For the Super Bowl today, I am looking forward to cheering on the Seahawks, being entertained by the million-dollar commercials, and enjoying some homemade snacks. To me, watching a sporting event is best paired with stadium food. My childhood favourite? The soft pretzel. No competition. Well, unless we went to an O’s game then it was all about Boog’s BBQ! But the pretzel appears in concession stands for all seasons, all sports, and all levels of teams. To make today a little special and keep the American spirit alive in my Irish home, I decided to try my hand at making my own soft pretzels. Just after making them, I ran into a neighbour who looked me in the face and said with a little note of concern, “You know you can buy them already made, right?” Oh yes, I know. The fact that I spent a few hours to create something that ended up being THE SAME as if I had bought them ready-made from the bakery is a little bonkers. But let’s pause for a moment to appreciate that my first ever attempt to make soft pretzels resulted in a store-quality pretzel. Happy dance.
The pretzels themselves are good. But not oh-my-I-will-never-eat-anything-but-these-for-the-rest-of-my-life-delicious. So, for that reason, I’m not sharing a recipe here just yet. But I am sharing the super easy recipe for the spicy cheese dip I made.
Jalapeno Relish & Cheese Dip
Ballymaloe Jalapeño Relish
Shredded mature cheddar
1–3 drops Tabasco Sauce
1. In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese until softened then microwave for 30 seconds at 50% heat. Stir in the Ballymaloe Jalapeño Relish and microwave again for 30 seconds at 50% heat. Stir in the shredded cheddar and microwave the mixture for 1 minute at 50%, pausing to stir every 20 seconds. Stir in the Tabasco Sauce droplet(s) to blend completely.
2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 24 hours). Microwave the mixture for 1 minute at 50%, pausing to stir every 20 seconds. Serve with soft pretzels or lightly oven-toasted corn tortilla chips.