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~ Smokie Cocktail Wieners in a Bourbon BBQ Sauce ~

IMG_8237Aside from an occasional glass of Austi Spumante, mom didn't drink a drop, but, as a cook she wasn't opposed to adding boozy flavor to certain dishes.  If a recipe required a splash of sherry or wine, she didn't scurry around looking for substitutions -- she added it.  In the case of bourbon, which is a common addition to recipes containing sweet and savory tomato-based barbecue sauces, she put the bourbon in.  As parents, mom and dad (who did enjoy a beer or two and an occasional cocktail), a little bourbon in the cocktail wieners didn't mean we kids had to miss out. No harm, no foul, game on, gobble 'em up, go to bed.  Gotta love those kinder, gentler times.

No harm, no foul, game on, gobble 'em up, go to bed.

IMG_8228Made in a small batch, or made in a large batch...

IMG_8249Most times mom made half a batch (1-2 packages) in a saucepan on the stovetop.  For the four of us, it was a hearty snack/dinner for a family-time evening in-front-of the TV or Parcheesi board. She'd slice or cube some colby-Jack cheese (which is a great accompaniment as it is fantastic dipped into the sweet and savory barbecue sauce), grab some Ritz crackers and got the box of toothpicks out of the kitchen drawer and put them in the everyday toothpick holder.  

Whenever she was entertaining, she made the full batch (3-4 packages) in her electric skillet (which would keep them warm during the course of the evening). She'd get the box of FRILLY toothpicks out of the kitchen drawer, put them in the fancy toothpick-holder, and everyone would help themselves.

... get out the toothpicks & enjoy some retro food fun.

IMG_81953-4  14-ounce packages LIT'L Smokies or All-Beef LIT'L Smokies (about 3 dozen cocktail wieners per package), your choice

1  20-ounce bottle Heinz sweet-honey barbecue sauce (Note:  Mom's recipe calls for Heinz original barbecue sauce + 2 tablespoons honey.  Feel free to make that substitution.)

1/4  cup water

1/2  cup Heinz chili sauce or ketchup, your choice

1/2  cup firmly-packed dark or light brown sugar

1/4  cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey, your favorite brand

2  tablespoons A-1 steak sauce or L&P steak sauce, your choice 

2  tablespoons Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce

IMG_8198IMG_8198IMG_8198Step 1.  Place the barbecue sauce in a 4-quart saucepan on the stovetop.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the empty barbecue-sauce bottle and give it a shake, so as not to waste the remaining goodness and add it to the saucepan.  Add all remaining ingredients except for the Lit'L smokies.  Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.  Simmer slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

IMG_8212 IMG_8212 IMG_8212 IMG_8212 IMG_8212~Step 2.  Add 2-3 packages of Lit'L smokies and continue to simmer gently and slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, another 10 minutes. Regulate heat carefully as these will boil over if the heat is too high.  Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and allow to steep, another 20-30 minutes, or up to 2-3-4 hours.  Gently reheat and serve immediately.

Get out the frilly toothpicks & everyone help yourself:

IMG_8242Smokie Cocktail Weiners in a Bourbon BBQ Sauce:  Recipe yields 9 dozen (3 packages)/12-18 servings, or, 12 dozen (4 packages)/18-24 servings @ 6-8 pieces per person.

Special Equipment List:  4-quart saucepan w/lid; toothpicks or frilly toothpicks

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c89bef75970bCook's Note:  Cocktail wieners are enjoyed by everyone and addicting too.  My brother and I loved when my mom entertained and made her "little hot dogs wrapped in pastry dough" too.  She'd let me help to roll them up, and, she'd make lots of them too, usually around 100, because she knew they would be the first thing devoured. People would grab them so fast you'd think she had money rolled up in them.  ~ Cocktail Pigs in a Blanket: Pillsbury Crescent Dogs ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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