Cooking With Jack Daniel’s

Throughout my life, I’ve eaten at several restaurants that served one or more items made with Jack Daniel’s:  Jack Daniel’s Cake, Jack Daniel’s Ice Cream, Jack Daniel’s Barbecue, etc.  Where did this idea for using Jack Daniel’s in everything come from?  Most of the time, things like this can’t be traced back to a definitive source, but in this case it can: Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House.  You see, when he was alive, Jack Daniel used to take his midday meal at the boarding house every day, and his famous whiskey started making its way into the the food.

One hundred years later, the boarding house is still in operation and being run by none other than Lynne Tolley, the great grand-niece of Jack Daniel and chief taster at the distillery.  So the recipes remain unchanged and word has spread around the country:  Jack Daniel’s is not just for drinking anymore.

Skillet Steaks with Lynchburg Pan Sauce

  • 2 Porterhouse or T-bone steaks, about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 10 minutes. Generously rub steaks with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook steaks one at a time. Sear steak on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5 minutes for medium-rare; 6 minutes for medium. Remove the steak from the skillet and keep warm.

Repeat with the second steak and keep warm. Melt the butter in the skillet; stir in the Worcestershire sauce and Jack Daniel’s®. Bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes. Slice steaks, if desired. Pour sauce over steaks and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Jack Black Bean Dip

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (about 15 ounces each) black beans, drained
  • ¼ cup Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste

Suggested Toppings: sour cream, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, sliced green onions, jalapeño peppers, chopped cilantro.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, Jack Daniel’s®, and cumin. Cook until bubbly and heated through. Mash beans lightly with a wooden spoon or a fork. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature in a serving dish topped with your choice of the suggested toppings. Makes about 2 ½ cups.

Try making cheesy Mini Corncakes to serve with this dip. Use the recipe for Cast-Iron Cornbread (above) and stir in a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Simply drop spoonfuls of the batter on a hot greased griddle and cook just like regular little pancakes. Add a little more milk or water if the batter seems too thick. Mini Corncakes are also wonderful with pulled pork barbecue. Top the barbecue bites with a dollop of Clear Vinegar Slaw (see recipe below).

Miss Mary’s Fudge Pie

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust
  • Sweetened whipped cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in eggs, evaporated milk, and Jack Daniel’s®. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with sugar and a little Jack Daniel’s®.

Sprinkle cream with a dusting of cocoa powder. Makes 8 servings.

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