Cornstarch is simply a functional, journeyman ingredient, neither sexy nor exciting. It does its occupation well; each you bash to activate its thickening powers is premix it with a tiny magnitude of liquid to make a slurry you tin disturbance into a blistery soups, stews, cookware sauces, puddings, oregon immoderate liquid-y dish that needs a spot much body. Most radical usage h2o to make their slurry, but chill kids usage booze.
Actually, I don’t cognize what the chill kids are doing. I haven’t been a kid, chill oregon otherwise, for rather immoderate time. But replacing the h2o successful your cornstarch slurry with brandy, sherry, rum, oregon vino allows you to sneak a spot much spirit into your recipe. If you are successful the wont of avoiding intoxicant entirely, you tin usage a concentrated stock, effect juice, milk, oregon thing that’s packed with umami, similar soy sauce.
Making a slurry with fino sherry tin adhd a bread-y, almond-y enactment to a effect compote oregon vanilla pudding, and thickening a beef stew with a reddish vino slurry tin adhd depth. Does your chili request much assemblage and umami? Make a slurry with food sauce. Neither volition effect successful overwhelming spirit changes, but either volition assistance you physique layers of spirit successful your dish.
Even better, you don’t person to marque different adjustments to your recipe. Make the slurry the “normal” way, mixing adjacent volumes of liquid and starch unneurotic (two parts liquid with 1 portion starch besides works), whisking with a fork to interruption up immoderate clumps. Drizzle the slurry into your crockery portion it’s hot—cornstarch works champion at temperatures of 180℉ and up—then fto everything simmer for a fewer minutes. Repeat arsenic needed until your crockery is heavy and luscious. (Not definite if it’s “done”? Spoon a small onto a room-temperature sheet and see however it behaves.)