In anticipation of the various gatherings that occur this time of year, we've pulled together five of our favorite cookbooks from recent months. Each day this week, CH will feature a different cookbook and a recipe, the sum of which will make up a complete holiday meal. First up: a braided starter from "Salty Snacks."
Cynthia Nims authors this bible for roaming eaters, delivering 75 recipes that range from curry-pickled quail eggs and deviled bacon to onion pakoras and duck jerky. For the holidays, Nims' creations stave off in-laws who insist on whetting their appetite before dinner is served. Musing over the recipes, we decided to give the Mustard Soft Pretzels a whirl, figuring these doughy bread items would make for easy and informal hors d'oeuvres at our next family gathering.
What separates Nims' pretzels from the run-of-the-mill variety is that hers aren't served alongside a pot of mustard. Instead, the rustic, grainy condiment is baked into the bread, resulting in a moist interior and infused flavor. As newcomers to homemade pretzels, we were a bit anxious to embark on a bread that is both boiled and baked. That said, the snacks proved to be surprisingly easy to make. Best of all, most well-stocked kitchens will already have the ingredients on hand—with the possible exception of malt powder.