Soft Homemade Pretzels with Jalapeño Dipping Sauce

soft homemade pretzels with jalapeño dipping sauce

I found this recipe for Soft Homemade Pretzels with Jalapeño Dipping Sauce via another blog (Smells Like Home) about a month ago and I finally got a chance to make it this week.  I was originally going to make it as a Super Bowl snack, but then I realized I literally and figuratively had too much on my plate with my plan to make (and eat) Tex Mex Pimiento Cheese Dip, Mexican Black Bean Chili, Baked Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese, and Raspberry Truffle Brownies.  I was right- I didn’t even get a chance to try the chili on Super Bowl Sunday so the pretzels definitely would have been too much.

These soft pretzels were a huge hit in our house- T keeps asking for “prets” (his words for pretzels) and I noticed my husband swapped out his usual Greek yogurt for a pretzel this morning for breakfast.  These pretzels are really good on just their own if you are running short on time and can’t make the jalapeño dipping sauce.

soft homemade pretzels with jalapeño dipping sauce

And speaking of the dipping sauce, I chopped up the cilantro while I was waiting for the pretzel dough to rise.  Of course, I completely forgot to add it to the jalapeño dipping sauce before I took the photos.  It’s delicious with or without it, but I would add it if you have it as it adds a bit more green and another flavor dimension to the dipping sauce.

soft pretzels with jalapeño dipping sauce

Soft Homemade Pretzels with Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
Pretzels
  • 1 and ½ cups warm water (yeast rises best between 110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
  • 2 small jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (it’s recommended to shred your own- pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well due to the added preservatives)
  • cilantro, chopped
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
Instructions
Pretzels
  1. Add the water, sugar, yeast, and salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to combine on low speed for 10-15 seconds. Remove the paddle attachment and put on the dough hook.Add the flour and 4 tablespoons melted butter to the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed and until the dough is smooth (3-4 minutes.) Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly oil the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough back and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow it to double in size. This should take about an hour.
  2. Place the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece so that it is approximately 20-24 inches long. Tie the rope into a pretzel shape. Continue this process with the remaining 7 pieces of dough. Meanwhile, be sure to place a damp towel on the dough pieces and the completed pretzels.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set baking sheets aside.
  4. In a sauté pan, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil. Using a metal spatula, slotted spoon, or a mesh skimmer spoon, place the pretzels into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds (my pan allowed me to add three pretzels at a time, but use your judgement depending on the size of your pan.) After 30 seconds, remove the pretzels from the water and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with some of the 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the Kosher salt.
  5. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Once you remove them the oven, lightly brush pretzels with the remaining melted butter. Best served warm, but they keep 3-4 days in a sealed container. If not serving immediately, microwave each individual pretzel for 30 seconds before serving.
Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
  1. If you have a gas stove, use tongs to blacken all the sides of the two jalapeños (if you do not have a gas oven, place the jalapeños on a baking sheet and roast them under the broiler until all sides are blackened.) Place the roasted jalapeños in a small pan or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to cool for 10-15 minutes. Use a paper towel to scrap off the blackened skin and continue to de-seed and chop the two peppers. Set aside. (This step can be done while the pretzel dough is rising.
  2. On the stovetop, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Add the chopped jalapeños and stir until coated with butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until the peppers are coated (approximately 30 seconds.) Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to stir the mixture until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the shredded cheese. Continue to stir until all of the cheese has melted. Mix in the cilantro and kosher salt to taste. Serve immediately or reheat the dipping sauce in the microwave for approximately 45 second.

Source: Slightly adapted from Smells Like Home

sister m signature

Super Bowl Recipe Round-Up

Are you starting to think about Super Bowl recipes for this upcoming weekend?  I know I am!   I could go for some Buffalo Wings right about now!  I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes that we have posted in the past.  Here are ten Super Bowl recipe ideas in case you are starting to plan your game day menu now.

10 Super Bowl recipes {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

Lobster Nachos and Buffalo Chicken Bites with Zesty Blue Cheese: Missing the Patriots vs Giants Super Bowl match-up?  You could still bring in the taste of New England and/or New York to your Super Bowl party with these tasty apps!

Super Bowl recipe throwdown

Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese DipI have made this cheese dip countless times since I first tried it at our Fourth of July family reunion last year.  Don’t let the weird name fool you- it’s amazing, especially with tortilla chips.  While it’s definitely not the healthiest thing you could make for the game, the Super Bowl only comes once a year!  If you have any leftovers (which I doubt you will), this cheese dip makes an awesome hamburger topping.

Tex-Mex-Pimiento-Cheese-Dip-Close-up_thumb.jpg

Mediterranean Dip with Pita Chips: If you are looking for a healthier dip option, I highly recommend this Mediterranean Dip.  It’s really quick to pull together if you use pre-made hummus, olive tapenade, and pesto (although you can step up the wow factor by making these yourself.)

