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Oktoberfest Soft Pretzels with Everything Topping

Long since known for its blast on bagels, Red Goose Everything seasoning is a fabulous topping on Soft Pretzels!

Enjoy these delicious pretzels with mustard or just warm, fresh out of the oven, all on their own.

Red Goose Oktoberfest Soft Pretzels with Everything Topping 

Makes 6 – 5 ounce Pretzel Sticks

2 lbs.                 Frozen Bread or Pizza Dough (Any Brand)

3/4 Cup             Baking Soda

2 Qts.                Water

½ Cup               Red Goose Everything Seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thaw frozen bread dough in the refrigerator overnight or until completely soft and pliable.
  3. Place the water in a non-reactive saucepan or metal casserole dish of at least 2” of depth and 9” to 10” in diameter then stir in the baking soda until it dissolves. Place the solution over medium low heat until it JUST simmers.
  4. Portion the dough into 6 equal pieces approximately 5 + ounces each.
  5. Roll out each portion of dough into an 8″ long, thick stick. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
  6. Let the sticks rest 5 minutes.
  7. Place the dough sticks in the gently simmering baking water and poach on both sides approximately 2 to 3 minutes rolling over the sticks as they “poach”.
  8. Remove the sticks with a slotted spatula and place on a non-stick baking pan (approximately 2″ apart from one another). You may also want to spray this pan lightly with a non-stick vegetable spray.
  9. While the dough sticks are still moist and VERY sticky, sprinkle evenly, and heavily, with the EVERYTHING SEASONING so that it will stick to the dough.
  10. Before baking, slash each dough stick with a sharp knife with diagonal cuts approximately 1/4″ deep and 1″ to 2″ apart. Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the “Pretzel Loaves” are medium brown and baked through.
  11. Serve plain or with your favorite mustard.

 

Sesame, From Tahini to the Arabian Nights

For a lot of Chefs, their first encounter with sesame seeds probably came with a “jingle” that went: “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a…”

And you know the rest.

https://youtu.be/jSmAibfvCeU

Big burger and chips on the table

Of course, later in life, you learn that the LEAST of what sesame seeds can offer to the culinary world…

Is a topping on a bun.

But the fact remains that at one time, the vast majority of the sesame seed crop of Mexico went directly to McDonalds for toppings on their famous hamburger buns.

You still see sesame seeds on some bakery products in the United States but our country is nowhere near the leading importer of sesame seeds, nor its uses.

Sesameis a flowering plant grown in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods.

Sesame is thought to be the oldest oil-seed crop known to humanity and has one of the highest oil contents of any see and world production of sesame seeds in 2018 was 6 million metric tons.

Golden sesame

Interestingly, the top exporters of sesame seeds are India, Burma, Sudan Tanzania, China and Pakistan and India.

The top importers of sesame seeds are China, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and Israel.

From a nutrition perspective, eating sesame seeds have many “potential” health benefits and was once thought to have mystical powers, as first mentioned in the command “Open sesame!,” used in the Arabian Nights tale of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

Albeit a poorly remembrance of the actual command, which was, “open says me”, (which opened the secret cave’s entrance), “Open Sesame!” made its way into common expression anyway.

Many studies have extolled sesame seeds virtues since, due to the numerous vitamins and minerals they contain. The health benefits of sesame seeds seem almost endless. A few highlights include claims such as reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, bone health, type 2 diabetes, and the list goes on.

Unfortunately, other studies say that you REALLY love sesame seeds in order to see any significant results from eating sesame seeds.

Like handfuls a day.

With a rich, nutty flavor, it’s no wonder that sesame seeds are used as garnishment and in foods all over the world.

From toppings on breads to thickeners in soups and savory dishes, sweets and coffee-like drinks with exotic names like: ”Benne”, Wangila, Chikki, Halvah, Goma-Dofuand and in Za’atar, there’s no shortage of recipes and spice blends that use this diverse seed.

But perhaps the most well-known food product that uses sesame seeds is Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds and a key ingredient in the classic dip, Hummus.

Hummus, the Turkish word for mashed chick pea, is one of the oldest (prepared) foods, dating back to ancient Egypt.

There was time, that if you loved hummus, you’d probably only find it in a local specialty store, or hidden somewhere in the back aisles of one of the more popular national chains.

Today, it’s one of THE most popular dips in America.

You can of course buy Tahini to make your hummus but it’s SO easy to make and tastes infinitely better so why not make it yourself.

The recipe is below but you can watch it being made right here!

Tahini

Makes 3 Cups

1 Cup                        Sesame Seeds

¼ to 1/3 Cup             Olive Oil

  1. Place the sesame seeds (by themselves), in a frying pan or skillet on medium low heat, stirring often until the sesame seeds begin to lightly color and give off a toasty aroma.
  2. Remove the seeds from the heat and fully cool.
  3. Place the seeds in a food processor and blend until a paste is created.
  4. Add the olive oil in 2 or 3 stages, scraping down between each addition.
  5. Blend until the desired smoothness is achieved.

Classic Hummus

Makes 3+ Cups

2 – 16 oz Cans                  Canned Chick Peas

1 to 2 teaspoons                Garlic, Fresh, Chopped

1/3 Cup                              Tahini Paste

½                                        Lemon, Freshly Squeezed Juice

3 TBSP                               Olive Oil

1/3 Cup                              Cold Water (Or More as Needed)

1 tsp                                   Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt)

1/4 tsp                                Hot Sauce (Tabasco or Other)

  1. Drain off all liquids from the canned chick peas and rinse well with cold water to remove all of the canned juices.
  2. Add chick peas to a food processor using an “s” blade attachment.
  3. Add the fresh garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Blend on medium then high speed 1 to 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. You want to make this paste rather smooth before adding the water.
  5. Begin adding the cold water in 2 to 3 steps, blending each time and scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. The resulting hummus should be smooth and creamy looking and easily hold its shape when mounded.
  6. When you feel you have the consistency you want, add the salt and hot sauce and blend one last time for 15 to 30 seconds.

To the recipe above, once finished, you can blend in, OR add other ingredients, as toppings. These are a few of our favorites.

Tarragon, Bearnaise and Beyond…

If there was a Mount Rushmore of herbs, tarragon would certainly be a strong contender.

Its glossy, slender leaves and highly aromatic, licorice/anise-like flavor, (with a bit of peppery, mint finish), is unmistakable in any dish it’s used in.

And for good reason.

Tarragon is one of the key components of the French herbs mixture known as “Fines Herbes”, which “classically”, consists of: tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives.

Some say that tarragon provides an elegant addition to so many recipes, from salads, almost ANY protein, and numerous soups and sauces as well.

Others say that it’s licorice flavor makes it a “love it, or hate it” herb. Much in the same way that some people feel about cilantro.

But make no mistake, this herb is a star among the many who know that tarragon is an essential herb in any kitchen.

The most common tarragon used in cooking is the French variety, which pairs brilliantly with chicken, fish, and in egg dishes.

With the addition of garlic and shallots, it’s also remarkable in compound butter used as a garnish over char-grilled beef steaks.

Additional varieties of tarragon include Spanish/Mexican and Russian.

But perhaps the MOST widely known use for tarragon is in the classic sauce, Bearnaise, which is a derivative of Hollandaise sauce. It’s often used not just once, but 3 times within the recipe. First as tarragon vinegar, the second, as part of the tarragon reduction, and lastly as a chopped garnish.

Each form of tarragon, introduces its own unique contribution of flavors which meld together so completely in the final sauce.

The French love this classic herb, but it’s also popular in other countries around the world, and used in salads, stews, soups, pickles, pastries and even soft drinks!

It’s also an herb which can be used in the same dish both dry and fresh as BOTH uses take on their own unique flavor properties and truly complement each other in the recipe. Such as is the case with sauce Bearnaise.

Dry VS Fresh

Tarragon’s oils intensify during the drying process.

When using dry tarragon versus fresh chopped tarragon in a recipe, the usual substitution ratio is 1 tsp dry to equal 1 tablespoon of fresh.

When you mention the word, “tarragon” nearly anyone would immediately associate it with “Sauce Bearnaise” and for that reason, it’s a good recipe to share with you here.

Bearnaise is one of 5 “Grand Sauces” that all chefs and devoted cooks learn to make early on. It’s also one, that non-professionals are told is just too difficult to even attempt.

Hollandaise sauce is made from only 4 basic ingredients, but it’s the 2 main ingredients (egg yolks and butter) that can give you real headaches if you don’t to pay attention to what you’re doing.

Here’s how you avoid the headaches, and to show you, we’ll make an average-sized recipe of Bearnaise sauce.

Start by making the tarragon Bearnaise reduction which you will add to the Hollandaise sauce once it is finished.

Set this reduction aside, THEN begin your Hollandaise sauce.

Bearnaise Reduction for Hollandaise Sauce

2 TBSP                      Dried Tarragon Leaves

1 TBSP                      Chopped Fresh Shallots

¼ Cup                        Cider or Tarragon Vinegar

¼ Cup                        White Wine (nothing too sweet)

¼ tsp                          Cracked Black Pepper

  1. Simmer these ingredients together in a small saucepan until reduced to a wet paste. Be careful not to burn it!
  2. Set it aside and NOW begin your Hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce

