I can’t profess to be a whisky drinker although I am coming around to the idea that it isn’t all poison. I do love the warmth it adds particularly when combined with citrus (think hot toddies). I also believe it has a place in the kitchen and here are two fairly simple recipes using it to it’s best effect.
Duck with a Marmalade & Whisky Sauce
This is a quick version of Duck à l’Orange where I have used grapefruit instead of the traditional citrus. This produces quite a bitter sauce which I think compliments the rich duck. However, feel free to substitute this for orange or sweeten the sauce with a little honey.
- 2 tbsp grapefruit or orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp whisky
- A small sprig of rosemary, bruised with the blade of a knife
- 1 pink grapefruit or a large orange
- Honey to sweeten (optional)
- 20g butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 duck breasts
- Salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 220℃.
- Combine the marmalade, orange juice, whisky and rosemary in a small pan. Heat gently until the marmalade has melted stirring and bruising the rosemary as you go. Try not to let it boil. Leave to infuse whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the peel from the grapefruit or orange then segment the fruit. Reserve the segments until required.
- Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat then fry the shallot until golden. Add the shallot to the marmalade sauce. Season the sauce and taste. If it’s too bitter for your liking add a little honey to sweeten it.
- Increase the heat of the frying pan then add the duck breasts skin side down. Cook for around 2 – 3 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned. Remove the duck from the pan and pour the excess fat into a small bowl. Place the breasts in a small roasting tray this time skin side up. Roast in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
- Whilst the duck is roasting deglaze the frying pan with the sauce then add the grapefruit or orange segments and keep warm over a gentle heat. When the duck is done (ideally it should be served pink) put the breasts on the serving plates. Remove the rosemary from the sauce and pour over the duck. I like to serve this dish with some swede mashed with a little blue cheese such as stilton and perhaps a green vegetable on the side.
Rice Pudding with Whisky Drenched Raisins and Caramelised Walnuts
A gaelic twist on a classic.
- 2 tbsp raisins (about 40g)
- 2 tbsp whisky
- 50g pudding rice
- 25g golden caster sugar
- 400ml milk (you could substitute the cows milk for almond milk)
- Zest half and orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 25g caster sugar
- 25g walnut halves
- Several hours before you plan to make the rice pudding (or even the night before) soak the raisins in the whisky.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Lightly grease an oven proof dish. Combine the rice, 25g golden caster sugar, milk, orange zest and vanilla. Pour this into the prepared dish then stir in the whisky drenched raisins. Cover with foil then place in the oven for 1½ – 2 hours.
- Whilst the pudding is baking, put the remaining 25g caster sugar in a small pan with a tablespoon of water. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves then turns a rich, nutty brown. Immediately, tip in the walnut halves and coat them in the caramel. Spread the caramelised nuts on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or a silicone liner and allow to set. Once the mixture has hardened crush the caramelised nuts with a pestle and mortar, rolling pin or in a food processor if you prefer a finer texture.
- To serve, spoon the pudding into bowls and sprinkle over some of the crushed caramelised nuts. A bit of cold double cream wouldn’t go amiss either!
To find out more about the pleasures of drinking whisky pop over to the Lunar Life blog written by Rosemary Moon.