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Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2015

Food that will take you out to the ballgame

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Play ball! The St. Louis Cardinals are back in season, and it is a welcome sound on the radio. I have longed for baseball season to start for weeks now, so I am glad it is here. I loved watching all of the opening day festivities and enjoyed seeing and hearing the sounds of baseball again. I thought it would be fun to include a few recipes today of foods you might enjoy while visiting a ballpark. Popcorn, peanuts and hot dogs immediately come to mind, so I have recipes that are slightly kicked-up versions of those old favorites. I hope you enjoy.

Ballpark Style Hotdogs

Good quality beef hot dogs

Poppy seed buns

Yellow mustard

Bright green relish

Fresh onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 kosher pickle spear

2 sport bell peppers (pickled seranno peppers)

1 dash celery salt

Heat beef hot dog in water, steam, grill or microwave to 170 degrees (better tasting steamed).

Place the hot dog in a steamed poppy seed bun.

Pile on the toppings in the order listed in the ingredients; mustard, green relish, onion, tomatoes, pickle, peppers, celery salt.

Enjoy with plenty of napkins.

Homemade Soft Ballpark Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 package active dry yeast

Approximately 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil, for pan

10 cups water

2/3 cup baking soda

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for about 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half-sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half-sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ballpark Style Nachos

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 cup to 1 cup milk or jalapeno juice

Corn tortilla chips

Jalapeno pepper slices

Bring the water in the bottom of a double boiler to boiling. Place cubes from 1 pound of Velveeta cheese in the top of the double boiler, along with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk or jalapeno juice for a spicier flavor. Stir constantly until cheese is blended with milk and melted. The mixture should be smooth, not lumpy. Remove from heat and serve with round white corn tortilla chips. Top with slices of jalapeno peppers.

Spicy Roasted Cashews

2 cups whole cashews

1/8 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, depending on how hot you want them

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tablespoon sugar

In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups whole cashews, 1/8 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. (Reduce the salt, if your cashews have already been salted.) Spread in a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch-by 2-inch dish or baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking. (Bake only about 8 minutes, if your cashews have already been roasted.) Spread cashews on waxed paper to cool. Sprinkle cooled nuts with 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Pour into a nice serving bowl and serve when desired. You may store these for a couple of weeks in a jar with a screw-on lid, or in a zip-top bag.

Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon dried crumbled rosemary

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

3 cups mixed nuts (pecans, cashews and hazelnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter with dried rosemary, salt and cayenne. Pour this mixture over 3 cups mixed nuts, tossing to coat them. Bake the nuts on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash cayenne pepper

6 cups plain popped popcorn

Place sugar, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper in a zip-top plastic bag or other 2-quart airtight container. Mix. Add popcorn. Spray popcorn with nonstick cooking spray. Close bag and shake. Repeat one or two times until popcorn is coated.

Have a great week and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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