Cozy Gatherings: Host a Festive Fall Dinner Party

WE'RE SHARING OUR MAPLE & BOURBON INSPIRED FALL MENU

After a great summer of long days and plenty of time outside, we love the transition of seasons to autumn. Fall is a time to get excited about comfort food all over again and enjoy cozy gatherings with family and friends. Our friend Colby is an amazing chef who loves experimenting with our products. He is always generous to share his creations with us. So who better to ask when we wanted to create the perfect fall menu with recipes inspired by our Pappy Barrel-aged Pure Maple Syrup and of course, bourbon. Colby is the best; he wrote down his creations for us to keep, and we are happy to be able to pass them on to you. 

So, set a date, and get ready for a not so ordinary fall dinner party with friends.

Dinner Party Cocktails

COCKTAILS

We mix up all kinds of delicious cocktails at our dinner parties, but our favorites and the most-seasonal are bourbon-spiked hot cider and Colby's Smoky Bloody Mary Mix. See the recipe below, or check out our other favorite cocktail party recipes.

Colby's Smoky Bloody Marys

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Smoking wood (We used Pappy smoking chunks.)
  • 4 large celery stalks
  • 1 46-ounce bottle of V8 vegetable juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon Pappy pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water, then remove and soak in an ice bath. 
  2. Peel skin off of tomatoes, and remove stem. 
  3. Smoke with smoking wood on a grill for 30 minutes.
  4. Puree the tomatoes with the celery stalks, and strain out the celery strings and tomato seeds. 
  5. Mix with all other ingredients in a large pitcher.
  6. Pour over ice with your desired amount of vodka.

STARTERS

For fall appetizers, you can't go wrong with a great charcuterie board. We've found our Pappy Barrel-aged Pepper Sauce makes the board even more interesting and adds depth of flavor (and a little heat) to the cheese and meat pairing. The maple bacon is an unexpected addition, and is destined to be the hit of the night. Our guests are still talking about it. Try our maple bacon recipe below. Make it a week before, and be sure to make enough!

Looking for something quick and easy to prepare? Serve a simple fall veggie tray or warm brie with Pappy Barrel-aged Maple Syrup drizzled overtop. 

Pappy Maple Bacon and Pappy Pepper Sauce

Pappy Maple Bacon
Note: This needs to be made a week in advance for the ultimate maple flavor. Trust us, it's worth it.

Ingredients:

  • Half (4 lbs.) to full (8 lbs.) slab of pork belly
  • Smoking wood (We used Pappy smoking chunks.)
  • 1/2 cup Pappy Barrel-aged Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Pappy Pepper Sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix the maple syrup and pepper sauce together. Rub on the outside of the pork belly.
  2. Sprinkle half the brown sugar and salt on the bottom of the belly. Then, sprinkle the rest on the top.
  3. Let it cure for one week.
  4. Rinse off the excess salt from the pork belly. Smoke on the grill for 2 hours at 250 degrees with smoking wood.
  5. Chill in the fridge overnight. (Bacon slices easier cold.)
  6. Slice thick or thin, and then, fry or bake.

SALAD

All you need for a simple salad is a killer dressing, and we are obsessed with the one Colby came up with. Use your favorite type of salad greens, toss with the dressing recipe below, and then top with sweet cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers and crumbled leftover Pappy Maple Bacon.

Salad With Smoky Tomato Dressing

Smoky Tomato Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Smoking wood (We used Pappy smoking chunks.)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Pappy Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Pappy Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for one minute. Then, take out and drop in an ice bath for another minute.
  2. Once cooled enough to handle, peel the skin off and cut out the stem.
  3. Using the smoking wood, smoke the tomatoes on the grill for 30 minutes.
  4. Puree the tomatoes, and, in a pot on the stove, cook until it's reduced by half.
  5. Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  6. Mix all of the other ingredients with the pureed smoked tomato.
  7. Chill, then serve.

Note: For a quicker version, you can substitute the smoked tomatoes with a quarter cup of tomato puree and teaspoon of liquid smoke.

ENTREE

Trust us; you need to try the Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken recipe. But if dijon isn't your thing, Colby's Maple Smoked Pineapple Sauce makes an excellent glaze for any protein you like best.

Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken

Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Pappy Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Pappy Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Generously season the chicken thighs and lightly char the skin on a hot grill.
  2. Take the chicken off the direct flame. Roast it until its internal temp reaches 160 degrees and the skin is crisp.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients to create a sauce.
  4. Brush on the sauce, and serve.

Note: If desired, kick up the flavor a notch by adding smoking wood, such as Pappy Smoking Chunks, to the grill while roasting.

Maple Smoked Pineapple Sauce 

This sauce makes a great dip for sweet potato fries or plantains. You also can slather it over grilled chicken, pork or salmon for a fantastic sweet and smoky glaze.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • Smoking wood (We used Pappy smoking chunks.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Pappy Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Pappy Pepper Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Directions:

  1. Peel, core and dice the pineapple.
  2. Smoke the pineapple on the grill for about 30 minutes with the smoking wood.
  3. Puree the pineapple, and mix with all of the other ingredients in a saucepan.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes on medium, heating until it's thick and sticky.
  5. Serve as a dip, or brush it over chicken, pork or salmon as a glaze.

SIDES

All of these sides stole the show. They are great examples of how you can add big flavor without adding a lot of cook time. These inspire us, even weeknight dinners. 

Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Maple-glazed Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter (unsalted)
  • 3 tablespoon Pappy Maple Syrup 
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Peel the butternut squash, remove seeds and cut into cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the squash and all of the other ingredients together.
  3. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.
  4. Serve. (It's that easy.)

Pappy Candied Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. brussel sprouts
  • 1/4 cup diced Pappy Maple Bacon, raw (See recipe above.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Pappy Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, fry the Pappy Maple Bacon.
  2. Once crisp, add the brussel sprouts to the pan to coat them with bacon drippings.
  3. Put brussel sprouts and bacon on a baking sheet. Season with black pepper, and roast 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Pour on the Pappy Maple Syrup, and mix well.
  5. Cook another 5 minutes, and serve.

DESSERT

Colby really helped us step up our dessert! The Pappy Maple Creme Brulee recipe below is impressive, and worth the time. You might also consider our recipes for Chocolate Bread Pudding With Salted Maple Caramel Sauce or, our family favorite, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. If you're not a baker, drizzle our Barrel-aged Maple Syrup over vanilla ice cream (It's perfection!), or order our Handmade Pappy Bourbon Balls to serve.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Pappy Maple Creme Brulee

Ingredients:
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for custard)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (to brulee)
  • 1 tablespoon Pappy Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Heat cream over medium-low heat.
  2. Slice vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds out. Put both halves in the cream. Steep until just simmering.
  3. Separately, whisk together half a cup of sugar with egg yolks until it's light in color. Add the Pappy Maple Syrup.
  4. Slowly add the cream to the egg yolks, being careful not to scramble the eggs.
  5. Pour the custard mixture into 6 creme brulee ramekins.
  6. Place them into a deep roasting pan. Pour hot water halfway up the brulee dishes in the pan.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  9. With the remaining sugar, sprinkle on the top of the custard and brulee with a torch.
  10. Serve immediately.
Need some more dinner-party inspiration? Browse our Food & Gourmet Collection.