Mar 23 2012
I’m a fan of the show Next Food Network Star–it makes me wonder if I could ever do something like that and then smacks me back into the reality that, no, I probably couldn’t. Last season, I was really pulling for Susie win; her warm smile, bubbly personality and sweet stories about her family won me over and I’ve always wanted to take on the challenge of cooking Mexican cuisine. Greg, on the other hand, was pulling for Jeff. He feels that certain rapport with a goofy guy whose jokes sometimes land and sometimes don’t–two peas in a pod, those two. Greg also loved the idea of a cooking show featuring approachable sandwich recipes that were far from ordinary but would be easy enough to make for dinner.
Well, as many of you know, Jeff won out and, as promised, now has his own cooking show about preparing gourmet sandwiches. We catch his show now and then while flipping through channels on the weekend but the episode last weekend just reeled us in. He was making his own pretzel rolls to fill with a hot dog topped with cheesy jalapeno-y goodness.
After wiping the drool off Greg’s face, I promised him I’d make them for dinner.
These rolls are made from scratch so they do take a bit of a time commitment but they were super easy. Greg practically burned his hands ripping into one straight out of the oven to dip into mustard (all in the name of taste-testing!) before we even had the grill hot for the dogs. The rolls were soft and chewy on the inside and crisp with that characteristic pretzel taste on the outside (science nerd that I am, I had to look up the chemistry behind how the baking soda wash makes that happen–it’s really pretty cool!).
Our rolls rose well but you’ll notice they got a little flattened when I shaped them and when I picked them to toss them in the baking soda wash. Try to keep them as log-shaped as possible and hopefully that won’t happen to you.
For the hot dogs, we just grilled up our favs (all beef for Greg, turkey for me) and topped them with shredded cheddar cheese and jalapenos I pickled last year. They are fantastically delicious, especially with that punch of heat from those frozen-in-time local jalapenos. But, the rolls are FAR better the first day than reheated so have some friends over or save some room for dipping the leftovers into nacho cheese sauce or spicy mustard.
So, I’ll give Greg the credit for backing a winning Next Food Network Star horse but I ended up with the lion’s share of the credit for making hot dog rolls from scratch!
Note: Your buns will look nice and puffy like this:
Then they will go into the baking soda wash and look shriveled and prune-y like this: