Beer and Pretzels (and Football and Books)

Earlier this month, excited about the baseball playoffs and eager to cheer for the Philadelphia Phillies (Official Baseball Team of the Algonquin Marketing Department), I volunteered to share my favorite baseball-watching recipes with the blog. As you may know, the Phillies were sadly eliminated before I even had a chance to put my blog post together!

One of the best parts about fall, though, is that even when your baseball team falls short of your World Series hopes, college and professional football jumps in to ease your pain. Now, full disclosure: I still might not fully understand all of the rules of football, but I do know that between my and my fiancé’s professional and collegiate loyalties, we can easily watch four football games a weekend. This is time on Saturday and Sunday afternoon where I can make some snacks, sit on the couch, drink a beer, and read a book or knit, all under the guise of sports fandom. In case you were counting, that can easily add up to a solid 12 to 16 hours of beer drinking, snack eating, book reading, sweater knitting time. If that doesn’t make someone love football, I don’t know what will.

Here are two Philadelphia approved recipes, perfect for fall afternoons: a Black and Tan (or Half and Half), which I recommend with Yuengling, and classic Philadelphia soft pretzels.

–Katie Ford, Assistant Marketing Manager


Half and Half from Hemingway & Bailey’s Bartending Guide to Great American Writers

The Half and Half is perhaps better known as a Black and Tan. The nickname is derived not just from the colors, but from the regiment of British soldiers stationed in Ireland after World War I. Called the Black and Tans, their mismatched uniforms resembled the colors of the drink. Ironically, while the soldiers were a notoriously rought lot, the Half and Half is rather smooth. An easy combination of bitter and mild, you’ll find it a pleasant way to develop a taste for stout.

8 oz. chilled lager

8 oz. chilled stout

Pour lager into a chilled pint glass. Pour stout over the back of a bar spoon to help it float over the “tan.” Sometimes ale is used instead of lager.


Philadelphia Pretzels from Cooking Jewish by Judy Bart Kancigor

Delicious and easy to make, they’re a great project to do with kids. Philadelphia pretzels are softer than the New York variety and are best eaten warm from the oven. You can sprinkle the pretzels with sesame seeds in addition to or instead of the salt, if you like.

Makes 14

1 ½ cups warm water (105 to 110 F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour, or 3 cups all-purpose flour and ½ to 1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for oiling the bowl
Egg wash: 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Kosher (coarse) salt

1. Pour the warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle the yeast, then the sugar, over it. Set it aside until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour with the salt in a large bowl, and add the yeast mixture. Stir, and then knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minuets. If it is too sticky, gradually add more flour.
3. Oil a mixing bowl and transfer the dough to it. Turn the dough so the oiled side is up. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
4. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Pull off golf-ball-size pieces of dough and roll each one to form a rope about ½ inch wide and 20 inches long. Fold and twist the dough into bow shapes and place them on ungreased baking sheets. Once all the pretzels are shaped, cover the sheets with kitchen towels and allow them to rise until almost doubled in bulk, 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
6. Brush each pretzel with some of the egg wash, and sprinkle with salt. Bake until pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes. These are best eaten warm.


One Comment On This Post:

October 20, 2011
12:28 pm
Rich Rennicks says...

Just never order a Black & Tan in Ireland. It’s a good drink, but the name carries very bad connotations. Stick with half & half.

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