So, in true Allegra fashion, I chose like the most difficult recipes ever to make for this party, on the same day as the decline of my son's health.
Due to popular demand, I will now share the recipes. The first recipe we made was for Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls, made by our boy Aaron McCargo Jr. (winner of last season's The Next Food Network Star). Here it is ...
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup freshly sliced scallions
1 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Blue Cheese Dip:
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed blue cheese, broken up
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Have oil heated to 350 degrees F.
Pick the meat from the chicken and discard the skin. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the hot sauce, pepper, cheese, and scallions, and toss to combine. Roll the chicken into 2-ounce balls, about the size of a golf ball.
Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. Set aside.
When the oil is hot fry the chicken balls in batches. Cook for about 2 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.
To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the chicken alongside the dipping sauce.
As if frying for the first time ever wasn't difficult enough, then we decided to make home-made soft pretzels. Yes, you read that right -- soft pretzels! Here's that recipe:
Queso Poblano Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
Honey, to taste
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown muscovado sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
2 whole eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt
For the Queso Poblano Sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Monterey Jack cheese, poblano chiles, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the queso sauce into a bowl and sprinkle with chopped poblano.
For the Mustard Sauce:
Whisk together the mustards and honey, to taste, until combined. Let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the Soft Pretzels:
Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with vegetable spray.
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape: take the right side and cross over to the left. Cross right to left again and flip up. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Dip into desired sauces.