It’s baseball season again and I’m thinking of family get-togethers, picnics and hotdogs! AT&T Park in San Francisco will allow you to bring food and beverages into the park which is great for families with little kids . If the economy’s taking a bite out of your pocketbook, and that includes a lot of us right now, you might consider taking a basket full of goodies to the park. If you prefer to watch the game at home and want to enjoy a little of the ballpark atmosphere food-wise, here’s some items you might consider for just good eating, especially during baseball season!
We’ve talked about other recipes throughout the year here on this blog; Garlic Fries of course, and those famous Maryland Crab cakes. And we’ve talked about my very favorite ballpark food at Citi Field Park in New York, Nathan Hot Dogs and the famous Roxy’s Delicatessen in New York City. Here are a few more to get you thinking along these lines and to wet your whistle!
HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS & PRETZEL DOGS!
Here’s a dandy that’s been tested and proven to be a 5 Star Winner. This recipe is provided via “Foodie For Two” especially for Opening Day of Baseball Season! Be sure and visit the website for this one. Melissa has some little fun tidbits about her recipe that make eating it much more fun!
- 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
- 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, approximately 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 approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. 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.
CARAMEL CORN WITH NUTS!
At last week’s opening game I ordered a huge bag of Kettle Korn…..huge! It was in a plastic bag, probably 2 feet long (really!) and, at least I thought, it was pretty much tasteless! As we munched on the first couple of bites I reminisced about my sister Pat’s homemade caramel corn she made in the oven at Christmastime one year. It was the very best I’d ever eaten, probably because it didn’t have any hard pieces you could break a tooth on. You probably know what I’m talking about. But anyhow, it made me want to run home and make my own, which I did and here’s the recipe if you want to be a real hero with popcorn lovers everywhere!
PAT’S OVEN CARAMEL CORN WITH LOTS OF NUTS!
- 20 Cups Popcorn, popped
- 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
- 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 cup Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Heat oven to 250°F. Combine popcorn and peanuts in roasting pan; set aside.
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil (8 to 10 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 238° F or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a soft ball (3 to 5 minutes).
Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Pour mixture over popcorn, stirring until all popcorn is coated. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour or until caramel corn is crisp. Remove from pan immediately. Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Store in tightly covered container.
EASY TO MAKE TAMALES!
This is a family favorite that I’ve only made 3 times in my life. But they’re easy to make and everyone loves them! Mexican food is one of my favorites and tamales are easy to pack and carry, since they come in their very own “package”. If you’ve never made tamales, here’s a video that might give you an idea of how it’s done, but, trust me, use the recipe below and you can’t go wrong!
Basic Homemade Tamale Recipe
2 cups masa harina
2/3 cup lard
1 cup sour cream
1 can of beef broth
1 tsp baking powder
1 (8 oz) package dried corn husks
½ tsp salt
Ingredients for Tamale filling
1¼ lb pork loin
4 dried California chili pods
1 clove garlic
1 large onion, halved
2 cups water
1½ tsp salt
Place pork along with garlic and onion in a skillet and add water to it. Bring it to boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is cooked well. Remove stems and seeds from the chili pods and place them in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool down. Blend chili and water in a blender, until a smooth paste is formed. Then, strain this mixture and add salt. Shred the cooked pork and add to it one cup of chili sauce. In a large bowl, mix a tablespoon of beef broth with the lard, until it becomes fluffy. Mix together masa harina, salt and baking powder and add the lard mixture to it. Add more broth if required, to make a spongy dough.
Now let’s prepare the corn husks for wrapping. Clean the corn husks and soak them in a bowl of warm water to soften them. Spread the dough over the corn husks to the thickness of about ¼ to ½ inches. Add 1 tablespoon of meat filling at the center. Fold the sides of husks towards the center and tie with a string. Place tamales into the steamer and allow them to cook for about 1 hour. Remove tamales from the husks and sprinkle the remaining chili sauce over them. Then add sour cream on the top.
EASY OLD FASHIONED BAKED BEANS!
I love anything that saves time and using big old cans of beans will do that! If you have lots of time, of course, go ahead and soak the beans overnight and then cook the daylights out of them for 2-3 hours and then start the cooking; however, Costco has those huge cans of beans for under $5 and it’s one of those great bargains that make these recipes fun! Take a can of beans, add the bacon and your own serving dish and ….who knew?
- 1 pound bacon
- 2 (28 ounce) cans baked beans
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar and bacon. Pour into a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.