Turkey Enchiladas with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Upcycle that leftover gravy into enchilada sauce and stuff the leftover turkey into corn tortillas, then throw them in the Slow Cooker. You may end up preferring the leftovers over the original meal...

makes 8 enchiladas

- Ingredients - 

1 lb cooked turkey 
(you can also start from scratch with 1 ¼ lbs raw turkey - we have instructions for that below too)
1 cup turkey stock 
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon allspice berries
3 bay leaves

Sweet Potatoes 
(if you have leftover sweet potatoes - great, use them! even if they're already a casserole of sorts. If not, use our recipe below)
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Enchilada Sauce
1 cup gravy
(no leftover gravy? Combine 1 cup turkey stock - the stock that you will have left at the bottom of the crock after you slow cook the turkey will be perfect - 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal & 1 tablespoon cornstarch; salt & pepper to taste)
½ cup grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder

8 corn tortillas
¼ cup oil

½ white onion, chopped
1 cup black beans
1 cup corn
(fresh, removed with a Corn Cutter is recommended, though it's likely you have some left over from Thanksgiving)
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

1 cup shredded cheese (we used a blend of manchego & jack)
1 jalapeno, sliced

- Tools - 

Step One | Slow Cook Turkey
Place leftover turkey in the Slow Cooker with stock and spices. Cook on low for 2-3 hours. If you're starting from scratch with raw turkey, add an hour or two. The turkey should be moist and fall apart into shreds on its own. 

Step Two | Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Cube sweet potatoes into 8 pieces. Boil for 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Use a Potato Ricer to mash them. Add in remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Step Three | Prepare Enchilada Sauce
Use a Tomato Press to puree fresh tomatoes. Combine the puree with gravy and spices. Set aside.

Step Four | Prepare Corn Tortillas
When you're ready to assemble the enchiladas, heat oil in a large pan until shimmering. Use tongs to dip the tortilla in the oil, coating on both sides. You may need to hold the tortilla in the oil for a few seconds. The object is to soften the tortilla and make it easy to roll - not to fry or harden it.

Step Five | Assemble Enchiladas
Spread a thick layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker crock. Lay each of the tortillas flat on a clean surface. Use a spatula to spread a layer of sweet potatoes over the tortilla. Layer on the turkey, onions, black beans, corn and cilantro. 

Roll them up and gently place them into the slow cooker, snugly next to each other. Pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with cheese, then top with jalapenos. 

Step Six | Slow Cook Enchiladas
Cook on low for 30 minutes, then turn to high for 10-15 minutes to set the cheese (otherwise it's likely to be stuck in a weird texture that's not quite melted). 


Real Foodists: Venison Philly Cheesesteaks with a Meat Grinder

by  Michael Pendley

Michael Pendley is Realtree’s Timber 2 Table blogger. He developed equal passions for hunting and food early in life and quickly learned to combine them by incorporating wild game meat into a variety of recipes.

After college at the University of Kentucky, Michael and his wife Cheryl settled in the central Kentucky area where they are raising their three children to love the outdoor lifestyle as much as they do. They process their own game and use it frequently in the family’s meals. Michael’s love for food runs so deep that he nicknamed his youngest son Potroast at birth. Nine years later, the name still sticks. 

Michael freelances for several magazines and websites on the subjects of youth in the outdoors, wild game cooking and barbecue.

I absolutely love a good Philly Cheesesteak. Tender steak, chopped as it cooks on the flat top griddle, then topped with cheese and onion, they are just about my favorite sandwich. Since we eat a lot of venison, I have tried over the years to get that tender, but just a little chewy, texture out of some of the tougher cuts from older deer.

I found the answer by accident. I was running some venison through the coarse plate of my Weston Realtree Grinder for some sausage. The plan was to grind once, season, then grind again through a finer plate. After seasoning, I decided to test fry a small batch to test for flavor. As I sampled the cooked meat, I realized the texture was perfect for a good cheesesteak. We have been making them like that ever since.

