Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix

It is officially the start of the best time of year - football season. I know people are busy planning their game day menus already, so I thought I'd throw out this recipe in case it might fit in with your football feast. It's funny how food and sports are so intertwined. I know Saints fans who will not watch a game without a family meal from Popeye's. And even more than that, it must come from the Popeye's on Magazine. They really believe that if you get it anywhere else, you're asking for the football gods to betray you.

It's always interesting to see how football superstitions arise. For the Monday night game versus the Falcons when the Dome re-opened, Mark and I celebrated with a lunch at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. Mark told me that if he didn't order and complete the 32 oz. porterhouse, he was sure the Saints would lose. Being the most superstitious sports fan alive (aside from our very favorite Redskins fan JT), I agreed that Mark absolutely had to get and finish that ridiculously sized steak. I didn't want to go along with it at first, but I kept thinking that if we lost this game, it would be because I told Mark that he shouldn't eat that darn steak. I couldn't live with the thought of being the reason the Saints might lose. Well, what do you know, the Saints went on to win the greatest game ever played in the Dome. In my mind, I think I actually believed it had to do partly with Mark eating that steak. So the next season, when we were home for the Monday night home opener against Tennessee, I was convinced that if we did everything exactly as we had done it the year before the Saints would surely go on to claim a victory. And just as he did the year before, Mark ordered and finished his 32 oz. porterhouse with masterful surgical precision. So I wouldn't worry about the health risk of doing this annually, the waiter assured me that 3 oz. of the total weight of the porterhouse was related to the bone. Ahhh - much better. You can imagine my disappointment when the Saints lost that night. I think the only person more disappointed was Mark who realized that not only did the Saints lose their game, but he lost his excuse to consume 32, wait, make that 28 oz. of steak.

Although I don't see a 32 oz. porterhouse in our future, I know this season will bring us an array of fantastic eats. There is just nothing better on a cold Sunday than a grilled brat, a cold beer, and a Saints victory. Add this pretzel mix to your next tailgate party, and you'll have one more reason to celebrate. It's a crowd pleaser, I promise, so I recommend a double batch.

Here's to another year of football!

Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix

Serves 8
2 cups thin pretzel sticks
1 cup natural almonds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together pretzels and almonds.
In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon water to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour over pretzel mixture in bowl; gently toss to combine.
Spread pretzel mixture in a single layer on prepared sheet. Bake until almonds are crisp, about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cool on sheet before serving. (To store, keep at room temperature, up to 5 days.)

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I love snacky food like that. Delicious.

    I hope the Saints win this week (and any week, really). I picked them this week for my football pool thing at work!



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