Or, as SMWS spirits manager Euan Campbell describes in his own whisky and food pairing revelation, it could be a slice of pungent blue cheese, savoured with a dram from our Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile while on a visit to the whisky island of Islay.
As SMWS ambassador Hans Offringa says: “Drinking whisky during a meal is not new. Hundreds of years ago the Scottish Highlanders seized every occasion to savour a dram: a funeral, wedding or birthday. A true Scot wouldn’t ignore any opportunity presented.”
As an international community of whisky lovers, we’re open to experimentation and inspiration with food pairings from around the world. In our whisky-fuelled night out in Shanghai for Unfiltered’s February issue this year, our Chinese members came up with the Shanghai dish of ‘jiang bao niu wa’, sauce-fried bullfrog, paired with a Society whisky from our Oily & Coastal flavour profile.
Here are some other suggestions from our international branches for perfect pairings for our different flavour profiles, and how to prepare them.
CHILES RELLENOS WITH LIGHTLY PEATED
4 large poblano chiles
3 cups grated or shredded Queso Fresco or Monterey Jack
Vegetable oil for frying
2 egg whites
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup beer or water
Drizzle the chiles in olive oil and roast at 450 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Peel the skins off of the chiles but leave the stems on. Cut a lengthwise slit in one side and scrap out the seeds. Stuff the chiles with cheese and use toothpicks to hold them closed.
Whip egg whites until the hold soft peaks. Whisk together the beer, flour, and salt, and gently fold in the egg whites.
Heat at least 2-3in of oil in a deep saucepan until a drip of batter sizzles immediately.
Dip the stuffed chiles into the batter to coat them and immediately fry until golden brown (approx. 5 minutes). Use a spatula to help rotate the chiles in the oil and to remove them; let them cool on paper towels. Serve with Salsa Verde and crumbled queso fresco.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA WITH SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW
1 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper diced, seeds removed
1 lime, juiced
Kosher salt, to taste
In a ziplock bag add pineapple juice, smoked paprika and kosher salt. Gently mix and add in pork tenderloin. Let marinade for about 30 minutes while you prepare the salsa.
After your salsa has been prepared preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet set over medium heat. (Or any other oven safe skillet)
Once the oil is shiny and hot add in pork tenderloin and throw away remaining marinade.
Quickly brown the tenderloin on all sides and add the tenderloin to the preheated oven. Roast in the oven until the internal temperature is 140 degrees, about 20 minutes depending on size.
Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for about 7 minutes. This will help the pork reach 145 degrees and will be perfectly cooked.
Slice, top with pineapple salsa and enjoy.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add pineapple, red onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeño pepper and lime juice.
Stir to combine, season with salt and keep cold in the refrigerator while you cook the pork.
STEAMED WHITE ASPARAGUS WITH FJORD SHRIMPS WITH SPICY & DRY
4 white asparagus
3 egg yolks
160 grams butter without whey
Lemon juice from ½ lemon
15 grams fjord shrimps
Crack the bottom of the asparagus and peel it but not its head. Steam in water with a bit of butter and half a lemon.
Beat the egg yolks while gently heating a bit until they are a creamy consistency then add the juice from half a small lemon – this process will take approximately 5-7 minutes.
Make sure the butter is fluid. Add the butter bit by bit while beating the sauce, making sure the temperature does not exceed 57 C/131F.
Season with salt and pepper
For the fjord shrimps, boil the fresh shrimps for a maximum of one minute. Let them cool and peel them.
Plate the hot asparagus, pour on the sauce, and dress with the fjord shrimps, watercress and pink pepper.
HERE’S SMWS AMBASSADOR FIN ANDERSON WITH HIS PERFECT PAIRINGS FROM THE JUNE OUTTURN