Since not many of us have a nice flat top grill in the kitchen, a large cast iron skillet substitutes in a pinch. Keep the heat at medium-high and use a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan. Sauté the venison in batches so that the surface of the meat gets nicely browned, but don’t overcook, a few minutes in a hot pan is plenty.

Serve the cheesesteaks with sautéed onions, sliced cherry peppers, and melted American cheese. Do yourself a favor and go to a bakery for good rolls. The perfect cheesesteak bread needs to have a little chew.

- Ingredients - 

2 pounds venison, coarsely ground
salt and pepper to taste
1 yellow onion, sliced and sautéed
6 good hoagie rolls

Cut the venison into chunks just small enough to fit the meat grinder, then place the venison in the freezer to chill for 30-45 minutes. Run the chilled meat through the coarse plate of your Weston grinder.

Pre-heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in a tablespoon of vegetable oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom of the skillet. Sauté the venison in small batches, evenly browning the meat on all sides. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Cavender’s seasoning. Wipe the skillet and re-oil as necessary until all of the meat is cooked.

Fill the hoagie roll with venison, top with onions and peppers, then lay on a couple slices of American cheese. The heat from the meat and onions should be enough to melt the cheese.

For more from Michael Pendley, follow his blog posts on Realtree's #Timber2Table blog & follow him on Twitter: @mickypen70.

 Recommended articles from Michael Pendley:

    Slow Cooker Apples & Sauerkraut (with Bacon & Beer!)

    Apples, beer and bacon are what make this kraut recipe the one that you're going to want to serve for Thanksgiving this year. For a heartier version, add in homemade kielbasa or brats. Not so surprisingly, we have recipes for those too.

    - Ingredients - 

    2 quarts homemade sauerkraut
    4 apples (sweet, like honeycrisp)
    1 lb bacon
    ½ cup beer (we used Rogue Hazelnut Brown with great results)
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    2 teaspoons caraway seeds
    2 teaspoons anise seeds
    2 teaspoons cinnamon, powdered
    ¼ teaspoon cloves, powdered

    Caramelized Onions
    1 sweet white onion
    4 oz beer
    2 tablespoon brown sugar

    - Tools - 
    Weston Mandoline Slicer
    Weston Slow Cooker
    Weston Baking Mat
    Weston Apple Peeler

    Step One | Caramelize Onions

    Use a Mandoline Slicer to slice the onion thin.

    Place caramelized onion ingredients into your Slow Cooker and cook 10 hours on low. Alternatively, you can make them on the stove over low heat in 30-40 minutes, but you'll need to stir often and ensure they don't stick to the pan.

    Step Two | Bake Bacon

    Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Place a Baking Mat over your baking sheet and lay out the bacon slices. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Remove from oven, set bacon aside, and pour a tablespoon of the bacon grease from the mat into the slow cooker.

    Making bacon on a Baking Mat in the oven will ensure some of the most perfectly crispy bacon you've ever enjoyed. After baking, you can toss the baking mat in the dishwasher and be done with cleanup.

    And after. No, we have no idea where that piece of bacon went to...

    Step Three | Slice Apples

    Use an Apple Peeler to core & slice your apples. We like to keep the peels on for this recipe, so we locked back the peeling blade.

    Our Apple Peeler allows you to lock back the peeling part of the contraption.

    Step Four | Combine
    Leaving the caramelized onions in the Slow Cooker, add in sauerkraut, apples, beer, spices, and half of the bacon. Cook on low 4-6 hours, until the apples are soft.

    Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar was the perfect beer for our Apples & Sauerkraut recipe

    When you're ready to serve, crumble the other half of the bacon over the kraut for a crispy topping.

    Scalloped "Cream Cheese" Corn in a Weston Slow Cooker

    "Scalloped corn" & "cream cheese corn" become popular recipe searches around this time of year —particularly in the Midwest. So we combined both and turned them on their heads. Coconut butter, milk & cheese take the place of cream cheese, allowing this recipe to be vegan-friendly but also making for a really unique, taste bud-pleasing dish.

