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Big Game Party Recipe: New York Pretzel Bites With Spicy Cheese Sauce

By Christine Hinrichs

After months of TV watching, countless cheers and upsets, and numerous football parties, the Super Bowl is finally here. And with the Patriots and the Giants meeting for their second Super Bowl matchup in the last few years, it’s sure to be a great game. I enjoy having Super Bowl parties, but what I really love is creating theme recipes. Here are two recipes, one for New York fans and one for Patriots fans, and both are easy to put together and are sure to impress your guests.

New York Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce
(makes about 100 small pretzel bites)
adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients (pretzel bites):

    • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
    • 1 yeast packet
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 ½ cups flour
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 10 cups of water
    • 2/3 cup baking soda
    • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
    • Coarse salt or pretzel salt
    • Cooking spray

Ingredients (cheese sauce):

      • 2 tablespoons butter
      • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • 2 cups half and half
      • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
      • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
      • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

In a large bowl, combine the lukewarm water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Wait until the yeast mixture starts to foam, about 5 minutes. Then add the flour and melted butter and stir to combine as best you can. The dough will be firm, so use some muscle. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead it until smooth, about 5 minutes. Spray the bowl lightly with cooking spray, then return the dough to the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot in your kitchen and let the dough rise for about an hour.

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper, and spray the paper lightly with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

In a large pot, combine the 10 cups of water and baking soda. Heat on high – you’ll need the water to be at a boil once you’re done working with the dough. Once the dough has risen, combine the 10 cups of water and baking soda in a large pot. Heat on high, and then turn back to the dough. Punch it down and divide it into 8 equal pieces (a pizza cutter works well for this). Roll out each piece into an 18-inch rope. Then using the pizza cutter, cut each rope into 1-inch squares of dough.

Once your water mixture has come to a boil add the dough pieces in batches – 12-14 – and leave them in the boiling water for about 15 seconds. Fish them out using a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheets lined with parchment. Continue until all of the dough pieces have been in the baking-soda bath.

Arrange the dough on the pans so there is space between each piece. Using a pastry brush, brush each dough bite with the egg wash. Then sprinkle the dough with salt to your liking. Bake the pretzel bites for about 14 minutes. Let cool for about five minutes before serving.

In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk to combine for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and slowly whisk in the half and half. Return the pan to medium-low heat and slowly add the cheese, jalapeño, and spices, whisking in a figure-8 pattern. Once the cheese has just melted, remove from heat.

Keep the cheese sauce in a microwave-safe container so it can be reheated as needed. Serve alongside the pretzel bites.
Christine Hinrichs is a vegetarian who loves everything related to food. She daydreams about recipes, frequents the local farmers’ markets, and reads cookbooks before bed. Read about her food adventures at ruminationsonfood.blogspot.com.

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  • Naoko

    ENOUGH! TOri, you should not have to alopogize to anyone. This blog is meant for everyone. Jew (shomer shabbos and not) and non-Jew . You recipes are alway wonderful, you writing style entertaining. THe people who insist on battling about halachot and mezonot should get a life. THese are not topics appropriate for a food blog. If they feel that they cannot use this challah recipe for Shabbat then they should not use it for Shabbat. If they want to have a religious discussion they should email one another. For heaven’s sake, let them eat cake!!!!!!! YOu have some wonderful recipes on your blog.THank you Michael Doyle for your comment.

    • Bhrye

      You’re doing a great job, I’m really proud of you. I know how you feel, its fnaitrutsrg to work really hard at the gym and not see the results you want. I’ve been hitting the gym hard for two months and am just seeing results. Other people notice first bc theyre not as hard on you as you are on yourself. You have a really realistic goal and I know you’re going to hit it!!!

      • Dien

        This is another good folotabl recipe, made even better because it can be prepared the day before and baked the day-of. I’d rather spend time watching the game with my friends than stuck in the kitchen.

  • BewoveddY
    • Aymen

      What’s actually at stake is way more than a half-million dalolr fine. For one thing, each broadcaster who broadcast the image is liable for a fine both the stations that CBS owns, and the ones it doesn’t, but are merely affiliated. CBS almost definitely has an indemnity clause in its affiliate contracts that requires CBS to contest fines created by network-supplied programming.At issue is the fact that the exposure, while probably preventable, was not intended. If the cost in the future is a half-million per accidental slip, then live broadcasting becomes too risky and nothing will ever be broadcast live again. This is familiar territory to radio, where live callers have to be warned to turn off their radios, because hearing something live AND delayed causes exceedingly amusing speech from people who aren’t expecting it. Anyway, the network would not like to have a pricetag of $500,000 on a mistake, and is fighting to have that pricetag removed from any and all future mistakes. I would guess that the NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters, is helping CBS with the legal expenses.The FCC, on the other hand, is charged with creating, maintaining, and enforcing regulations on broadcasting to serve the public interest, necessity, and convenience. If the court throws out its rulings, then they have to go back and write new ones, AND its enforcement power is diminished.British television has had nudity on it since the days when Monty Python was created, and while even the most loyal of Brits must admit that the Empire has declined a bit from its heyday, it has not yet collapsed into barbarity, except for the odd football riot.

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