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Welcome to Panza Baby, where you can find delicious recipes and my musings on the world through the lens of food.

Soft Pretzels and Chile con Queso

Soft Pretzels and Chile con Queso

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My roommate and I made a lot of different food for that Super Bowl party. Something I didn't make but would have been awesome after a day of skiing would have been these soft pretzels with chile con queso. I now know that many people call chile con queso just queso or queso dip. I grew up eating chile con queso New Mexican style - with a whole ton of hot hatch green chiles mixed in. To me, green chile is one of those magical fruits (it's a fruit!) like cacao that just really wows me. During the fall in New Mexico you smell green chiles roasting everywhere. Grocery stores will be doing it in their parking lots in big heated barrels turned on their sides and rotated with a handle. Traditional chile con queso is made with velveeta cheese. I made this chile con queso with colby jack cheese and cream cheese for extra smoothness. Also, these pretzels are a very easy yeasted bread project that produces insanely delicious results. The pretzel recipe is adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Soft Pretzels and Chile con Queso

Soft Pretzels

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

  • 1 tablespoons honey

  • 1 cup sparkling water

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups bread flour

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • flaky sea salt

  • 1/2 cup baking soda (for boiling the pretzels)

Chile con Queso

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons corn flour or regular flour

  • 1 1/3 cup milk

  • 16 ounces colby jack cheese, grated

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks

  • 8-12 ounces hatch green chile (depending upon how spicy you want it)

For the pretzels

  1. Combine yeast and water in bowl of stand mixer. Add honey and let sit for 5 minutes.

  2. Add water and melted butter.

  3. Fit stand mixer with bread hook. Add flour and salted to bowl. Mix for 5 minutes.

  4. Let dough rise for 1 hour.

  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Fill a large pot with water and put on to boil.

  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  7. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 8 pieces for large pretzels, 12 pieces for small-medium pretzels, and 16 for small pretzels. Take one chunk of dough and roll it out on a countertop into a long rope. Make a circle with the rope and cross the two ends over each other and then attach to the bottom of the circle.

  8. When water has begun to boil, slowly add the baking soda. Then add pretzels a few at a time to the boiling water. They will drop to the bottom and then rise to the surface. After 30 second to 1 minute on the surface of the water, remove from water using a spatula and place on baking sheet.

  9. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels. Sprinkle with sea salt and then put in oven for 15 minutes or until nice and golden brown.

Chile con Queso

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add garlic and stir until garlic is fragrant.

  2. Add corn flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go.

  3. Slowly add the colby jack and cream cheese, bit by bit, stirring as you go.

  4. Stir in the green chiles and cook for a few more minutes. Serve warm with pretzels!

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