Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pretzels and Soup

I feel Irish for posting a cabbage soup. :) I do love how thick this soup is without a cream and butter overload. I told Mark I would make this again... which is really saying something because I like trying something new every time I make dinner!

Cabbage Split Pea Soup

1 cup dried split green peas/yellow peas
7 cups of water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 russet potatoes, roughly chopped
salt and ground pepper
1/2 head cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 7 cups)

1. Pour peas and seven cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes.

2. Once the peas are boiling, use another large pot or dutch over to heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring often.

3. To the onions and garlic, add the celery and carrots and cook another 5-10 minutes, stirring often.

4. To the peas, add the potatoes and continue to boil another 10 minutes. To the onion mixture, add 4 cups of the broth and allow to warm.

5. Pour the peas and potato mixture into the pot containing the onion etc. We then chose to use an immersion blender to blend the mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage to the pot and allow to cook, over medium heat, for 1 minute or so until the cabbage is wilted.

I spend a lot of time browsing for good recipes. I always copy the recipe, put it in a document, and say "This is the next thing I'm making... for REALS this time!" Rarely does that happen. But sometimes I just get uncontrollably enthusiastic about something, and I have to make it. This happened on Wednesday. I came across this recipe and instantly went into the kitchen to make these pretzels. I decided they would be great to make, because I could make them and not have to eat all of them because Mark's family was coming into town for my bro in law Grant's birthday! It worked out nicely, everyone loved them, and it was FUN to make them. WARNING: they are definitely a process to make. But a fun process, of course! Also, I would suggest making sure you have a brush thing to use when you get to the egg wash, otherwise you'll be doing that with a large paint brush. :)

Soft Pretzels

For the dough:
1½ cups warm water (110-115° F)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
22 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4½ cups)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For finishing:
Cooking spray
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Pretzel (or kosher) salt

To make the dough, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot.

In the meantime, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
Working with one piece at a time, roll a segment out into a 24-inch long rope.
Make a U-shape with the rope and holding the ends of the rope, then cross them over each other and onto the bottom of the U-shape in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted skimmer and return to the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Maren said...

those pretzels were deeeelicious! Also, you would be proud of me. I made a crock-pot dinner yesterday!! and it was sooo easy and sooo good (even if I do say so myself!) We'll have to have you guys over next time I make it :) It was like Salsa Chicken. yuuum

Jennifer Miller said...

so this is your cooking blog that I love because I make so many soups now I have a few new Ideas!
do you have another blog of you and mark?