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You'll love these mouthwatering recipes made with Coca-Cola

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

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You'll love these mouthwatering recipes made with Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola can find a home in both sweet and savory dishes, and the results can be surprisingly delicious when applied to foods that work naturally with its flavors. With a tip of our hats and a curvy bottled toast, we’ve picked a few of our favorite recipes for you to try as summer begins.

Lauded by SNL’s fictitious Atlanta resident Buford Calloway as “sweet Dixie Champagne,” Coca-Cola is more than just a tasty Southern beverage. It is the world’s most famous brand whose syrupy and effervescent qualities lend themselves to a wide variety of culinary applications.

Note: I suggest Mexican Coke, which may not be as easy to find as our American version but I implore you to seek out. The sweetness comes from cane sugar, rather than high fructose corn syrup, making it closer to the Coca-Cola flavor of your childhood, no matter what region you’re from.

Coca-Cola Glazed Wings
Balance is the name of the game with these sweet and savory chicken wings. Here, the Coca-Cola is reduced to a syrupy glaze, but the additions of fresh lime juice and jalapeño peppers bring spice and bright acidity to the party. With all the sweetness from the brown sugar and Coca-Cola, be sure to add more salt than you think you need, or better yet, add a half cup of soy sauce to the mixture before heating. Be sure to closely monitor the glaze as it reduces. If the sugar becomes overly caramelized and concentrated, the final product will either be too thick to glaze the wings, or bitter from that burnt sugar flavor. Just enough viscosity to lightly coat the back of a spoon will be perfect for nicely glazed chicken wings. To further brighten the finished sauce, add either the juice of one lime or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Get the recipe here

Coca-Cola Cake
In addition to harnessing the sweetness of Coca-Cola, we can also capitalize on the carbonation, particularly in baked goods. A true wonder of the Southern pantry, the chocolate Coca-Cola cake combines Coca-Cola with the gentle acidity of buttermilk to activate the leavening power of baking soda. When mixed with the butter (please don’t use margarine), oil, and marshmallows, the result is a soft, moist, and fluffy chocolate cake. I also love how the recipe doubles down on the Coca-Cola in the frosting; however, don’t feel limited to use this icing. A simple chocolate or caramel ganache, or even a schmear of chocolate mousse would all be fantastic frostings for this delicious cake.
Get the recipe here

Coca-Cola Glazed Ham
In this recipe, the Coca-Cola works not only as part of the glaze, but also as the basting liquid for the salty ham. I would agree with Virginia Willis’ preference for Dijon mustard (or even Creole mustard) over yellow ballpark mustard: the flavors and just seem to meld more seamlessly. Once the ham has finished cooking, I like the idea of taking the juices from the pan and reducing them in a pot until a light glaze has formed. Your finished dish will have just a touch more finesse than simply serving the straight basting liquid, though the latter is never a bad option. While you can always serve the ham as a centerpiece, those who prepare this ham for the sole purpose of sandwiches are truly the angels among us.
Get the recipe here


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Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and “spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.”

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