Do you enjoy drinking whiskey more than you like cooking, but you need to come up with a dish to take to your family's Christmas party? In this episode of Wynot?, I’m going to put a different spin on a whiskey tasting. I’m going to show you which whiskey you should drink while you’re cooking a fun holiday dish that your friends and family are sure to love.
Smoked Meat Appetizers
If you happen to love smoked meats as much as I do, this appetizer is for you. It starts with a nice little table cracker; choose one that’s not too flavorful, as you don't want to overwhelm the meat. You're going to add a little helping of either smoked brisket or smoked pulled pork to your cracker.
Here's an important thing to know: it doesn't matter if you were outside slaving over your smoker for the last 12 hours, if you bought this at the store, or even stole it out of your neighbor's freezer—it’s going to be fine. This is just an appetizer. Once you've got your cracker with your smoked meat, you're going to add a little dollop of your favorite barbecue sauce on top.
Next, cover it with cheddar cheese and get ready for the most important step. While you're waiting for your air fryer convection oven to heat up—which you are going to want to use because you need to melt the cheese without letting the cracker get soggy—go ahead and grab your favorite rocks and glass.
I'm going to recommend a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label for this recipe. It's got a little bit of smoky flavor to it and goes good anytime you're cooking an appetizer—especially if you have smoked meat. Go ahead and take a sip, throw your appetizer in the air fryer, let that cheese get melted, and you're off to the party.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Shallots
If you need to bring a side dish to the party, have no fear. I'm going to share one of my family's favorite little side dishes with you: roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots. For this one, I'm going to recommend that you go with a nice full-bodied, small-batch whiskey from a local distillery—like our very own Wyoming whiskey.
So take a good sip, grab your Brussels sprouts and shallots, and start chopping. For this one, you decide on the cut of your veggies. Some people like them chopped pretty small, others like bigger, more meaty pieces of Brussels sprouts and shallot. I'm not sure I like either one, but you pick. Go ahead and throw those on a baking dish with some olive oil and a little bit of salt, and then throw them in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Take another sip or two while you wait. When you feel like the roasting process is complete and they look golden brown, take them out of the oven. You're going to go ahead and drizzle a bit of Worchestershire sauce and lemon juice that’s been mixed to your taste. All that's left is to sprinkle the dish with a little bit of Parmesan cheese and a few bacon bits and, again, you're off to the party.
If your mother-in-law requested something fruity—like a fruit salad or a fruit pie—have no fear. There's a whiskey drink that works perfectly in that scenario. All you need to do is grab a bottle of Buffalo Trace, some bitters, a little bit of sugar in orange, and a muddling stick to make yourself an Old Fashioned. It's fruity, full of vanilla, and has the most important part, whiskey.
Now that you have your Old Fashioned ready, you can start chopping your fruit or warming up that pie that you bought at the store (because you know you didn't bake a pie). My personal preference is if you go with the chopped fruit salad, leave the Ready Whip at home. You don't really need it; that's for kids. But if you go with the fruit pie, don't forget the Ready Whip; that's the best part.
The Hit Of The Holiday Party
I hope that some of these little simple ideas helped you come up with your own creative ways to get a dish over to the holiday party while enjoying your cooking experience. Obviously, I'm a mortgage guy and not a world-class chef—but I do like drinking whiskey. Rest assured, you can drink whiskey anytime, whether you're cooking or not or have a party or not.
If you're really in a bind, just grab one of your favorite whiskies and take it to the holiday party. You'll still be ahead. Go ahead and share your own whiskey-drinking or cooking experiences in the comments below. Or, even better, your whiskey drinking and holiday party experiences. I want to hear all about it.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Wynot?, my show all about Cheyenne, Wyoming living. And if you have any kind of home financing questions—which is much more of my specialty—feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to connect!