Bronco Bites Week 2: Grinding the Giants



As the Denver Broncos take the field in New York this Sunday, they will be well prepared to meet the Giants. We as fans should also be prepared. There will be some, not many, Bronco fans Tailgating in the parking lots of MetLife Stadium, but most will be “Home-gating” instead. To that end, it is always nice to have a themed menu when the guests come a-calling.

New York Giants fans generally enjoy two types of food at their games: Grilled Anything and Italian food. My first thought was Giant Grinders, and that would be an ideal fit for this theme. You know what they say. When in Rome…

I’ve got a veritable melange of quick and easy as well as a more complex recipes for you this week. I hope you enjoy them.

Toasted Almond Parmesan Dip

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of dip.


  • 6 oz. cream cheese (low-fat if you like)

  • 2 oz. mascarpone cheese

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup of the almonds. Mix with a spoon to combine, then press into a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining almonds. Serve with crackers and pita chips.

Too easy right? Well here’s something that will take a bit longer, but also put you in a New York state of mind. It’ll take about two hours from start to finish, but cooking time is only 20 minutes or so.


New York-Style Soft Pretzels

Yield: 12 pretzels


  • 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (you may sub 1/2 cup ww flour to make more nutritious)

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened

  • vegetable oil, for bowl and baking sheets

  • 1/4 cup baking soda

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pretzel salt or 1 tablespoon coarse grain sea salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon water


1. Mix yeast, sea salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes (about 8 minutes is right).

2. Place flour into a large bowl. Using two butter knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or your hands to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.

4. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place, until the dough has doubled in size. About 1 hour. (If you want, you can place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator overnight).

5. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portions backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 475ºF.

7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda and 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain.Place pretzels on an oiled baking sheet. Mix the 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl. Brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle the with the pretzel salt or coarse grain sea salt.

8. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

9. Re-warm in a 250 degree oven if desired, or toast the pretzels in a toaster, and serve with mustard.

I’m getting hungry already!

Here’s another dish that will take a little time to do.


Onion Parmesan Mini Bagels

Total Time: 1 hrs

Prep Time: 40 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Yield: 24 mini bagels


  • 3 1/2-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or a mixed flour blend or all purpose flour)

  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

  • 1 (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (120* to 130* F)

  • 6 cups cold water, divided

  • 1 tablespoon cold water, divided

  • 1 egg white

  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese


1. Combine 1 1/2 all purpose cups flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, minced onion, 2 tablespoons sugar, yeast and salt in large mixing bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups warm water. Beat on low speed of electric mixer 1 minute or until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 3 minutes.

2. On lightly floured surface, knead in enough remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest 10 minutes.

3. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Shape each portion into ball. Press thumbs through center of each ball. Stretch to form 1-1/2-inch hole. Place on prepared baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and clean cloth. Let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

4. Preheat broiler. Broil bagels about 5 inches from heat source 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. (Bagels should not brown.) Bring 6 cups water and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar to a boil in Dutch oven. Drop 7 or 8 bagels into boiling water mixture. Gently simmer 3 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining bagels.

5. Preheat oven to 375°F Place bagels on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Beat egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon water in small bowl. Brush tops of bagels with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Now you’ll have something for that mid-morning snack while waiting for the game to begin.

Now for the big finish.


Beer Pastrami Sandwiches

Total Time: 25 mins

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth, canned

  • 1 cup dark beer (Guinness or other dark beer)

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 lb pastrami, thinly sliced

  • 4 sandwich buns (e.g., long hoagie buns)

  • 12 slices swiss cheese

  • sliced onion

  • Mustard


1. Preheat the broiler to High setting.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the broth, beer and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

3. Separate the slices of pastrami and drop each into the sauce, allowing the pastrami to heat through.

4. Place open buns on an ungreased cookie sheet or half-sheet. Place pastrami slices and onions on one side of the bun, (reserving the cooking sauce). Place cheese on the opposite side of the bun. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese melts.

5. Remove from broiler and spread mustard on pastrami.

6. Serve, cut into pieces and with bowls of the sauce for dipping.

Who says Game day can’t be tasty!


Good Eats and…

Go Broncos!

– Kaptain Kirk

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