finger food

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Pretzel Chicken

Published March 23, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’ve made pretzel chicken 100+ times (it seems like anyway).  It’s one of the easiest recipes in which you almost always have everything on hand to make in a cinch.  I usually use fat-free Old Dutch pretzels, but the “everything bagel” pretzels caught my eye at the store, plus they were on sale.  Bonus!  Normally, I use milk, but I was out and decided to try non-fat plain Greek yogurt in its place.  Nate said this was the best batch of pretzel chicken I’ve ever made!  We’ve had it several times, so it’s certainly a great compliment.

These are quick to throw together and in the oven. You can serve them as a finger food, appetizer, or a meal in itself.  Experiment with mustards and pretzels to find what combination you like best.

Pretzel Chicken

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (I use horseradish Dijon)
salt and pepper
2 cups finely crushed pretzels, (the food processor is ideal)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil, and place a cooling rack on top.  Spray lightly with olive oil.
2. In a shallow dish, mix yogurt and mustard.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Dip chicken tenders in mustard mixture, shaking or wiping off any excess.  Dredge in pretzel crumbs, then place on baking sheet topped with cooling rack.  Spray tenders with olive oil.
3. Bake chicken tenders at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip.  Spray topside lightly with olive oil.  Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until crust begins to brown and chicken is cooked through. Serve with desired dipping sauce.

Pretzel Bites with Creamy Cheese Sauce

Published March 1, 2012 by jenmatteson

There is nothing I love more than a good soft pretzel. Nate and I were invited to an Oscar party, which I thought would be a great chance to make these little bites. It’s not really Oscar fare, but they are bite size and good for snacking. You could easily use this recipe to make pretzel sticks or full on pretzels. I’m sure I’ll be trying a new twist (get it) sooner or later. Nate wasn’t digging the cheese sauce at first, so I altered the original recipe just a bit to make it a tad more creamy. I also kneaded the dough mostly by hand as my stand mixer couldn’t handle such a large quantity of dough.

Pretzel Bites with Creamy Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 Tsp instant yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
Pretzel or Kosher salt

 Directions:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together water, yeast, and sugar. Add flour and 4 tbsp melted butter and mix on low-speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in size.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large saucepan or roasting pan. Turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal parts. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope and slice each rope into 1-inch pieces. Place a damp towel over the pretzel pieces to prevent them from drying out while you work.

3. Using a slotted spoon, lower a handful (I did 1/4 at a time) of pretzel pieces into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds. Remove and drain the best you can, then place them on the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pieces.

4. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 12-15 minutes.

Creamy Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1/4 heavy cream

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Kosher salt

Directions:

1. In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream until no lumps of flour remain.

2. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese is melted. Add salt to taste if necessary. Serve warm.

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