Pretzel bites, deep-fried PB&J and more New Year's Eve eats

Throwing together a last-minute New Year's party? Brothers, authors and chefs Max and Eli Sussman are dishing out these four recipes from their cookbook "Best Cookbook Ever" for guests to enjoy while ringing in the new year.

Pretzel bites with honey mustard

Ingredients

    • 1 cup warm water
    • 2 1⁄2 tsp active dry yeast
    • 5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1⁄2 cup baking soda
    • 1⁄4 cup sea salt
    • 1⁄3 cup honey
    • 1 cup brown mustard

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and kosher salt.Slowly add the butter and stir to mix well. Add the yeast mixture, oil and egg and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a clean, large, lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.Position a rack in the center of the oven and a second rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large pot, combine the baking soda with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the baking soda. Lightly spray two large sheet trays with cooking spray and set aside. While the water is heating, punch down the dough and divide in four equal portions. Roll each portion into a rope about 1 inch in diameter, then cut each rope crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Working in batches, add the dough pieces to the boiling water, a dozen or so at a time (don’t crowd the pot) and cook for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove from the water, let drain and dab onto a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture, then place on the prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle with some of the sea salt. When all the pretzel bites are boiled and salted, transfer to the oven and bake for five minutes. Switch the pans between the racks and rotate them 180 degrees, then continue to bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to wire racks and let cool slightly. In a small serving bowl, stir together the honey and mustard. Serve the pretzel bites warm with the honey mustard.

Deep-fried PB&J

Ingredients

    • Peanut oil for deep-frying
    • 1 cup white chocolate chips
    • 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
    • 1⁄2 loaf good-quality raisin walnut bread or similar heavy, sourdough-style nut or fruit bread
    • 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
    • 1⁄2 cup strawberry jam
    • 2 1⁄4 cups banana chips
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1⁄4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1⁄2 cup milk
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Pour the oil to a depth of about 3 inches into a deep pot or deep fryer and heat to 325 degrees.While the oil is heating, make the ganache. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and nest the bowl in a saucepan over (not touching) simmering water. Alternatively, put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler and place over simmering water in the lower pan. Melt the chocolate, occasionally stirring gently with a silicone spatula to help it along. Be careful not to let so much as a single drop of water get in your chocolate or it may seize. When the chocolate has fully melted, reduce the heat to low. Switch to a whisk and slowly add the cream, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the ganache into a heatproof bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm and set aside.Cut the bread into 8 slices each about 1/4 inch thick and make 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Be sure you don't overload them with too much peanut butter or jelly. Before closing each sandwich, add a layer of the banana chips. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until a smooth batter forms. When the oil is hot, batter and fry the sandwiches one at a time. First, make sure all the sandwiches are tightly closed. Then dip a sandwich into the batter and turn it gently to coat thoroughly. Lift it from the batter and let the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Use tongs to hold the sandwich tightly on one end, submerge it halfway into the hot oil and fry for 15 seconds, then release the sandwich into the oil. It should now float. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about two-and-a-half minutes per side. Using the tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat to fry the remaining sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches warm with the warm ganache on the side for dipping.

Spicy, salty roasted chickpeas

Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tsp za'atar
    • 1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1⁄2 tsp hot paprika
    • 1⁄2 tsp sesame seeds
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, za'atar, red pepper flakes, paprika, sesame seeds and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pat the chickpeas until they are very dry, then add them to the bowl and stir to coat well.Spread the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a sheet tray and roast until crispy, about 30 minutes, stirring once half way through cooking.Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and toss in the lemon zest. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away. Store any leftover chickpeas in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat them for 5 minutes at 375 degrees before serving.

Pistachio-coriander spiedini

Ingredients

    • 2 lb sirloin, cut into slices
    • 1 cup salted roasted pistachios
    • 1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Grated zest of 2 lemons
    • 1⁄2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Olive oil for brushing
    • Kosher salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Working with one slice at a time, place the beef between two sheets of plastic wrap. On a clean work surface, using the flat side of a meat pounder or a small, heavy frying pan, pound out each slice to a thickness of about 2 credit cards. The goal is to get the meat extremely thin without tearing it. The slices should be about 2 inches by 4 inches after they are pounded. As you work, stack the slices in their plastic wrap to one side. Put the pistachios in a food processor. Carefully pulse to process the nuts just to the consistency of a coarse meal (about the size of the panko) scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Be careful not to over process or the nuts will turn to butter. Add the panko, garlic, lemon zest, coriander, and cayenne and pulse to blend. Add the lemon juice and purée until smooth. Preheat the broiler.Spread a thin layer of pistachio purée over each piece of meat. Carefully roll the meat up, taking care to keep the pistachio purée stuffed inside. Slide the rolled and stuffed sirloin pieces onto skewers. You should fill the equivalent of four 15-inch skewers. Brush each skewer of meat with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Broil for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through. The spiedini are done when cooked to medium-rare inside. You may have to remove the smaller pieces from the oven earlier, as they will cook faster. Serve right away.

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