I stopped caring about the NFL when it became apparent that my teams weren’t going all the way. But I do care about Superbowl food! I care a lot about Superbowl food. I did a post last year with some of my favorite football snacks so I decided to skip that post this year. But I couldn’t let the Superbowl go by without sharing at least one snack idea.
I’m pretty obsessed with Texas Cheese Fries lately. I frequently request that we go to Chili’s just so I can get a gigantic plate of them but I’ve never made them at home. Because omg, so much work! Compared to going out, of course! ;) I’m pretty excited that I finally made some though because really, the only work you have to do is cooking the bacon and shredding the cheese. And if you buy already shredded cheese… well, you my friend, are smarter than me.
I loved them. I ate almost the whole plate by myself. No shame.
Nicole made the perfect Superbowl drink: Michelada Marias! They are kicked up Coronas with lime, salt, and hot sauce!
I made pretzels again! Only this time I made bowls out of them and stuffed them full of the things pretzels go best with: cheese and beer! Yeah I did.
Let’s talk pretzels first.
Soft pretzels are actually really easy. If you can knead bread dough, you can make pretzels. Or if you have a stand mixer or bread machine that will do the work for you, even better! The only difference is that the dough is boiled with some baking soda before it goes in the oven. The baking soda is what causes the browned crust and makes it a pretzel instead of just regular bread.
The soup. Oh my goodness, the soup. Is there anything better than a cheese soup?! And this one starts with bacon which makes it that much better! And uhh, beer. The beer is not super noticeable in the final product but make sure you use a beer that you’d enjoy drinking and not the Natural Light that your husband’s friends left in your fridge 3 months ago.
The two put together were incredible! The cheesy soup seeped down into the pretzel and eating the bowl once I was done was the highlight of my day.
Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and water in large bowl (or stand mixer) and stir until dough comes together in a ball. Put on floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. Grease medium bowl. Add dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
Flour baking sheet. Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 2 pieces. Form each dough piece into ball. Place dough balls on prepared sheet; cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up). Add 1 bowl and cook 30 seconds before flipping over and cooking for another 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer bowl to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining bowl.
Brush bowl with egg white glaze. Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt. Bake rolls until brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool until you can handle them. Use a sharp serrated knife to remove the tops of the bowls and hollow them out.
To make the soup:
In a 4½-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ale and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth (or use a regular blender and do it in batches).
Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the cheese by the handful, stirring constantly; do not allow the soup to boil. Taste to see if you need salt and pepper – remember that your pretzel bowls are heavily salted so go light on the salt in the soup. Ladle into pretzel bowls and top with extra bacon, if desired.
This month I was assigned Join Us, Pull Up a Chair which is a great blog written by Heather. She is a much more adventurous cook than I am so I had so much fun going through her archives and found quite a few recipes that tempted me. I finally settled on her Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread.
I turned the bread into muffins just because I prefer the portability of muffins over a bread. They had great flavor with just the right amount of spice. And the oozy cheese on top? The best part, of course! These muffins are pretty dense so I think they’d be beyond amazing with maybe half cornmeal/half flour. The beer wasn’t super noticeable but I did like that it gave the batter a nice spring.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the chopped jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Pour in the beer into the mixing bowl and mix until blended.
Pour mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with lots of butter!
I, for the most part, find potato salad very boring. I won’t even make it – my poor husband has to buy the premade stuff from the deli when he wants some.
That is all changing now though! The potatoes for this salad are baked instead of boiled which thrilled me to no end. Baked potatoes > boiled potatoes… always. Plus they’re topped with bacon, chives, cheese, and sour cream. How can you resist?! We loved this and have officially decided that it’s our go-to potato salad recipe.
The recipe says to leave the skins on the potatoes but I ended up peeling about half of them off. I think it was the perfect amount to really give that baked potato feel but not be full of skins.
I am really trying to get back into the blogging swing of things, especially when it comes to Project Pastry Queen but wouldn’t you know that I confused myself and did last week’s recipe this week? Very sorry to Shawnda who chose a delicious-looking chicken salad for this week’s recipe and a thanks to Mariana who chose these bacon and cheddar scones for last week’s. Next week I promise to be back on track!
About the scones…
Bacon, cheddar, green onions, and butter. You can’t go wrong. I am typically not a fan of savory pastries because they aren’t as moist as the sweet ones but the flavors in this recipe make up for the (expected) dryness of the scone. And bonus points to these scones for having so much cheese that some was forced to ooze out and burn a little bit – that’s always my favorite part of any recipe with cheese.
I had these guys in and out of the oven and on the table within an hour so they made the perfect weekend morning breakfast. The recipe also halved well for anyone who doesn’t want 10 scones lying around the kitchen!