October 5, 2016

Pretzels and Queso Dip


Another hit recipe from Chrissy Teigen!  When I served this at one of our office potlucks, people went crazy. Pretzels.  Cheese Dip.  Genius.  One modification I made was to throw in some garlic when I was roasting the jalapeños. 

Pretzels and Queso Dip


INGREDIENTS

For the pretzels:
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 packet instant dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 cups warm water
3 tbsp baking soda

For the queso:
5 large jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
5 large garlic cloves in skin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed
one 14-ounce can Ro-Tel (or another brand of diced tomatoes & chilis)

PRETZELS

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the milk together with the yeast, brown sugar, and white sugar.
2. Add the flour, salt and butter and mix until the dough starts to come together, about 2 minutes.
3. Raise the speed to medium and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, stopping the machine once in a while to pull down the dough if it climbs up the dough hook (sneaky dough!), 5 minutes. (of you are kneading by hand. knead for 10 minutes, or until your hands and arms get really effing tired).
4. Gather dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm spot in the kitchen (not on the stove directly, but maybe nearby where it’s a little warm) to rise until doubled in size, about an hour or a little more than an hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk the hot water and baking soda in a shallow bowl or pie plate, until it’s mostly dissolved and set aside.
6. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time and cover the rest with a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Working from the center out, roll the dough into a long rope about 2 feet ling by ½ inch wide.
7. Then, lift the ends of the dough, and raise them up to create a U-shape. Cross the dough arms twice, then lower the ends of the dough back down towards the bottom and press them slightly together to make them stick.
8. Lift the pretzels into the baking soda bath and place the pretzels on the reserved cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough to form 6 pretzels. Sprinkle the pretzels generously with salt and bake for until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. 
9. Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush them with the melted butter.

QUESO:

1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Toss the peppers and garlic cloves with the vegetable oil in a bowl and arrange on a small baking sheet, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Roast until the jalapenos are very dark, 15 minutes.
3. Cool and finely chop the chilis ands garlic and combine them with the Velveeta and Ro-Tel in a saucepan.
4. Cook over medium-low heat until all melty and warmed through, 5-6 minutes.
Serve the queso with the warm pretzels.

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