Clever Ways To Turn Leftover Champagne Into Delectable Dishes
30th July 2019
About 164 million bottles of Champagne and other sparkling wines were purchased by Brits in 2018 – a 10 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. But not all opened bottles of Champagne are completely consumed, and occasionally, you find yourself with some left over. While an open bottle can contribute to a refreshing sparkling wine punch, Champagne also lends itself well to cooking, and can naturally complement the flavours of sweet treats like sorbets and cakes, as well as a range of savoury dishes. If you find yourself with an unfinished bottle, here are some ideas for recipes that will ensure nothing goes to waste.
Thick And Fluffy Strawberry And Champagne Pancakes
A good use for leftover bubbly after a party is to cook it into breakfast. There are many delectable dishes you can make with Champagne, but if you want to extend the party for brunch, then try making fluffy Champagne pancakes in the morning. This is exactly the recipe you want the day after a special event to extend the celebration: the bubbles from the Champagne help to make the pancakes fluffier and puffier than an ordinary pancake recipe, and you can even make it even more special by topping it with a smashed strawberry Champagne syrup.
To make the fluffy Champagne pancakes, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 cup of low-fat buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons of canola oil; then set aside. Sift together 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, half a teaspoon of fine sea salt, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add the milk and egg mixture to the sifted ingredients until well incorporated and a little lumpy. Set this aside for 15 minutes. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the griddle to at least 190ᵒC. Before ladling the pancake mixture, fold in 1/4 cup of Champagne. Place 1/4 cup of the batter on the greased griddle, and cook on one side until it starts to bubble. Flip, and cook the other side.
To top the pancakes, make a syrup from 1lb of halved and hulled strawberries, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest, half a teaspoon of freshly-squeezed orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch: combine everything in a saucepan. Smash the strawberries using a wooden spoon before turning the heat to medium, or use a blender to achieve a smoother consistency. Bring the mixture to a boil; then simmer for at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and add in 3 tablespoons of Champagne. Arrange the pancakes on a platter, drizzle with the syrup, and serve immediately. For a real celebration breakfast, pair the pancakes with your favourite mimosa or other brunch cocktails.
If you want to indulge in a luxurious meal but are limited in time and energy, then this Champagne risotto is the answer. To make this, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add minced yellow onion to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook it until it turns soft and translucent. Then add 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Deglaze the pan with a cup of Champagne to incorporate the toasted pieces. Turn up the heat to medium, and stir constantly until the alcohol in the Champagne is thoroughly cooked and absorbed by the rice. Add another cup of Champagne, and continue stirring until almost fully absorbed. Then add a third cup of bubbly, and repeat.
Once the Champagne has been absorbed, add 3 cups of chicken broth, one at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. If the rice remains too firm, you can add a total of 2 cups of water until the rice turns creamy and al dente. Before turning off the heat completely, add in 1 cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese, and stir well. Season to taste using kosher salt. Ladle the risotto into warm bowls, and garnish with extra cheese and fresh thyme leaves.
Using leftover Champagne in cooking is a great way to make sure your leftovers don’t go to waste. As long as the bottle has not been opened longer than a week, it will enhance the dish without leaving a vinegary taste, and you can create recipes with a dash of luxury fit to follow any celebration.
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