Every Christmas dinner is special. In your childhood, you probably used to help out in the kitchen making chocolate chips cookies or baking the gingerbread house, only to end up eating pieces of it while it was still in progress. Indeed, these special moments belong to a nostalgic past, to the memories of a child excited about Christmas.
However, as adults, disenchanted and caught up in everyday life, the magic of Christmas has almost faded. Yet, it is possible to relive the same emotions of those years gone by, enjoying unique experiences during these holidays. One of the best ways to do this is, of course, to get together with your nearest and dearest for a Christmas dinner (If you’ve fallen behind with Christmas presents, don’t worry. We have some original suggestions for you). And to make it even more special, MNIW propose to you some whisky-based recipes for a very whisky Christmas!
Chrismas Dinner Menu
“But baby is cold outside!”
Your guests have just arrived. It’s freezing outside, and they would probably like something to warm up. Then, why not start with a great classic? Here’s the Hot Toddy recipe for a warming boost, a delicious whisky based hot drink.
- Boiling water
- 4 cloves
- 1 lemon peel or wheel
- 2 teaspoons demerara sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces whiskey (bourbon, rye, Irish or scotch)
- Fill a mug with boiling water and let stand for a minute or two to warm.
- Meanwhile, stick the cloves into the lemon peel or wheel and set them aside.
- Empty the mug and fill about halfway with fresh boiling water.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Put in the prepared lemon peel or wheel and stir.
- Add the lemon juice and whiskey, and stir again.
Who says you have to save the best for last? It’s Christmas dinner, and you need to start it off with a bang! Here are some suggestions for your first courses.
Ravioli with Whisky braised Duck
- 250g of ravioli
- 600g duck breast without the skin
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 4 juniper berries
- 1 tbsp dried thyme, oregano, marjoram
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried marjoram
- 500 ml whisky
- flour to taste
- 500 ml meat stock
- 50 g butter
- a few leaves of black cabbage
- olive oil to taste
- salt to taste
- Peel the carrot and cut it into chunks. Peel the onion and cut it into 4 wedges, then cut the celery into large pieces, and put all the vegetables into a large bowl. Then, add the herbs and spices, i.e. 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves, a small cinnamon stick, 4 juniper berries, a tablespoon of dried thyme, a tablespoon of dried oregano and a tablespoon of dried marjoram.
- Place 600 g of skinless duck breast on top of the vegetables and spices and cover with 500 ml of whisky, stirring well to distribute the vegetables and spices evenly around the meat. Then, transfer the whole to a bowl, and cover it with cling film. Place it in the fridge to rest overnight (or at least 6-8 hours). If the meat is not completely covered in whisky, you can add more whisky or remember to turn the meat a couple of times so that the marinade is uniform.
- When the marinating time has passed, take the meat out of the marinade, dry it very well with paper towels and set it aside at room temperature.
- Filter the whisky from the marinade and put it in a jug, then take the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick and juniper berries and put them in a small bowl, while you will have to transfer all the pieces of celery, carrot and onion and the dried herbs to a blender with metal blades.
- Take the duck breast, coat it well in the flour and then melt 50 g of butter in a large, tall saucepan. As soon as it starts to bubble, add the chopped vegetables and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
- When the meat is nicely seared, add the remaining spices and a little more than half of the strained marinade, stir well and bring to the boil, then add a ladleful of hot meat stock and leave to cook in this way for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a little stock whenever the sauce tends to get too dry.
- As soon as the meat is cooked, turn off the heat and let it cool down in the sauce, then, when it is warm or cold, take it out and cut it up with a fork, then put it back into the pot with the sauce.
- When the sauce is ready, you can heat it on low heat. In the meantime, cook 250g of ravioli in a pot filled with lightly salted boiling water for the time indicated on the package.
- When the ravioli are cooked, drain them and dress them with the braised meat and its sauce.
- 300 g Carnaroli (or Arborio) rice
- 1 shallot
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sachet of saffron
- whisky 1 dl
- vegetable broth as required
- salt and pepper as required
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Peel and finely slice the shallot and sauté in a pan with the bay leaves.
- Add the rice and toast it for 2 minutes, stir with a wooden spoon, pour in the whisky and let it evaporate.
- Pour in 2 ladles of stock and cook, adding more stock gradually until the rice is cooked.
- Add the saffron and some whisky, remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately
Now it is time for the main course. Don’t worry, if you are already full you can always save the leftovers for a replica of this delicious dinner for the next day.
Lamb chops with whisky butter
Ingredients for 2 servings
- 8 Lamb Chops
- 50 ml whisky
- 30 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Chopped Rosemary
- A pinch of fine salt
- A pinch of black pepper
For the whisky butter:
- 150g butter
- 3 tablespoons of whisky
Whip the butter to a froth for 5 minutes with an electric beater, add the whisky slowly, continue to whip until well blended.
- To prepare the Pan-fried Lamb Chops, peel the garlic and cook it in a large frying pan with olive oil.
- When the garlic has browned, remove it from the pan and add the lamb chops. Cook on both sides until coloured.
- Sprinkle with the chopped fresh rosemary, add the whisky and let it evaporate, turning the lamb chops from time to time.
- Adjust the salt and continue cooking until the meat is cooked. Turn off the heat, garnish with fresh rosemary and arrange the whisky butter over the chops. Serve the lamb chops with whisky butter.
A sweet finale
For some mysterious reason, no matter how much we have eaten before, there will always be room for dessert.
(Of course, we had to include the ultimate Scottish dessert!)
- 2 tbsp medium oatmeal
- 300g fresh raspberries
- a little caster sugar
- 350ml double cream
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2-3 tbsp whisky, to taste
- To toast the oatmeal, place the oats in a dry frying pan and cook over low heat. Stir occasionally, and toast the oats until they are golden brown. This process may take 10-20 minutes.
- Make a raspberry purée by crushing half the fruit and sieving. Sweeten this to taste with a little caster sugar. Whisk the double cream until just set, and stir in the honey and whisky. Taste the mix and add more of either if you feel the need.
- Stir in the oatmeal and whisk lightly until the mixture is just firm. Alternate layers of the cream with the remaining whole raspberries and purée. Allow it to chill slightly before eating.
I hope you have a nice meal! Enjoy your Christmas whisky dinner with friends and family and make some good memories.