Country Tails

December 20, 2016

Brilliantly Boozy Recipes

Christmas is the only time of year when it is acceptable to consume alcohol at all times of the day and to include it in every recipe you cook. Why not make the most of it? This year we have four very special recipes for you, developed by the head chef at The Verzon Hotel, Callum McDonald. All of these recipes have been made with our own Chase Vodka or Williams Gin and are simple to make. 

  • Smoked Vodka Cured Salmon, Buckwheat Blinis, Horseradish Crème Fraîche

    This is our take on a classic. The vodka provides a subtle smokiness that is perfect when served with a smoky mary Bliss!

  • Serves 12
  • 450g salmon fillet, skin on #
  • 125ml Chase Smoked Vodka
  • 130g muscovado sugar
  • 120g sea salt
  • Zest of  half a lemon
  • Buckwheat blinis
  • 250g butter, melted
  • 150g buckwheat flour
  • 150ml milk, lukewarm  
  • 4g dried yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 eggs, separated
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • ½ tsp horseradish, finely grated  
  • Horseradish crème fraîche        
  •   40g double cream
  • 20g horseradish, finely grated
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

To cure the salmon, start by scoring the skin at 1cm intervals. Cover a tray with cling film, place the salmon on the centre, skin side down. In a bowl, combine the smoked vodka, sugar, sea salt and lemon zest, and distribute evenly over the salmon. Wrap tightly with more cling film, ensuring there’s no leakage, and refrigerate for three days.  On the day you’re ready to serve, make the blinis. In a bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to stand until it starts to bubble (approximately 2 minutes). In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice, horseradish and melted butter. Stir in the yeast mixture. Whisk the egg whites, until they form soft peaks, and fold through the batter. Cover the bowl in cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes. When read, remove the clingfilm and stir with a spoon to remove move of the air.  To cook the blinis, melt a knob of butter, along with a splash of oil, in heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat. Using a dessert spoon, carefully drop the batter onto the pan to form small blinis. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.   For the crème fraîche, put the horseradish and cream into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer until the cream has reduced by a half (approximately 1 minute). Pass the cream through a sieve over a bowl and mix in the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve.  

  • Brixham Mussels with Willy’s Cider and Sage

This is a simple, yet flavourful recipe to try. Willy’s adds the taste of Herefordshire countryside and brings the dish together splendidly. Serves 4

  • 1kg Brixham mussels, cleaned and de-bearded  
  • 3 banana shallots, diced  
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced  
  • 12 large sage leaves, chopped
  • 120ml Willy’s Cider
  • 50ml double cream
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Olive oil

Place a heavy-based pan on a high heat and add big glugs of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until it turns a light golden colour. Add the mussels and the cider and quickly cover the lid. After two minutes, add the lemon juice, sage and cream and season with salt and pepper. Cover for a further two minutes.  To serve Split the mussels and the sauce between four bowls and serve with big chunks of crusty bread. 


Chase Vodka Marmalade

Smothered over hot toast or sweet treats, this recipe transform traditional marmalade into something a little more indulgent.  Makes 6 standard jars

  • 3 oranges
  • 900g sugar
  • 700ml Chase Vodka
  • 6 sterilised jars

To begin, halve and juice the oranges. Scoop out the pulp and tie it up in a muslin cloth. Measure 1 litre of water into a bowl and add vodka, the juice, shredded skin and wrapped pulp and leave to soak (this intensifies the flavour and reduces the cooking time).  When ready, place the ingredients, into a heavy-based pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the peel has become very soft. Carefully remove the muslin bag, allow to cool slightly, the return the contents to the mix.  There should now be 775g of mixture. If there is less, add water to make up the difference and then return the mix to the pan. Add the sugar and boil for 10 minutes. To check the marmalade is ready, take it off the heat and spoon a small amount onto a plate and put it in the freezer. After two minutes you should be able to push the marmalade from the freezer with your finger. If the surface wrinkles and it holds its form, then it’s ready. If it doesn’t, return it to the heat for two minutes and check again. Continue this process until it acheives the desired effect.  Once ready, carefully spoon the mixture into the jam jars, seal and leave to cool.  


Gin Truffles

These truly decadent truffles should be reserved for special occasions. Remember to share! Makes 15

  • 130g Dark Chocolate (30g grated for decoration)
  • 120g Double Cream
  • 25g Caster Sugar
  • 13g Butter
  • 30g Williams GB Gin

Break up 100g dark chocolate into small pieces, place in a bowl and set aside. In a heavy-based pan on a medium heat, add 100g of the cream, the butter and sugar. Once the mix reaches boiling point, pour over the chocolate. Stir until fully incorporated then add the remaining cream and gin, mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 12 hours.  Remove from the fridge and shape into 15 equal size balls, roll in the grated chocolate until covered and place on tray lined with baking paper and return to the fridge. Once set, eat!