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Dr John Hawkins

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Laphroaig Lasagne

Posted on 2008/07/22 17:09:49 (July 2008).

[Wednesday 16th July]
What with my hernia operation coming up, I knew I was going to be pretty much incapacitated for at least the following week and Chie would end up having to do most of the cooking etc. I already felt somewhat guilty about that, and so thought tonight I should really push the boat out and make a proper dinner for us both. So I decided to leave the office "early" (i.e. 6PM) and go home to make us a lasagne.

In a sequence of events that was gratifyingly reminiscent of an aside in Three Men in a Boat, we had recently acquired some particularly interesting and pungent cheese. Chie had met our friend and fellow whisky enthusiast Sawako-san in London recently, who was on her way back to Japan from another trip to Islay. She was carrying with her three truckles of "Laphroaig Cheese", apparently a new creation, made by Inverloch Cheese on the nearby Kintyre Peninsula, which was a kind of mature cheddar containing Laphroaig whisky. These were intended to be a present for the famous Japanese whisky writer Mamoru Tsuchiya, however unfortunately (for him) they had already suffered somewhat from their journey from Islay to London, and Sawako-san didn't think they'd make it all the way back to Japan. And so they came into our posession.

So when it came to making tonight's lasagne, I decided as an experiment to try using one of the truckles which appeared to have suffered most in the cheese sauce, on the dubious basis that cooking it might be safer than eating it raw. I had initially assumed Laphroaig cheese would be yet another gimmicky whisky by-product, like whisky liqueur chocolates or whisky fudge. To my surprise and delight (and quite possibly aided by its' unrefridgerated transit from Islay to London) there was a fabulous odour of whisky - and not just any whisky - the unmistakably pungent aroma of Laphroaig. To my further surprise and delight, the aroma did not disappear once it was added to the cheese sauce, and even in the finished lasagne it was immediately obvious. The end result was ludicrously delicious, quite frankly one of the best things I have ever cooked.

See here for a post with the rough recipe on my vegetarian blog.

Well, even if I don't cook for a week and a bit, I think tonight's gastronomic treat ought to go a long way towards making up for it!

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