Eat like a Rangers-suite bigwig with gourmet ballpark fare

While the rest of us munch our nachos and slurp our yard-long frozen margaritas at Rangers games, the lucky folks in the suites get to dine on some pretty sweet cuisine.

The Food Network developed these recipes, inspired by summer barbecues, to serve inside the suites at ballparks across the country, including at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Why not settle in front of the TV for some playoff action with these gourmet snacks? (And, no, "hogs in a blanket" is not an editorial statement about the Yankees.)

Buffalo chicken mac and cheese

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish

1 pound elbow macaroni

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 cup finely chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup hot sauce, divided (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded

8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

1. Preheat a convection oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the chicken thighs with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange in a single layer on a rack in a sheet pan and roast until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cooled, shred into roughly 1-inch pieces.

2. Brush a 2-by-10-by-15-inch baking dish with butter. Boil the macaroni according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain.

3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot sauce and cook about 1 minute more.

4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour and dry mustard, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream. Add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce, stirring until thick, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Turn off the heat, add the sour cream and whisk until smooth.

5. In a large bowl mix the macaroni, cheese mixture and chicken mixture. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small pan over low heat. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the mac and cheese.

7. Bake until brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes (cover with foil if the bread crumbs begin to take on too much color). Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Hogs in a blanket

For the hogs:

1 pound pretzel dough, recipe follows

2 pounds (8 links) knockwurst

3 cups water

1/3 cup baking soda

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Bacon mustard sauce, recipe follows

1. Make pretzel dough.

2. Preheat a convection oven to 400 degrees. Punch down the risen pretzel dough, and roll it into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 1-inch-wide strips and wrap it around the knockwurst.

3. Arrange the rolled knockwurst on a greased sheet pan, cover with a towel, put it in a warm spot and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.

4. Mix the water with the baking soda in a small bowl and brush it all over the knockwurst (do not lift the risen knockwurst off the sheet tray). Sprinkle the tops of the knockwurst with coarse salt.

5. Put the knockwurst in the oven and bake it until the dough is dark brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the knockwurst from the oven and brush it all over with melted butter while still hot. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

Serve with the bacon mustard sauce on the side.

Pretzel dough:

1 cup milk

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, finely diced and softened, plus more for bowl

1 teaspoon fine salt

1. Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat to 110 degrees. Pour milk into a medium bowl, scatter yeast over the surface; set aside until yeast softens, about 2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir the light brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour into the milk. Then stir in butter pieces and mix until evenly combined. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding a couple tablespoons more flour, if needed, to make slightly tacky smooth dough, about 5 minutes.

2. Shape the dough into a ball and put in a lightly buttered bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put in a moderately warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch the dough to deflate it, and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. (If the dough seems very tight, cover and set aside until it relaxes.) It's now ready to use in the recipe above.

Bacon mustard sauce:

4 slices bacon

1 cup spicy brown mustard

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained

1. Cook the bacon until very crisp in a small frying pan. Remove the bacon from the pan and let the bacon cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Once the bacon has cooled, chop it into fine crumbles.

2. In a large serving bowl mix the mustard, mayonnaise, horseradish, crumbled bacon and the 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat.