Friday, October 12, 2012

Pretzel Wrapped Sausages with Jalapeno-Beer-Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Pretzel Wrapped Sausages with Jalapeno-Beer-Cheddar Cheese Sauce
I haven't been able to post a tailgatin' recipe recently, but I'm back at it again. And these will be perfect for all the men & women at your parties :) Who doesn't love a good stadium dog? Or a good ole' salty pretzel? Or some of that store-bought nacho cheese? No one. We all love it. Especially while drinkin' at a football game. So why not make them at home and combine them all together? I was so excited when we made these because I knew that I could substitute beer brats for hotdogs, and lemme tell you, soooo much better. And when they are wrapped in soft, pillowy homemade pretzel dough, they are the perfect drunk/football/party food. You of course hav'ta dip them in the cheese sauce that is fully loaded with beer and jalapenos. This is the essential main course to any tailgatin' fiesta, people. And they are hand-held deliciousness!! Enjoy :)

For the Pretzel Wrapped Sausages:
8 Pre-Cooked Sausages, Hotdogs, or Brats
1 ½C Warm Water
1T Sugar
1 Package of Active Dry Yeast
4 ½C AP Flour
2t Salt
2oz Unsalted Butter, Melted & Cooled

For the Bath:
3 ½Q of Water
1C Baking Soda
1 Large Egg + 1T Water, Beaten

For the Topping:
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

For the Jalapeno-Beer-Cheddar Cheese Sauce:
12oz Beer
2C Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1T AP Flour
8oz Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
2T Candied Jalapenos, Minced
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

1. For the Dough: Combine warm water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and set aside for 5 minutes, until mixture is foamy. Add the flour, salt, and melted butter. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and knead dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, creating a ball of dough around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. The dough will be soft, pliable, and just a bit sticky. Remove from bowl, form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Dust the top with flour, then cover with plastic and let sit in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Place baking racks in the center and upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly brush the paper with oil (Don't skip the oiling, it’s important to brush the paper or the pretzels will stick).
2. For the Pretzel Wrapped Sausages: Combine water and baking soda in a large pot and bring to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly oiled work surface. Divide the dough into eight even pieces (one per sausage). You want to make a rope with each piece of dough. Start with the fingers of both hands in the center of the dough, and roll, moving your hands outward as you go. Roll the dough along the oiled surface until you have about a 24" (for whole dogs) piece of rope. Starting at one end, roll the dough around a hot dog gently (without stretching too much), pinching and sealing each end well. When water has come to a boil, gently lower a few of the dough-wrapped dogs into the boiling water and allow it to boil for 30 seconds. Using a skimmer (flat, slotted spatula), carefully remove them and place on the oiled parchment. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle each with some salt and pepper. Bake in the preheat oven until they reach a deep, golden brown color, about 12-15 minutes. While they cook, prepare the cheese sauce.
3. For the Jalapeno-Beer-Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Add the beer to a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting, toss the shredded cheese with the flour. Once the beer is simmering, whisk in the cheese and all of the remaining ingredients. Whisk until all the cheese has melted and you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.
4. Serve the pretzel wrapped sausages on a platter with the Jalapeno-Beer-Cheddar Cheese Sauce for dipping.

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