    - Ingredients - 
    one dozen ears of corn
    2 cups masa harina
    1 white onion, chopped
    ½ cup coconut milk
    ¼ cup coconut butter (you can use regular butter instead if you prefer)
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    4 slices Chao Coconut Herb cheese
    (this cheese is awesome because it keeps the recipe vegan-friendly, but also because it's just as good as regular old cheese, if not: better — you can use ½ cup of shredded mozzarella instead)
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    - Tools - 
    Weston Corn Cutter
    Weston Slow Cooker

    Use your Corn Cutter to cream the fresh corn into your Slow Cooker, set to high. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the walnuts.

    Allow to slow cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Top with walnuts and sprinkle with cinnamon, then serve.

    Real Foodists: Bowhunting brings wild food — and conscious eating — to the table

    by  Kristen A. Schmitt

    Kristen's many outdoor articles have appeared in National Geographic, Field & Stream, Modern Farmer, Deer & Deer Hunting, Food Politic, Mother Earth News, Modern Hunter & more. She writes a weekly blog for Deer & Deer Hunting and is a weekly contributor to Field & Stream’s Field Notes blog.

    New to bowhunting, Kristen recently completed a “Beginner’s Guide To Archery For Women” DVD that is available now through F&W Media.

    My journey to bowhunting wasn’t a direct one. In fact, it was a path I never could have predicted that I would take. But my passion for nutrition and quality food fueled my desire to try to fill my freezer myself with organic free range meat courtesy of my local forest.

    This means that I didn’t grow up learning the skill as a child – it was something that I decided to learn in my 30s with the support of my family and my continued quest for good quality food. While many in society eat meat daily and at nearly every meal, few question the origins of the piece of protein on their plate. Bowhunting brings a greater connection to where my food comes from and for that I am incredibly grateful.

    While it is nearly impossible to directly compare the nutritional composition of wild meat to domestically-raised meat, there are other variables to consider. I do think that hunting is often overlooked as a viable alternative to animals that are raised in commercial feedlots. According to the EPA, these “farms” can house more than 125,000 animals under one roof, producing cheap meat, eggs, and dairy that may hinder our health – and the health of our planet -- more than it helps it.  Not only have we seen an increase in diet-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, but the environmental impact of factory farms and their relationship to climate change is only now being studied.

    It could be argued that hunting is better for the environment because it leaves a much smaller ecological footprint than a commercial cattle farm. Harvesting a single deer within its wild habitat is less obtrusive – and less damaging – to the natural landscape and requires the hunter to utilize expertise honed through time and skill.

    Bowhunters also have the ability to live anywhere, hunt on one of the many tracts of state land available for public hunting (or with private land permission), and have the opportunity to harvest one of the last truly free range meat options available.

    I also find bowhunting – and archery – one of the most empowering skills I could have ever pursued and hope that my daughter continues to follow in my footsteps. Of course, the bonus of bowhunting means that my freezer will hopefully be full of free range meat following the upcoming fall archery deer season. I am incredibly excited to climb my tree stand again this fall to see if I can make a successful harvest.

    Any way we can bring consciousness back to the table is beneficial, whether it is raising chickens or ducks for eggs and meat, planting a garden, or picking up a bow to go bowhunting – all of these activities make us conscious eaters and consumers. To read more about similar journeys, check out two of my favorite books: “Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner” by Lily Raff McCaulou and “A Mindful Carnivore” by Tovar Cerulli.

    Rosemary & Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Toasted Almonds

    This simple yet decadent mashed potato recipe is made all the more easy with a Weston Potato Ricer. Did we mention that they're also vegan-friendly?

    - Ingredients -
    1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
    1/3 cup coconut milk
    1/4 cup coconut butter
    3 tablespoons sliced almonds
    2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped finely
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    5-8 cloves roasted garlic, to taste
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 head garlic, top cut off

    - Tools -
    Weston Potato Ricer

    Step One | Roast Garlic
    Lay the head of garlic on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil up around the entire head. Broil at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until inside cloves are soft & browned

    Step Two | Boil Potatoes
    Cube potatoes into 6ths and boil 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.

    Step Three | Toast Almonds
    Toast almonds in the oven at 400 degrees F for 3-5 minutes, until browned.

