By Richard Thomas
In the business of pairing Scotch whisky and food, match-ups with seafood has been particularly in vogue lately. The combination is natural enough, when one considers that Scotland has a seafood culture to call its own and that some of the island-based whiskies have a distinctive sea spray quality to them.
I happen to live not in Scotland, but in a country where Scotch is the top distilled spirit and the seafood is internationally renowned, Portugal. The aforementioned pairing trend and the peculiar characteristics of my locale come together in this recipe, perfect for an upper crust starter and sure to impress.
100 ml/3 oz (two shots) Scotch whisky
180 grams/ 6.5 oz brown sugar
Two dozen tiger shrimps (prawns)
One red chili
Pre-heat your oven to 400 F/200 C.
Slice open the red chili and de-seed it. Then chop it into small bits.
Squeeze the juice from the two limes. Then grate the skin of one lime for lime zest.
Put the lime juice, the whisky and the brown sugar into a saucepan, then place that saucepan a stove burner, switched on to medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, and then turn the heat up to high, boiling the mixture and thickening it, creating a whisky glaze.
Take the saucepan off the burner, and stir in the lime zest. Place tiger shrimps so as to spread them on the bottom of a baking dish, and coat them lightly with vegetable oil. Sprinkle on the chopped chili bits, and then brush the shrimps with the whisky glaze. Place the dish in the oven and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the shrimps have turned opaque and are thoroughly cooked.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and serve.