Game plan: pretzels in first half, fondue in the second ...
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What's the next best thing to being at the Super Bowl? You guessed it: being at a Super Bowl party. And what type of food best fits a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl gathering? Obviously, you'll want something Steelers fans can nibble on while their eyes are glued to the TV. For the first half, Kitchen Mailbox suggests homemade pretzels. And here's the best part -- they're not too difficult to make. We suggest you make the pretzels the same day you serve them.Lake Fong, Post-Gazette
Homemade pretzels can be made fresh the day of the game.
Click photo for larger image.
Our recipe for soft pretzels was supplied by Jim Drew of Mt. Lebanon and Mary Whitney of Oakmont in response to a request from Haila Buskirk of Parkersburg, W.Va.
"I have a recipe for soft pretzels that my kids and I used to make every Tuesday night while watching 'The A-Team,'" wrote Mr. Drew.
Ms. Whitney said, "This recipe is from the 'Harmarville Hospitality' cookbook. I have used the recipe quite often. The pretzels are very good."
They are good, and they taste almost like the pretzels sold in mall food courts -- maybe better. We made the pretzels with just salt and butter. But you can add jalepeno peppers to the dough or use a cinnamon and sugar coating just like the stores do.
For halftime and the second half we suggest fondue.
Fondue might not sound like football food, but fondue recipes are easy to throw together, and they stay hot. Guests can help themselves and not miss a single play if they fill their plates during commercials.
The fondue recipes are Super Bowl Crab and Cheese Fondue and Mexican Midnight Fondue.
Kitchen Mailbox received the Super Bowl Crab and Cheese Fondue recipe from Ed Pilszak of Sharpsburg, Ga., in response to a request from Leslie Devore of Harrison City: "My family really enjoys the crab and cheese fondue served at the Red Lobster. It's served in a bread bowl and is delicious. Would you be able to get the recipe or something similar?"
Because of Ms. Devore's request we went with the bread bowl instead of the fondue pot. We nuked the cheeses until soft while stirring intermittently until the cheeses were smooth. We stirred in the remaining ingredients, hollowed out the bread and served. It didn't take long for it to disappear. We made one ingredient change -- we used two 7 1/2-ounce cans of crab meat instead of the one can that is called for in the recipe. Use one can if you decide to go with the fondue pot.
Mexican Midnight Fondue, a cheese fondue with beer, was requested by Carol Hallberg of Edgewood: "In the '70s I purchased a Betty Crocker recipe card set. I have lost the card for the Mexican Fondue and would love to have the recipe again if anyone out there still has their cards."
In just one day we received 10 responses, and we're sure more are on their way. It just goes to show how much Pittsburghers are willing to help. Space does not allow us to print all of the names.
- 1/4 ounce package yeast
- 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 5 cups flour
- 4 cups boiling water mixed with 1/2 cup baking soda
- Coarse salt
- Melted butter, optional
Combine yeast and 1/8 cup water. Let sit until yeast has dissolved. Add the 1 1/3 cup water, brown sugar and flour; mix. Knead until dough forms a ball and is not sticky (we used a stand mixer with a dough hook). Cover; allow dough to rest 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring to boil the 4 cups of water and baking soda. Pull off pieces of dough (1 1/2 inches, 2 inches for larger pretzels). Roll each into strips about 12 inches long. Twist into pretzel shape. Dip pretzels into boiling water (we used a slotted spoon). Sprinkle with salt. Place on a lightly greased baking pan. Bake about 12 minutes or until the pretzels turn brown. Dip hot pretzels in melted butter or place pretzels on a cooling rack and, while hot, brush with melted butter.
Makes about 20 pretzels depending on size.
SUPER BOWL CRAB AND CHEESE FONDUE
- 5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 7 1/2 ounces crab meat
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
In a double boiler, place cheese and cream cheese and stir until smooth. Add remainder of ingredients, heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too thick, add more half-and-half; continue stirring until smooth and hot. Place in a fondue pot. Serve with cubed French bread or an assortment of fresh vegetables.
MEXICAN MIDNIGHT FONDUE
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 12 ounces beer
- Dash red pepper sauce
Toss flour, salt, pepper and cheese until cheese is coated. Rub garlic on the inside of fondue pot. Heat beer in pot over low heat. Add cheese mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until cheese is melted and blended. Stir in pepper sauce.
Transfer pot to source of heat at table. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in additional heated beer. Dippers: corn bread, rolled tortillas. Serves 4.
Bob Meegan of Economy Borough was on a search for a halusky maker: "Where can I find a real halusky dumpling maker in the area?"
Kitchen Mailbox received a response from Jean Juliani of Cecil: "The perfect tool to make halusky dumplings is a rotary spaetzle maker. There are two versions: the glider and the rotary maker. I've had both, and believe me, the rotary spaetzle maker version is superb. You can make these dumplings in no time at all! The cost is around $30. Many companies make these (you cannot find them in any stores in the Pittsburgh area) and they can be ordered over the Internet."
We found many Web sites that sold spaetzle makers. Here are a few:
www.kitchenemporium.com; price ranges $6.49-$31.95 (rotary being more expensive).
www.shopping.com; price ranges $13.57-$38.99.
First Published February 2, 2006 12:00 am