In Pour This, Pair That, Whisky Advocate asks professional chefs to share a recipe designed for a specific type of whisky. Learn why these food and whisky combinations work—and try them yourself at home!
Sherried scotch tastes great on its own, and is also a versatile option for food pairings. With a wide array of characteristics—from fruity to nutty and creamy to oily—sherried whisky can play brilliantly with a number of different foods at the table. And because it’s often robust and complex, it pairs especially well with rich, fatty dishes, like these Foie Gras Gougères by chef Michael Santoro of The Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“This dish works amazingly with sherried whiskies because the richness can stand up to the smoke and intensity of the spirit,” says Santoro. “The cheese element gives the dish umami and a savory quality that is very satisfying on the palate. The foie gras adds to the richness and full length flavor development of the pairing coming together on the palate.”
Pour This, Pair That: Sherried Single Malt & Foie Gras Gougères
POUR THIS: Sherried single malt
Comes from: Scotland
Tastes like: Aging in sherry casks often imparts red berry, dried fruit, and nutty flavors. Many of these whiskies have little to no peat influence. They are typically rich and lush on the palate, with notes of chocolate and citrus oils.
Five to try: Glen Moray 15 year old, Benromach 15 year old, Aberlour A’bunadh, Tamdhu Batch Strength, and Glenfarclas 17 year old
PAIR THAT: Gougères with Foie Gras
Why it works: This is a wonderfully rich dish—seriously, what’s not to love about gougères and foie gras? But in order to fully enjoy the final bite as much as the first, you need something for balance. This is where sherried single malt comes in. The fruitier notes in the whisky act perform a similar function to the many great sauces that traditionally accompany foie, framing its inherent decadence with a sense of subtle sweetness. At the same time, the alcohol content—especially when the dram is enjoyed with just the smallest splash of water—cuts right through the fat of the foie and the gougère. Then there’s the classic hint of nuttiness that sherried single malt often highlights, which in this context will pair perfectly with the cooked butter and cheese in the pastry. The result? An unforgettable partnership in which both the food and the whisky have the opportunity to shine.
Recipe: Foie Gras Gougères
This recipe makes 8 servings.
To make the gougères :
• 11 oz. (about 22 Tbs.) water
• 1 ½ tsp. salt
• 1 ½ tsp sugar
• 1 ½ cup butter, diced
• 6 ½ oz (about 12 heaping Tbs.) all-purpose flour
• ½ cup gruyère cheese, grated
• 5 eggs
Add water, salt, sugar, and butter to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in all the flour at once and allow to clump while continuing to stir in the pan with a wooden spoon. The mix should pull together and become tough. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes until there is a film on the bottom of the pan.
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, add the gruyère and mix at medium speed until the mixture cools slightly. Add the eggs in 3 batches, 1-2 eggs at a time, making sure they’re fully incorporated each time.
Mix at medium-high for 10 minutes until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Put dough into a piping bag with a metal tip and pipe silver-dollar-size dollops onto a baking tray that’s well greased or lined with a silicone baking mat.
Bake the gougères at 425F for 10 minutes, until the insides are set.
For the foie gras:
Slice 1 pound of foie gras into 8 slices, and sear each over high heat in a pan.
To assemble the gougères with foie gras:
Slice the gougères in half and place a slice of foie between each half. Serve at room
temperature with a generous glass of whisky.