Mediterranean-Dip-with-Pita-Chips.jpg

Baked Potato Dip: While the prior two dips are good with tortilla chips and pita chips, this dip is a bit more versatile.  You could serve it with potato chips, pretzels, or vegetable crudités.

Baked Potato Dip with veggies, chips, and pretzels

Goat Cheese with Basil OilDo you have more of the wine and cheese types coming to your Super Bowl party?  Have no fear- this goat cheese dip with basil oil served with baguettes is easy to pull together ahead of time and would go perfectly with a crisp white wine.

goat cheese with basil oil

Chicken Chili with Corn Muffin Croutons: No Super Bowl party would be complete without a big pot of chili for guests to serve themselves out of.  This chicken chili recipe is one of my all-time favorites.

Chicken Chili with Corn Muffin Croutons

Turkey, White Bean, and Pumpkin Chili: If you are short on recipe prep time, I highly recommend this slow-cooker turkey chili.  On Sunday morning, it takes less than 10 minutes to prep all the ingredients and throw them in the crockpot.  Allow it to cook on low for eight hours and it will be ready to go for kick-off.

Turkey White Bean and Pumpkin Chili

Team Spirit Cupcakes: Looking to add a little team spirit to your Super Bowl party?  Check out K’s tutorial on how to make cupcake picks for your favorite team.

team spirit cupcakes

Red Wine Sangria: While football and beer often go hand-in-hand, try serving up a pitcher of red wine sangria at your football viewing party.  If I wasn’t pregnant, I would definitively be making a batch of this sangria recipe for Sunday!

red_wine_sangria

Do you have a favorite recipe you plan on making for the Super Bowl this weekend?

sister m signature

Some More Super Bowl Recipe Ideas…

If you have already voted on our Game Day Recipe Throwdown Contest and are still looking for more Super Bowl recipe ideas, check out these links for recipe compilations from other blogs.  I’m getting hungry for Sunday already!

Super Bowl Recipe Ideas:

-20 Going on 80- Football Game Day Treat Ideas
-Cheap, Healthy, Good- 50+ Cheap, Healthy Super Bowl Recipes
-brown eyed baker- 75 Super Bowl Recipes for Super Bowl XLVI
-The Cooking Blog- Your Super Bowl XLVI Recipe Guide (New York Giants vs. New England Patriots)
-ecorazzi- 10 Delicious Vegetarian Super Bowl Recipes
-how sweet is is- 25 Recipes That Should be on Your Super Bowl Menu
-peas and thank you- 25 Vegan Recipes for Your Super Bowl Party
-The Pioneer Woman Cooks- My Top Ten Picks for Super Bowl Sunday
-Recipe Girl- 101 Best Super Bowl Recipes on the Internet
-The Recipe Renovator- Healthy Super Bowl Recipes (gluten-free)
-Simply Recipes- Super Bowl Recipes!
-two peas & their pod- 46 Super Bowl Recipe Ideas for Super Bowl XLVI  

We’ll be adding more blogs to the list as we get closer to the big day!  Do you have a blog with a Super Bowl recipe list?  Leave us a comment and we’ll add it on!

-m

Boston vs New York Game Day Recipe Throwdown Contest

This is it!  It has come down to just two teams, the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, playing in the Super Bowl.  And it has come down to two sisters in Boston and New York competing in the ultimate Game Day Recipe Throwdown- Sister M vs Sister K!  The big winner of the throwdown will be you- our readers.  We will be giving away two sets of two round-trip tickets on BoltBus, our favorite way to travel to Boston to NYC or NYC to Boston!

It’s simple to enter- just post a comment below with both of the following items:

1. Vote whether you like Sister M’s (representing Boston/New England) or Sister K’s (representing New York) recipe better.
2. Post your favorite Game Day recipe (you can post the whole recipe or just a link to it if it’s already somewhere online).

The giveaway has officially started today and the comments will be open for entries until the start of the Super Bowl on February 5th at 6:30pm EST.  We will then randomly pick two of the entries through random.org.

Sister M (representing Boston/New England)- Lobster Nachos
To represent Boston/New England, I decided to make Lobster Nachos.  Sounds too fancy for football?  Come on- you know Gisele is noshing on these in her luxury box while she watches QB12 take down the Giants.

We cooked up three lobsters to make these.  Not all lobsters have names, but coincidentally ours were named Eli, Victor, and Hakeem.

Lobster Nachos

Ingredients:
24 wonton wrappers
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
3 ripe avocados
1 shallot, diced
1 lime, juiced
2-3 small live lobsters, (or pre-cooked lobster meat if you prefer not to steam them)
1/4 cup chives, minced
kosher salt
pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt the butter in the microwave or a small sauce pan.  Brush both sides of each wonton wrapper with the melted butter and place on a baking sheet (I used two baking sheets and was able to fit 12 wrappers on each sheet.)  Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 5-8 minutes, rotating the baking sheet if one side appears to be cooking faster than the other.  Keep an eye on the wonton towards the end of the baking time so they don’t burn.  Remove from the oven when golden and cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, begin cooking the lobsters. Lobsters can be boiled or steamed. I think the meat has a better and less soggy texture when they are steamed. To do this, fill a pot with less than 2 inches of water and bring up to a boil. Place the lobsters in (always head first- if you put their tail in first they will flip it up and you will be sprayed with scalding hot water!)  Generally cook at least 7 minutes per pound of lobster in the pot (we cooked these three for about 28 minutes).

