It is easy enough to put out bag after bag of chips during a Sunday football-watching party, or any other gathering for that matter. And it’s not much harder to go the extra step and put those chips into an actual bowl … you know, if you’re feeling classy.
But how about making a 15-minute snack that will have the crowds calling your name from the stands (or, in all likelihood, from the couch)?
A hot pretzel served up with a creamy, cheesy dip is the kind of food you would be thrilled to happen on and buy at a stadium. But you can easily find these soft pretzels in the frozen aisle of your supermarket, and they heat up quickly in the oven. While you are heating the oven and baking the pretzels (which take less than 5 minutes!), you can stir together a quick cheese-and-beer dip for dunking. And while you are stirring you can imagine the expressions of happiness that will greet you when you plunk down this platter of hot pretzel goodness.
If you have a big crowd and want to make a larger batch of pretzels, double the dip recipe and keep it warm in a slow cooker. It can also be gently reheated over low heat in a saucepan if it starts to thicken up too much.
CHEESY BEER DIP WITH HOT PRETZELS
Start to finish: 15 minutes
2 (13-ounce) boxes of frozen hot soft pretzels, 12 pretzels in all
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, preferably whole
¾ cup good beer
2 teaspoons brown mustard
Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare the pretzels according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and beer, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the mustard and Sriracha and cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
Whisk in the cream cheese until it’s melted, then add the cheddar cheese in several batches, whisking until each batch has melted before adding the next. Serve hot, with hot pretzels.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman/