I watched the Pioneer Woman the other day and she was making a Baked Alaska. After she put together the ice cream layers and used a sponge cake for the crust she made the meringue. Then she pulled out her culinary torch and browned the meringue. There has to be more uses for a culinary torch than just meringues and creme brûlées.
Sprinkle a cake with sugar and heat the sugar until it becomes crisp and golden.
Torch a stainless steel measuring cup full of a liqueur and pour the warm liquid over a fruit compote.
Too cold to make s’mores outside. No problem. Just put a marshmallow on a fondue fork and toast it with the torch, then assemble your s’more with graham crackers and chocolate.
Set a tomato on a heatproof surface or hold it with tongs. Heat with the torch until the skin starts to crack, let cool and then peel.
Hold a bell pepper with tongs and char the skins with the torch. Place the pepper in a paper bag, let cool and then peel.
Cut a grapefruit in half and dry the surface with a paper towel. Spread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Heat the sugar until it bubbles.
Top soup or chili with grated cheese and melt it with the torch.
Try a stuffed tomato or avocado half with chicken salad topped with bread crumbs and grated cheese. Torch the cheese until it melts and toasts the bread crumbs.
Spoon oatmeal into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Heat with the torch until crispy.
Lay fruit on a ham and sprinkle with sugar. Heat with the torch until the sugar caramelizes.
Add breadcrumbs to Mac and cheese and torch until the cheese bubbles and the breadcrumbs are browned.
You can also get a crispy brown crust topping on gratin potatoes by adding a light coating of shaved Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. Heat until the cheese bubbles and potatoes are light brown.
French onion soup is not complete without a gooey layer of cheese covered crouton. The torch can melt and crisp the cheese easier then trying to do it in the broiler. Just ladle the soup in bowls, float a piece of bread on top and add a slice of Gruyere cheese. Torch the cheese until it melts, just before serving...yum yum!