To test when they are done, try pulling out one of the antennae. If they do not detach easily, the lobster is not yet done.  This photo shows how to pull off an antenna:

While the lobsters are cooling, peel and dice the 3 avocados and place in a small bowl.  With a fork, coarsely mash the avocados.  Mix in the diced shallot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the lobsters are cooled, remove the meat from the shell and roughly chop it up.  Spoon the avocado mixture onto each wonton crisp and top with lobster meat.  Sprinkle with the minced chives.

 

Sister K (Representing New York): Buffalo Chicken Bites with Homemade Zesty Blue Cheese

I have been thinking all week about what I can make to represent the New York Giants.   What is New York known for?  Pizza, bagels, nuts for nuts, hot dogs, pretzels… the list goes on.  What I love about football the most is drinking beers and eating Buffalo wings while I watch the games.   These three things are imbedded in my head as a package deal so my appetizer recipe for a football game has to involve Buffalo wings. Since the Patriots get all New England states,  I picked a Buffalo wings themed appetizer since technically wings were invented in Buffalo, NY (love the Anchor Bar) and that’s part of New York state.  I bet you didn’t know you were going to get a little geography lesson today. :)

Recently I found a recipe that I was pretty psyched about making and better yet, it isn’t as unhealthy as actual Buffalo wings.   Are you READY?  READY?  READY?   WOOO!!!  Go Giants! (Sorry, that was a flashback to my high school and college lacrosse teams getting ready for a game in our huddle.)Buffalo Chicken Bites with Homemade Zesty Blue Cheese
**Makes 9- 4 piece servings
Ingredients:
3 cups of cooked shredded white meat chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup of hot sauce plus additional to drizzling (I used Franks)
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup of sliced scallions
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
2-3 cups of Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat.   Prepare three bowls with flour (both all-purpose and wheat in one bowl), 1 egg and 2 egg whites whisked together, and then the panko.
In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, and hot sauce.   At this point you can taste the mixture to see if you want to add additional hot sauce.  Next stir in shredded cheese and scallions.   Using a medium cookie scoop or a rounded tablespoon form the mixture into balls a little smaller then a golf ball.  This should make 36 balls.   Place the balls on a large plate or platter.   Once all the balls are formed take each ball and dip in flour mixture,  shaking off excess flour.  Then place chicken balls in the eggs and finally panko crumbs,  making sure to press some of the panko into the chicken balls to stick.   Next place onto lined baking sheet (*look at tip at bottom of recipe.)  Bake for 20-25 minute until lightly browned and crispy.  Drizzle with extra hot sauce and serve with Zesty Blue Cheese, carrot sticks, and celery sticks.
*If you don’t want to make all 36 Buffalo Chicken Bites,  you can freeze them before you cook them.  I placed them on a separate baking sheet and allowed them to freeze for about 30 minutes then placed them into a freezer bag.  When baking frozen bites- add an additional 5 minutes to baking time.
Source- adapted from Pennies on a Platter

For Zesty Blue Cheese-
**Makes about 8 servings
Ingredients:
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh crushed black pepper
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2-3 minced cloves of garlic
Milk or buttermilk to thin down dressing if needed

Directions:
In a medium bowl,  combine all ingredients.  Add milk to thin out dressing to the desired consistency.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Source-  adapted from Our Best Bites
**Serving Size-
4 Buffalo Bites- 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus (this was calculated by measuring the flour and panko not used after dipping and not including those in the calculation)
2 tbsp. Zesty Blue Cheese- 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus

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Voting is now closed!  Thank you all for voting and submitting some fantastic game day recipes!  We’ve tallied the votes and NY has squeaked out yet another win.  K’s Buffalo Chicken Bites beat M’s Lobster Nachos by one vote!  The big winners though are two of our readers- I summarized the votes and assigned each commenter a number.  Using random.org, I picked two random entries to win two round-trip BoltBus tickets!

Contest Entries:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Caroline (commenter #10) and Brian (commenter #5)!  Please check your e-mail for more information on how to claim to your 2 BoltBus tickets.

-m & k

The Rules: One entry per person, U.S. residents only.  No entries will be accepted after Sunday, February 5th at 6:30 pm, EST.  Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered.  Two winners will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, February 6th.  The chosen winners will then have 30 days to respond by e-mail to claim their prize.  The BoltBus round-trip tickets must be used by March 31, 2012. Void where prohibited.

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