More than 100 ways to win in State Fair food contests

08/01/2012 12:00 AM

09/12/2012 4:27 PM

It’s time to perfect your favorite recipes for the State Fair.

There are many ways to win with food: the three main categories in Home Goods are Canning, Baked Goods and the nationally sponsored Special Baking Contests. From there, if you break it down into the individual categories and their sub-specialties, there are 188 possible blue ribbons to be gathered (for instance, there are 19 classifications of Pickles under the Canning Division and 16 classifications of Bread made with yeast in the Baked Goods Division!).

New this year is the Dress Your Dog contest, sponsored by the Beef Council. This contest is looking for the best dressed hot dog using all-beef chili as one of the main ingredients. Slightly different from the other contests, contestants must first submit a description of how they would prepare their best hot dog with chili and then judges will pick seven entries (five contestants and two alternates) to compete Oct. 14. Judges will taste and pick the best hot dog based on originality and presentation; the first-place winner gets $100.

Nationally sponsored contests returning this year are the King Arthur Flour, Karo Syrup and SPAM with cash and prizes for competitors in the adult and children categories. Adluh Flour will once again match any winning baking class premiums, not to exceed $15 per person, for any winning entries using a minimum of 2 cups of Adluh Flour (proof of purchase is required).

Here are a couple of last year’s winning recipes to try while you are creating your own blue ribbon winner.

Karo Syrup Lollipops

Makes 3 dozen candies

3 dozen lollipop sticks

1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon food coloring

1 1/2 teaspoons flavor extract

Place sticks on parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving several inches between each stick.

Cook and stir corn syrup, sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then cook, without stirring to 300 degrees or until small amount of mixture separates into hard, brittle threads in very cold water.

Cool for one minute, and then stir in food coloring and extract, To color and flavor: use red food color with anise; green color with peppermint; yellow with lemon; orange with orange flavor or create your own unique combination.

Pour a small amount of candy over one end of each lollipop stick to make a circle 2 inches across. If candy gets too hard to pour, stir over low heat to re-melt.

Let candies cool completely before removing from paper or foil. Store in a tightly covered container with waxed paper between layers or wrap candies individually.

NOTE: For more intense flavor, use several drops of flavoring oils rather than extract.

SPAM Breakfast Pizza

1 (8 count) package crescent rolls

5 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 (12 ounce) can SPAM Classic, cubed and sautéed

1/4 cup tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1/4 cup onions, chopped

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For crust, unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles and place in a cast iron skillet (or a 12-inch deep dish pizza pan) with points toward the center. Press together to cover bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Combine eggs, milk, oregano and pepper and carefully pour mixture over crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until eggs are almost set.

Sprinkle mixture with SPAM classic, tomatoes, olives, onions and cheese. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

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