When you think of flambé, you likely think of fine dining and high-end steakhouses. And while that is one way to prepare and serve flambé dishes, they can be much simpler and more affordable without losing their appeal. It's not just about presentation; your guests will appreciate a flambé dish if they know what it is ahead of time. Keep the preparation simple so you don’t have any unexpected challenges during your party. They are fun to watch, smell, eat and talk about after the party ends. Make sure your guests don’t miss out on the show when you follow this guide for making a successful Flambé menu for your next get-together.
What is a Flambé Dish?
Flambé is a French cooking technique that involves pouring alcohol onto a hot dish and igniting it to create a dramatic presentation. In French, flambé means "to flame". This method of cooking is used to add flavor to certain foods and to create a dramatic presentation. It is a common misconception that a flambé dish is simply one that is served with flair. While a flambé dish may indeed be served with flair, the real difference between a flambé dish and other dishes is the cooking method. Flambé dishes are cooked by pouring alcohol onto a hot dish and igniting it. This will both flavor the dish and create a show-stopping presentation.
Plan Your Menu Carefully
The first step to successfully preparing a flambé dish is to decide what you are serving. The dish you choose should be something that is not overly complex, cannot be ruined by the small amount of alcohol used to ignite it, and that can be served quickly so you don’t keep everyone waiting too long. Flambé is often seen in French cooking, which means a good place to start is with French dishes. Steak is a common and popular flambé dish, as are scallops and crème brûlée.
Don’t Forget the Rice
If you are serving a French dish such as scallops or steak with a flambé sauce, you may be tempted to serve your guest's French fries or scalloped potatoes with it. Don’t do this. Instead, serve a side of rice with your flambé dish to soak up the delicious sauce. Although it may seem like an obvious step, rice is essential to a successful flambé dish. Rice is a good side dish with any meal, so it is a smart choice for a flambé dish. It will provide bulk to stave off hunger between bites and will help you avoid adding too many calories to your dish. It can also help you make the most of your flambé. Some of the sauce will drip onto your plate, but much of it will end up in the rice
Create a Flambé Plate
Because you are cooking with alcohol, you want to ensure that it doesn’t get too close to any open flames. To do this, create a flambé plate by placing the scallops or steak on a plate and then covering the plate with a bowl. Flames will shoot up through the bowl and not the plate where your scallops or steak are sitting. This is an easy way to keep your guests safe and keep your house from burning down.
When Serving a Flambé Dish
If you are making a steak flambé then you will want your guests to be able to see the flambé in action. Before guests are seated, place the scallops or steak on a plate and then place the bowl over the plate with holes in it. Then, light the alcohol in the bowl and make sure to pour it over the scallops or steak so that it sizzles. Finally, remove the bowl and place the scallops or steak on the plate. If you are making a scallops flambé, you don’t need to worry as much about flames shooting up through the bowl. Since scallops are on the bottom of the bowl, they will not be affected by the flames. Therefore, you can light the alcohol in the bowl and pour it over the scallops to flavor them.
Flambé is a cooking technique that adds flair to any dish. It is a common sight in fine dining, but it doesn’t have to be reserved just for special occasions. Flambé dishes are fun to watch, smell, eat, and talk about after the party ends. Everyone will enjoy the spectacle of a flambé dish, even if they don’t know what it is ahead of time. To have a successful flambé meal, start by making sure you have the proper equipment and ingredients for your dish. Plan your menu carefully, and don’t forget the rice. Decide which condiments you will serve, and create a flambé plate for safety. When serving a flambé dish, make sure your guests can see the flames, and pour the alcohol over the dish before igniting it with a match.