The Philadelphia Eagles took to the field Friday night in their first game under NFL rookie coach, Chip Kelly (who on Wikipedia has the nickname Big Balls Chip listed- I’m already not a fan). Though Andy Reid needed to part ways after his 13 years of service to Philadelphia, we were hesitant to expect anything big coming from Kelly in the first showing. We were right. Kelly was reunited across enemy lines with former Oregon Duck, LeGarrett Blount, but that did nothing to help stop the infamous New England Patriots, under their seasoned leader, Bill Belichick. Impressively, Tom Brady was able to make connections with his wide receivers, despite his usual suspects being injured (or gone), and proved his determination to win it all in what seems to be (one of) his final seasons. At 36, his career might be coming closer to the end, but his highly protected position has given him a lot of good years. There are a lot of decisions left to be made for both teams, and summing up Belichick’s brief on-field statement after the game, it’s still preseason.
We made soft pretzels and cheese steaks (wit wiz!) and clam chowder for the game this week. The Cowboys also played, but with the late start and the fact that it was a weeknight game, we kept it simple. Fear not- we will get it together before the season begins! …and hopefully our teams will pick it up, too!
With that… game on!
Our soft pretzels were from THIS recipe here. As much as we wanted to make something more authentic like THESE, we want to offer you some recipes you can do without too much hassle. These pretzels are IT! While we suggest you treat yourself to the boil-before-baking awesomeness of a true Philly soft pretzel, if you’re looking for a delicious alternative that offers a few healthy benefits, then grab the following items and get to baking!
Soft Pretzels, adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook : 15 minutes
You will need:
1 and 1/2 c warm water
1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 t)
1 t salt
1 T granulated sugar
2 c AP flour
2 c WW flour + more for the counter surface to knead
1 large egg
course sea salt for sprinkling
…mustard and cheese for dipping (you can use the leftover wiz from your steak sandwiches!)
FROM THE KITCHEN TIP: Remove all jewelry- including rings and bracelets. You will be kneading dough and there is nothing more gross that jewelry and long nails making food!
In a large mixing bowl (I prefer glass), mix yeast in warm water, stirring until just a few clusters of yeast remain. Continue to stir in salt and sugar until well mixed. One cup at a time, add your combination of AP and WW flours. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. You will know the dough is ready if it bounces back when poked. (I added 1/2 c at a time to avoid over-flouring and used just under 4 whole cups).
Flour a clean surface and turn your dough out, kneading it into a ball for about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into ~1/3 cup sections using a sharp knife. Then roll each section into an even rope about 22 inches long. Taking the ends, shape the dough into U-shape, cross the middle and press them into the dough to make a pretzel shape.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425*, then broil for 5 more minutes, which will help brown the tops. Be sure to keep an eye on them… as you can see, a few of ours were a bit darker than we would have liked.
Your pretzels will be ready to eat after a few cooling minutes and can be frozen well, but stored (no more than 4 days) will lose their fluff.
The Martinka Philly Cheesesteak… remember ‘wit wiz’!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook : 20 minutes
You will need:
1.5# shaved steak
1 med onion, sliced
8oz white mushrooms, sliced1 med green pepper, sliced
salt and pepper for taste
Cheeze Wiz, or whatever cheese you want to top your sandwiches
Sauté the steak in a pan over medium heat until cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms SEPARATELY from each other, until their soft- you don’t have to wash the pan in between. Because the cook times differ, you want to do them separately, in non-stick or lightly oiled pan over med/med-low heat. Your onions should have a slight caramelizing on them, the peppers just reaching a softer consistency, and your mushrooms browned.
Now build your sandwich- steak, peppers, onion and mushrooms, topped with about a tablespoon of cheese. Put your sandwich in the toaster oven for a minute to crisp the bread and warm the steak. Top with whatever condiments you’d like… I prefer just cheese (but ketchup is delicious on everything).
And representing New England, Clam Chowdah adapted from MrFood.com
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook : 35 minutes
You will need:
1 small onion, chopped
2oz salt pock, diced
8oz clam juice
1 3/4 c chicken broth 1 lg potato, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 T cornstarch
1pt (2 c) heavy cream, divided
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
(we picked our parsley fresh from the garden!)
In a soup pot, sauté onion and pork over medium heat until tender (3-5 minutes).
Add clams, juice, broth, potato, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook covered for 7 minutes, then add celery. Recover and cook for another 5-7 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).
Dissolve the cornstarch and 1/2 c cream in a small bowl and add it to the soup.
Add parsley and remaining 1 1/2 c cream to the pot, stirring frequently until thickened (about 5 minutes).
Add in some family time and the best seat in the house, and you’ve got yourself a night with ©Carpenter in the Kitchen!
All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen©. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.