Scotches and Noshes
May 29, 2014 8:11 PM   Subscribe

I need help brainstorming finger foods that pair well with Scotch whiskys! More details inside.

We will be participating in a Scotch tasting party tomorrow! There will be food accompaniments present. One of these accompaniments will be buffalo mini-sliders (served on skewers for extra fun). We've been asked to provide a side or two to go alongside these sliders. They must be:

- Of appetizer-like orientation
- No utensils required--think finger foods
- Complementary to both buffalo sliders and scotch whisky

While I know that different whisky will have different flavors, and therefore different specific pairing possibilities, I am looking for foods that will complement the general flavor profile that Scotch whisky presents. Assume intermediate cooking skills. Help us, metafilter!
posted by anonnymoose to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
crackers with cream cheese and bits of smoked salmon?

swiss cheese and ham on toothpicks?
posted by colin_l at 8:14 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

General scotch profile? Thems fighting words. At least as far as peaty Islay vs the rest.

I'd go with neutral flavors, so the scotch subtleties can be appreciated. Salty probably also.

Salsa is out, less flavored salted snacks in. Veggies, probably, but a dip if any needs careful consideration, etc. Strong cheese no, subtle cheese & crackers yes, etc.
posted by TheAdamist at 8:17 PM on May 29, 2014

If you can lay your hands on live oysters, do it. Otherwise, I agree that smoked fish is a good choice. Dark chocolate often works well with the peatier, smokier single malts.
posted by minervous at 8:18 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Good point re: peaty vs. ...less peaty. I will take this into consideration. Great suggestions. Keep them coming!
posted by anonnymoose at 8:29 PM on May 29, 2014

Yeah, subtle cheeses and crackers are good. If you have some peaty scotches, roasted almonds pair well. We are actually hosting a scotch tasting at our house next week and the plan is to have a big bowl of roasted mixed nuts, a cheese and charcuterie selection with some nut-based crackers (the Blue Diamond ones are good and have a lighter texture and more crunch than most), some deviled eggs (not too devilish), and some popcorn. If you make stuff, don't flavor it too much so that you don't overwhelm the flavors of the whisky.
posted by bedhead at 8:41 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sushi can be surprisingly good with (not all) single malts--you could do "Scottish sushi" and use smoked salmon. I don't know that this would pair well with buffalo sliders, however. What about prosciutto wrapped pears--you could even ever-so-slightly caramelize the pears. Or skewers with prosciutto, manchego or similar, and pears. Or perhaps some finger sandwiches/fancy grilled cheese made of toast, brie, and quince jelly. (This all assumes less Islay/smoky/peaty--there I think minervous is spot on with dark chocolate for something in that family. Maybe some sort of chicken skewer or something incorporating a mole dipping sauce to keep it appetizer rather than dessert? Or perhaps dark chocolate-dipped bacon.)

Also, dress me in tartan and call me a hopeless case tourist, but I really like shortbread with some of the sweeter whiskies. That's not really appetizery, though.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 8:44 PM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, while you may encounter some resistance, there's *nothing* to be gained in being excessively manly about having your whisky neat. Water brings out different flavors. Slowly adding a bit more soda as you go can change the game completely for a single whisky.

You might find there's a pairing that works *really* well with a scandalous amount of soda in the whisky.
posted by colin_l at 8:55 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another thought. I've heard a fair number of people rave about peanut brittle with their whisky. While that isn't an appetizer, perhaps a riff of sorts--I think satay skewers with peanut sauce could be a delicious pairing.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 9:27 PM on May 29, 2014

Oatcakes and cheese.

And shortbread isn't being Hamish McSporran about it at all.
posted by holgate at 10:46 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dark chocolate and scotch is a magical match made in the kind of heaven that lets the more fun demons over to play.
posted by Mizu at 11:45 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Update: since charcuterie and cheese arrays are apparently covered, we think we will be contributing two things--tiny twice-baked Yukon Gold potatoes stuffed with Havarti and caramelized onions, and peanut brittle. Thank you all for the suggestions, especially the brittle! (By the way, I am so hungry now.)
posted by anonnymoose at 11:53 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're a person who likes licorice (the real thing)...I think that licorice and scotch pair amazingly well.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 8:05 AM on May 30, 2014

I saw this one @ Saveur and while I'm a bourbon drinker, not a scotch one, it looks easy, impressive, and delicious. I like it because the livers are flambe'ed with bourbon to finish.

Chicken Liver Toasts w/spiced pecans
posted by exparrot at 8:52 AM on May 30, 2014

Take a piece of Melba toast. Slap whipped cream cheese on it. Add to that a wafer thin slice of pear and a petite piece of smoke salmon.
posted by slateyness at 12:45 AM on May 31, 2014

Probably too late for your party at this point, but for future reference... Shropshire Blue cheese was served at a scotch tasting I went to once, and it was fantastic with the whisky. It's even made in Scotland. Plus it's blue cheese that's orange, so it catches people's attention.
posted by vytae at 4:41 PM on May 31, 2014

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