Hosting a Westworld Season Premier Party

We like cooking and having friends over to watch premiers of the shows we like, but when I sat down to plan our Westworld party I was stumped. Food definitely does not play a large part of of the show and while Bourbon is never a bad menu item, we wanted to supplement with food. Here’s our plan for Westworld’s return on April 22.

  • Bison chili
  • “Maizebread” (cornbread)
  • Copper nickels (carrots)
  • Drinks: Bourbon + gin + old fashioneds with orange peel garnish (“Not much of a rind on you”)

Overall, it seems like an easy prep-ahead meal that I’m excited to pull together!


Bison chili

Making a big crockpot of chili is probably the easiest meal for a host. Throw it all in, let it sit, and serve in mugs when ready. Added bonus of your house smelling delicious all day!

Ingredients

  • 2 lb ground bison
  • 4 cans of beans (30oz kidney, 15oz pinto, 15oz pinquinto)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (boxed/canned)
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (or ½ tsp of granulated garlic)
  • 1½ tsp each of: chili powder & cumin
  • ½ tsp each of: red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, basil, cayenne pepper, salt, & black pepper

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 3 celery stalks, diced (optional)

Add all ingredients except sweet potatoes and celery to crock pot (make sure there is some room for liquid release & boiling over), stir, and cook on high for 2 — 3 hours. Add in the sweet potato and celery and cook for another 1 hour on high. Then turn down to low and cook for another 2–3 hours.

Garnish with greek yogurt and/or shredded cheddar and serve!


“Maizebread” (cornbread)

This is our delicious skillet cornbread. My plan is to reserve a little of the batter, use black food coloring to make it a darker brown / black, then pipe out the Westworld maze on top of the cornbread. If I try it before then I will post a photo of how it turned out!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal and ½ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cups almond milk or milk
  • 1 can of sweet cream style corn
  1. Put the olive oil in a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, salt, sugar) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg (if using) and milk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients.
  3. At this point, separate out about 1-2 cups of the mixture, add black food coloring, and put into a piping bag with a small tip.
  4. To the main batter, stir in the sweet corn.
  5. When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (carefully, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and make sure it is evenly distributed in the skillet.
  6. Pipe the black mixture over the top of the cornbread in the Westworld maze pattern.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  8. Let the bread rest for 10–30 minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.

To avoid burning your hand because you’ve forgotten the pan is hot, I recommend placing a pot holder on the pan’s handle while the cornbread is resting


Copper nickels (carrots)

These “copper nickels” are a delicious accompaniment to a hearty chili and add a nice touch of sweetness. They can be served on top of the chili or on the side.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1lb baby carrots, diced
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Add all ingredients to a sauce pot and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add water or coconut oil as needed to keep the carrots from burning before they fully soften. Towards the end add brown sugar and cook off most of the water until you are left with delicious carrots!


Bourbon + gin

While bourbon and sherry are the most prevalent drinks in the series, we decided to stick with bourbon and gin for our saloon-themed Westworld premier. We’ll serve both neat, but will also have Old Fashioneds with an orange peel garnish that we’ll call “Not much of a rind on you.” We’ll also have some soda and ginger ale on hand for those looking for a lighter cocktail.


Summary

That’s all for now! I’ll update this post as I try things out ahead of time. In the meantime, go re-watch Season 1 and get excited for the premier!