FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2013
||Paul Jones, public information officer
N.C. Mountain State Fair Press Office
828-687-1414; 919-410-2979 (cell)
Mountain State Fair announces winners in egg and pecan cooking contest
FLETCHER – Chefs from across the region faced off in cooking contests sponsored by the N.C. Egg Association and N.C. Pecan Growers Association Tuesday and Wednesday night at the N.C. Mountain State Fair.
On Tuesday, the N.C. Egg Association sponsored a frittata cooking contest. Susie Zuerner of Buncombe County won a blue ribbon and earned $200 for her “Bacon, Sausage and Tot Frittata” recipe. Jackson Robertson of Buncombe County placed second with a recipe for “Tex-Mex Frittata,” and earned $150. In third place, Amy Braman of Transylvania County earned $100 for her “Loaded Baked Potato Frittata.”
Wednesday night, the N.C. Pecan Growers Association sponsored its Anything Pecan cooking contest. Entries could be any type of dish, as long as they included at least one cup of N.C. pecans. The winning recipe was made by Kim Barnes of Madison County. Her recipe for “Pecan Surprise Cupcakes” earned Barnes $100 and bragging rights. Darlene Moore of Buncombe County had a second-place finish and earned $50 for her “Pecan Strawberry Cookies” recipe. Another Buncombe County resident, Connie Pegg, placed third and earned $25 for her “Pecan Potato Chip Cookies” recipe.
This is the first year that all 10 cooking contests at the Mountain State Fair have been sponsored by state commodity associations. Following are the winning egg and pecan recipes:
BACON, SAUSAGE AND TOT FRITATTA
8 large eggs
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices maple bacon, chopped
1 pound tater tots
2 cups spring salad mix
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup roasted peppers, chopped, or to taste
3 ounces sliced Provolone cheese, optional
1 cup cheddar and jack cheese
Whisk together eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Microwave bacon until crisp.
In a skillet, add tater tots and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat until golden. Remove from heat and mix crumbled bacon into the potatoes.
In a skillet, sauté peppers and sausage in olive oil until tender and done. Gently add the potatoes and bacon mixture, spreading evenly. Add cheese, salad mix and mix all ingredients together.
Pour egg mixture evenly over vegetables and cook over medium-high heat, lifting up cooked egg around edges with heat-proof rubber spatula to let uncooked egg flow underneath. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until it appears mostly set, with a moist top and center.
Add Provolone, broil frittata 5-7 inches from heat until set, but not browned. Then, top with an even layer of cheddar and jack cheese, and continue to broil until browned and bubbling.
PECAN SURPRISE CUPCAKES
1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 cup sour cream
2/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 cup whipped topping
6 ounces caramel, room temperature and divided
1 cup pecans, finely chopped and toasted
1 cup unsalted butter
3 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place cupcake liners into two large cupcake tins.
Place the cake mix, pudding, sour cream, water, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Blend on low speed for one minute, scrape down sides of bowl, and mix on medium-low speed for two to three more minutes. The batter will be very thick and well combined. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tester comes out clean. Remove pans to wire racks and allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan.
In a small mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar together until blended. Add 1 cup of whipped topping and mix until smooth. Set aside for cupcake filling.
Cream 1 cup butter and 3 teaspoons caramel together in a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add 3 cups powdered sugar a half of a cup at a time, beating until fully mixed before adding the next half cup. Pour in 3 teaspoons of heavy whipping cream and continue beating until fluffy and smooth. Set aside for icing.
Using a knife, remove the center of each cupcake. Leave 1/4 inch from bottom. Fill each cupcake with about 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture. Then, using half of the pecans, sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon of toasted pecans into each hole. Warm remaining caramel until runny, and pour into holes. Fill in remaining holes with cream cheese mixture.
Decorate top of cupcakes with caramel icing using a knife or pipe. Sprinkle tops with about 1 teaspoon of toasted pecans from remaining toasted pecans.