Def going to try the crust! Have a great weekend!