    Step Four | Prepare Mashed Potatoes
    Use a Potato Ricer to smash the potatoes into perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes.

    Use a spatula to whip the coconut butter & coconut milk into the potatoes until uniform. Smash the roasted garlic in. Mix in rosemary and salt. Last, cut in the almonds gently so that they're not crushed.

    Serve hot with a sprinkle of roasted almonds and a sprig of fresh rosemary on top.

    Homemade Polish Boy (A Cleveland Classic)

    The Polish Boy (not to be confused with a Po' Boy) is an indulgent mess rarely served outside of restaurants and stands — but we decided to try our hands at making one from scratch anyway. We were in no way disappointed.
    If you've never heard of a Polish Boy, that's because you're not from Cleveland. If you ARE from Cleveland and haven't, consider yourself shunned.  
    It's our signature sandwich here: Kielbasa, coleslaw, hot sauce, and shoestring fries (yes, fries) served on a hoagie roll. How could that NOT be good?

    serves four

    - Ingredients - 
    Homemade Kielbasa (our Elk Kielbasa recipe is to die for)

    one head cabbage
    3 cloves fresh garlic
    1/4 oz fresh oregano leaves
    1/4 oz Italian parsley
    1/4 oz fresh basil leaves
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    French Fries
    1 Russet potato
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    48 oz peanut oil

    Homemade Hot Sauce

    Pretzel Sausage Rolls (if you can find them - we get them from Whole Foods; if not, a regular hoagie roll will do)

     - Tools -
    Weston Cabbage Shredder
    Weston 3-in-1 Grater
    Weston French Fry Cutter (preferably with a 1/4 inch plate for shoestring fries)
    Weston Deep Fryer (coming soon)

    1. Prepare Coleslaw

    Use your Cabbage Shredder for perfect cabbage shreds.

    Use your Grater to mince garlic, oregano, parsley and basil into the cabbage. Add in remaining coleslaw ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the sandwich.

    2. Make French Fries

    Use the French Fry Cutter to slice shoestring fries. Soak the raw French fries in cold water for 30 minutes. In the meantime preheat oil to 375.

    After 30 minutes, lower the fresh cut potatoes into the Deep Fryer. Fry for 10 minutes or until they're golden and floating. Once done, remove from the fryer and flip into a bowl lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and toss.

    3. Warm Kielbasa

    While the potatoes fry, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the kielbasa 5 minutes on each side, or until warmed through the center. Pour just enough hot sauce over the kielbasa to coat.

    4. Assemble

    Place a kielbasa on a pretzel roll, top with coleslaw, then fresh fries. Drizzle with more hot sauce if you're a hot sauce lover. Bring a paper towel roll to the table with you - this thing is messy, but sooo sooo good.

    Real Foodists: Chef Tyler’s Deer-ly Beloved Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich

    by Tyler Viars

    Tyler Viars is best known as the only MasterChef contestant in history to cook exclusively in camo.
    This MasterChef Season 5 contestant is an avid hunter, gatherer and of course: cook. Since MasterChef, Chef Tyler's recipes have been featured in a variety of outdoor publications and sites, sporting his moniker 'Cookin' in Camo.' Catch his recipes on OutdoorHub, in Outdoor News, Salt Magazine and more!

    Three things I love: whitetail deer, smoking barbecue, and meatloaf.

    Combine them together in the form of a sandwich and this cook is happier than Winnie the Pooh inside the honey jar. While on MasterChef we, in fact, had a meatloaf challenge and I plated a dish eerily similar. Although they loved the flavor, the judges classified it more like a burger and less like a “loaf." In my opinion, they can kiss it!! (I mean that in the nicest, most peaceful way. LOL ;).

    Meatloaf versus burger aside, I crave this sandwich. Living below the Mason-Dixon Line for a number of years, this was a staple on many beloved barbecue restaurant menus. The chips, smoky chipotles, and earthy poblano combined with the oak cooked venison bring a surprising new flavor to the boring, common meatloaf. Toast some sourdough bread, add a slather of aioli, some bread and butter pickles, crispy onion straws, and finish it with gooey melted cheddar cheese and it is guaranteed to send anyone’s taste buds into orbit!

