Every now and then we get the opportunity to work with some truly creative geniuses and this weekend was one of those occasions. Jette Virdi is the definition of a creative free spirit. Not only a talented Ballymaloe trained chef, international food stylist and freelance creative director, but also founder of ‘The Creatives’ - hosts of the increasingly popular Long Table Supper Evenings and creative workshops. Be sure to follow Jette on instagram @jettevirdi for some serious food ogling!
I’d be lying if I said we love Valentine’s Day, it’s a bit of a forced Hallmark holiday in our book and there’s nothing quite as unromantic as scheduled romance (at this point I’d like to just add that we're open to receiving flowers at any time throughout the year, peonies are preference with white roses a close second!) What we do love most, though, is food, as do the men in our lives.
So without so much as a nod in the direction of pink fluffy hearts we decided that this one will be for the boys, and what love is greater than that of a man with Whiskey and Wings. Armed with a bottle of the finest Teeling Whiskey, some seriously hot spices and the culinary expertise of Jette, we pulled together what in our book constitutes the perfect Valentines. Obviously Jette has the gastronomic skillset to rival that of Nigella, but even if cooking isn’t really your strong point we pretty much guarantee you can master these goodies without breaking a sweat.
Blood Orange & Teeling Cocktail
This cocktail is a celebration of the beautiful Teeling Small Batch Whiskey. We didn't want to overpower it and thought that the citrus will go well with its sweet and spicy flavour. The Teeling Small Batch is aged in rum caskets and is a particularly good one to drink if you are not used to whiskey. The rum caskets give the it a unique smooth, sweet finish that even us, not frequent whiskey drinkers, enjoy a lot!
The cocktail is simple to make and looks very impressive. All you need is the juice of a few blood oranges, an ice cube tray and your Teeling Whiskey. We made our ice cubes in giant sphere molds (you can buy those online) but you can also just use an ordinary ice cube tray. Pour your whiskey in a glass and gently drop an ice cube into each glass. Done!
If you are an inexperienced whiskey drinker (like we are) here's a great tip from Jette: Breathe out after you've swallowed the cocktail - you will be able to actually taste all those delicious flavours of the whiskey and blood oranges without that burning sensation we associate with drinking spirits.
Fiery Hot Wings
This recipe is as easy as the one above! You only need a few ingredients that are then thrown together and baked in the oven. We have included measurements but the great thing about this recipe is that it will also work perfectly well if you just eyeball it. Easy peasy!
1kg free range chicken wings 150 ml Frank's hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
Preheat your oven to 180C. Mix together the spices and hot sauce, make sure you adjust the level of spice to your taste. We like our wings super hot but if you don't, pull back on the cayenne and chili flakes. Put the chicken wings into your spice mix and rub it in. Hands are best for this but if you're squeamish when it comes to raw chicken a spoon will do, just make sure all of the chicken is coated. You can leave the chicken in the marinade for a couple of hours, overnight or bake them straight away. They will need about 25 - 30 min in the oven, depending on the size of your wings. Serve straight out of the oven!
Whether you are spending V-Day on your own, with girlfriends / guyfriends or your one true love, this feast is the perfect accompaniment to a cosy movie night in. The Teeling Small Batch would make an awesome Valentines gift, especially if served up to your one and only complete with a giant spherical blood orange ice cube!
Thank you so much to Teeling for providing their excellent whiskey for us to use & officially turning us into whiskey drinkers! Keep an eye out for our fantastic Teeling Whiskey giveaway along with some more spicy recipes on the blog later on this week. And just because it’s Valentines and we love you, here's a sneak peak of what you can win….
What are you planning for Valentines?
A & B. xx