Soft Pretzel & Sausage Grilled Cheese Sandwhiches

By | May 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm | No comments | Eat, Food Recipes, Seasonal Food | Tags: ,

As baseball season gets into full swing, once again we are reminded of the things that make us love America’s pastime.  Warm nights at the ballpark, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the food.  Who doesn’t have a fond memory growing up of a hotdog at the park with their parents, or a frosty malt stain that never came out?  As humans we associate food together with memories and I can hardly remember a time at a sporting event as a child without thinking of cotton candy, peanuts, or some other ballpark specific food.

Recently we attended a dinner club party with some friends and the theme for the evening was “Baseball.”  This theme gave us free reign to prepare any dish we wanted as long as it related to the theme of the dinner.  That evening we saw some amazing things such as cracker-jack encrusted chicken strips, hand cracked bratwursts with stone ground mustard, and homemade frosty malts.

The dish I came up with was a combination of a few of my favorite ballpark items.  In making the soft pretzel & sausage grilled cheese, I combined a homemade soft pretzel, gourmet hand-cranked sausage, fresh sauerkraut, and a couple of amazing cheeses to make a sandwich that even I didn’t expect to be as good as it was.  We made the soft pretzel from scratch and stole a homemade, hand-cranked sausage from our host for this recipe, but this recipe could be made on a whim with store bought gourmet pretzels and sausages.  It won’t quite be as fantastic, but cuts the prep time by an hour or more.

Without any further adieu, now to a recipe for one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in quite some time.

Pretzel Sausage GC 2

 

The Pretzel:

Courtesy of Alton Brown

Ingredients

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

Preparation:

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 very lightly with the pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Pretzel Sausage GC 1

 

The Sandwich:

Ingredients:

Handmade Soft Pretzel

1 gourmet sausage, grilled and sliced

2 Slices Smoked Gouda Cheese

2 Slices Muenster Cheese

Fresh Sauerkraut

Dijon or Stoneground Mustard

Assembling the Sandwich:

Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the pretzel in half.  Spread the mustard on the top and bottom halves of the pretzel.  Place 2 slices of cheese on each half of the pretzel, layer the grilled sausage and sauerkraut and close the sandwich.  Put the sandwich in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese melts and the pretzel is dark golden brown.

Remove from oven and cut sandwich in half.  Serve immediately.

Pretzel Sausage GC 4

 

(photos courtesy of tastespotting.com blog)

 

 

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