    Now that I am foaming at the mouth, it is time bust out the Weston Grinder, turn on the music, and pour your favorite libation. Let’s get cookin’ in camo!

    Serves: 6-8

    - Ingredients -

    Meatloaf Blend
    1 lb venison shoulder roast, cubed
    2 oz pork fat, cubed
    1 lb pork shoulder, cubed
    3 large eggs
    6 oz ruffled kettle-style barbecue potato chips (Nacho cheese chips are awesome as well. AKA Doritos)
    3 cloves garlic
    1 medium carrot, cut quartered
    1 poblano, seeded
    1 medium sweet onion, quartered
    1 tablespoon duck fat or unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon dried sage
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    2/3 cup ketchup
    ¼ cup tomato paste
    2 oz chipotle peppers in adobo, sauce included
    1 teaspoon cocoa powder (it may seem odd but it adds great depth)

    For Serving
    12-16 slices of quality cheddar cheese slices
    12-16 pieces of fresh sourdough bread
    Butter for toasting bread
    Bread and butter pickles for serving
    Onion straws

    Zesty Aioli
    ½ cup mayonnaise
    ¼ cup ketchup
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 ½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

    - Tools -
    Weston Meat Grinder & lug
    Weston Smoker
    Oak chips or other hardwood of choice

    Venison cubed and ready for the grinder

    An hour prior to beginning, place the metal Weston meat grinder components in the freezer. Using the large die, grind the pork, pork fat, and venison into a Weston meat lug.

    Chef uses his Weston Pro #12 Meat Grinder for a fresh grind

    Next, switch to the smaller die and repeat. Set grinder aside and allow to come to room temperature.

    Preheat your smoker or oven to 250 degrees and add the hardwood.

    Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Remove approximately 1/3 of the mixture into a separate bowl. Using a food processor, pulse the potato chips until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. Add the potato chips to the 2/3 ketchup mixture. Now add the onion, carrot, garlic, and poblano to the food processor and finely chop.

    With the duck fat, heat a 10-12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture to the skillet with the sage and kosher salt. Cook the vegetables for approximately 3-5 minutes or until they soften and begin to brown.

    Add the vegetables to the ketchup and potato chips and stir to thoroughly combine. Let the mixture cool for roughly ten minutes.

    Using the best kitchen utensil, your hands, add the ground mixture to the ketchup and potato chips and thoroughly combine. Shape the combination into a compact, rough 10 inch long –by 2 inch high-by 4 inch high loaf. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let set for 45 minutes minimum.

    Meanwhile, combine the aioli ingredients and let refrigerate for the flavors to meld.

    Coat the meat with the reserved glaze. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and smoke for approximately 40 minutes. After the time has allotted, remove the foil and smoke for another 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees and remove. Do not fret about “undercooked” pork!! The carryover cooking will take the meatloaf to 140 degrees. Tent the loaf with aluminum foil and let it rest for twenty minutes.

    The last 10 minutes of rest, butter and toast the sourdough bread slices and preheat the broiler. Slice the meatloaf into ½ inch slices and place on one slice of sourdough.

    Top it with a slice of cheddar cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is COMPLETELY melted. Add the aioli, pickles, onion straws, and other slice of bread to complete the sandwich.

    If you have not already, DEVOUR. If you have restraint (I never do), I would prefer to pair it with some homemade barbecue potato chips and a big icy mug of Great Lakes Oktoberfest! Remember to always cook, share, and enjoy!

    Chef Tyler slices up potatoes for homemade potato chips with his Weston Mandoline Slicer

    For more from Chef Tyler, follow him on Twitter: @CookinInCamo

     Recommended recipes from Tyler Viars:

      Homemade Hot Sauce How To

      One thing's for sure: We love to make everything ourselves, from scratch. Hot sauce is no exception. This recipe is an all-star for people who love hot sauce - especially because it only takes four steps!