Makes about 1 Cup

  1. Before you begin to cook your egg yolks, in a microwave on the defrost setting, melt 1 ½ sticks of butter until the fat separates, and then skim off that clarified butter and reserve.
  2. Squeeze the juice from a half lemon and reserve.
  3. Choosing the right bowl and saucepan to make your hollandaise is super important. You want about a small-to-medium-sized saucepan and a mixing bowl that nests within the saucepan, leaving at least an inch of space from the bottom and an inch or so lip at the top. This way, you can easily lift the bowl in and out of the pan as you cook your yolks.
  4. Put only a half inch of water in your saucepan and bring it to a simmer. You should have a space between the bottom of your mixing bowl and the water, and that will mean your egg mixture will be cooking gently over the steam and not directly on the water.
  5. Place 2 egg yolks in your mixing bowl, and for each yolk, a half egg shell of water–in this case 2 half egg shells worth.
  6. This step will help you to cook your egg yolks into a “pudding.” Place the bowl over the simmering water, and using a whisk, beat the egg yolk mixture on and off the steam heat (about 15 seconds each round). This method will take a bit longer to turn this raw mixture into a thickened egg pudding, but it will also prevent your mixture from cooking too fast and turning into scrambled eggs.
  7. When the egg mixture is sufficiently cooked, the whisk will create tracks in the mixture. This will let you know it’s time for the next step.
  8. Remove the water from the saucepan and lay a damp kitchen towel or paper towel over its mouth. Replace your bowl and nest it in snugly. This neat trick will allow you to do the next step more easily.
  9. This step gets everyone in trouble now, but if you just take your time, there’s NO reason you should ever have a problem. You’re going to make an emulsion here by SLOWLY–and the key word is SLOWLY–adding the clarified butter to the cooked egg “pudding.” That means whisking somewhat briskly while adding the clarified butter in very small amounts, especially at first.
  10. Start by drizzling in less than a tablespoon; don’t dump it in all at once. Drizzle it in a thin stream. Once that is incorporated, add another, the same way.
  11. After the 3rd tablespoon, you’ll notice the mixture is getting thicker. Now is when you begin to whisk in a bit of your squeezed lemon juice–about a teaspoon. Continue alternating butter and lemon juice until they’re both used up.
  12. The hard part is over, now all you have to do is add the tarragon mixture you made earlier. Whisk it in briskly and season with a pinch of salt if you like.

Of course, tarragon is one of THE most popular herbs sold at the Red Goose Spice Company. We stock the French variety and is available in any size container or bulk box you prefer.

Red Goose’s EVERYTHING Seasoning Blend. With Recipe!

Special,…memorable.

Sometimes, in moments of true culinary inspiration we indeed find that one “key” ingredient that’s missing and, as a result, we proudly turn ordinary, into EXTRAordinary.

Then again, like a song writer with a “writers block”, try as we might, there are just those times when nothing, absolutely nothing seems to create that same magic.

More of this, less of that and finally pulling out all the stops by trying those long-forgotten seasonings you pushed to the back of the cupboard ages ago, and still, even THEY don’t seem to quite do the trick.

You throw everything at a recipe idea but the “kitchen sink”.

In the end, the kitchen sink is where all of the attempts eventually end up.

We’ve all heard the expression that “sometimes”, less IS more.

But just like every rule has its exceptions, there are actually times when, truthfully, MORE is more.

When anything you try doesn’t seem to be the answer…

Try EVERYTHING!

Red Goose Everything Seasoning Blend.

Long since known for its blast on bagels, Red Goose Everything seasoning is a welcome seasoning addition to your standard breading procedures, in salad dressings mixes, sprinkled on vegetable stir-fry’s, or, as a remarkable salad seasoning topper.

Another delicious application for the Everything Seasoning Blend is on baked breads, or for the recipe we’d like to share with you below, for our Red Goose Soft, Petite Pretzel Loaves.

Red Goose Soft, Petite Pretzel Loaves with Everything Seasoning 

Makes 6 – 5 ounce Petite Pretzel Loaves

2 lbs.                 Frozen Bread or Pizza Dough (Any Brand)

3/4 Cup             Baking Soda

2 Qts.                Water

½ Cup               Red Goose Everything Seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thaw frozen bread dough in the refrigerator overnight or until completely soft and pliable.
  3. Place the water in a non-reactive saucepan or metal casserole dish of at least 2” of depth and 9” to 10” in diameter then stir in the baking soda until it dissolves. Place the solution over medium low heat until it JUST simmers.
  4. Portion the dough into 6 equal pieces approximately 5 + ounces each.
  5. Roll out each portion of dough into an 8″ long, thick stick. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
  6. Let the sticks rest 5 minutes.
  7. Place the dough sticks in the gently simmering baking water and poach on both sides approximately 2 to 3 minutes rolling over the sticks as they “poach”.
  8. Remove the sticks with a slotted spatula and place on a non-stick baking pan (approximately 2″ apart from one another). You may also want to spray this pan lightly with a non-stick vegetable spray.
  9. While the dough sticks are still moist and VERY sticky, sprinkle evenly, and heavily, with the EVERYTHING SEASONING so that it will stick to the dough.
  10. Before baking, slash each dough stick with a sharp knife with diagonal cuts approximately 1/4″ deep and 1″ to 2″ apart. Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the “Pretzel Loaves” are medium brown and baked through.
  11. Serve plain or with your favorite mustard.