      - Ingredients - 
      1 pound grape tomatoes
      1 small Spanish onion
      2 jalapeno peppers
      3 serrano peppers
      5 cloves garlic

      1 cup distilled white vinegar
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      2 teaspoons kosher salt
      3 teaspoons sugar

      - Tools - 
      Weston Tomato Press & Salsa Screen
      Weston Cone Strainer & Pestle

      1. Chop
      Roughly chop the tomatoes, peppers, onion, and garlic.

      2. Puree
      Attach the Salsa Screen to your Tomato Press and load with the chopped veggies. Turn the handle. Salsa will pour from the screen. Run the pulp from the waste chute back through 3-5 times, until only tomato skin comes from the chute.

      3. Simmer
      Place the salsa in a small pot with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook down for one hour.

      4. Strain
      Pour the cooked down sauce into a Cone Stainer. Use the pestle to smash the pulp through the screen.

      The result will be a delicious hot sauce. You can use it right away - it's already spicy. It's good sealed in a jar, un-canned in the refrigerator for a week. You can also use a Canning Kit to seal up the jar and store in a cool, dry place for later.

      Homemade Sausage Stuffed Pretzels

      What could be better than hot, doughy soft pretzels? Hot, doughy soft pretzels stuffed with venison sausage, mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes, poblano peppers and spinach... of course!

      - Ingredients - 

      Pretzel dough
      1 packet active dry yeast
      1 cup warm water
      4 ½ cups flour
      ½ teaspoon salt
      ⅓ cup brown sugar
      2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

      1 lb venison, cubed (beef, pork... just about any fresh meat will work here)
      3 tablespoons Weston Hunter's Blend Sausage Seasoning

      1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into long, thin slices
      1 oz julienned sundried tomatoes
      1 poblano pepper, diced
      1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped, stems removed

      Pre-bake prep
      5 teaspoons baking soda
      4 cups water

      3 tablespoons melted butter
      2 tablespoons kosher salt, to sprinkle

      - Tools -
      rolling pin

      1. Prepare Dough
      Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Combine all ingredients for the pretzel dough. Once combined, knead the dough for 5 minutes, then allow to rise one hour, covered. 

      2. Prepare Sausage
      While the dough doubles in size, prepare the sausage by grinding venison through a medium plate. 

      Fresh ground venison pours from the Weston #8 Meat Grinder

      Combine ground venison with Hunter's Blend Seasoning. Saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the ground venison sausage is cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool. 

      Our Hunter's Blend Sausage Seasoning is just the right burst of flavor for filling these pretzels

      Combine the sundried tomatoes, diced pepper and sausage in a small bowl.

      3. Stuff Dough
      Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Keep 5 pieces covered while you stuff and tie your first pretzel. 

      Roll the dough into a 12 inch rope. Use a rolling pin to flatten the 12" long rope to 6 inches across. Layer spinach, mozzarella, and sausage mixture in a line longways down the center of the dough.

      A flattened pretzel dough rope ready for filling

      4. Seal Dough
      Fold one of the long sides into the other long side and pinch so that you have a closed rope. Be sure to pinch each end as well.

      Once stuffed, the dough gets pinched together so that you have one long rope, ready to be tied into a pretzel
       Hold one end of the rope up high and use your free hand to squeeze the dough down, then grab the other end and repeat. Do this until the rope lengthens to 16 inches, being careful not to squeeze the filling from the rope.

      5. Preheat oven
      Preheat oven to 475°F.

      6. Tie pretzels
      Lay the rope out in the shape of a U. Cross one top end of the U over the other, then pull the ends down to the bottom of the U, forming a pretzel shape. This video by FineCooking.com will help you tie the pretzels if you need help. 

      Stuff, seal and tie the remaining pieces of pretzel dough.

      7. Pre-bake prep
      Bring the baking soda and water to a boil in a saucepan. Dip each pretzel into the water for 30 seconds each, placing them onto a Baking Mat lined sheet when done. 

      8. Top
      Brush each pretzel with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.

      9. Bake
      Bake at 475 for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Enjoy immediately.

      Golden pretzels are ready for devouring - and the baking mat is ready for the dishwasher!

      Cheese, sausage, spinach and sundried tomatoes gush from within this jumbo pretzel