A chef at a popular Travelers Rest restaurant has won the grand prize in a national recipe contest.
Halstead, who has worked in the food service industry since high school, according to a press release, won over the judges with her BLT on a pimento cheese buttermilk biscuit with red pepper jelly.
The Neighborhood to Nation contest was open to any foodservice operator, chef or line cook in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Entries had to fall into one of three categories – breakfast, entrees or dessert – and were judged on their taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability, according to the official contest rules.
In addition, each recipe entry had to include one specified General Mills product.
"Grand Prize Winner Christina Halstead’s BLT sandwich demonstrates how to add local flavor and create a unique but familiar signature menu item,” Melody Chang, senior associate channel manager of General Mills Foodservice, said in a statement. “Christina’s addition of pimento to a buttermilk biscuit gives the sandwich a Southern flair, and the combination of the spicy and buttery biscuit balanced with the tomato, arugula and jelly make for a flavorful and fun breakfast item.”
General Mills announced Halstead as one of the final three contestants last week, but final judging was today at General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The prize includes $10,000 for Halstead to share with a non-profit in her community.
More details on all the winners and their recipes can be found at www.NeighborhoodtoNation.com.
BLT on Pimento Cheese Buttermilk Biscuit with Red Pepper Jelly
Cross a breakfast sandwich with a BLT, add pepper jelly pizzazz, and you get a Neighborhood to Nation recipe contest twist on a classic sandwich, perfect for brunch.
28 servings (1 serving = 1 biscuit with filling)
Gold Medal™ ZT Buttermilk Biscuit Mix 2 pounds 8 ounces/ 1/2 box
Cheese, sharp cheddar, shredded 10 ounces/ 2 1/2 cups
Pimentos, diced 9 ounces/1 cup
Sugar, brown, dark, firmly packed 1 ounces or 2 Tbsp
Salt, kosher 1 1/2 tsp
Buttermilk 14 ounces/ 1 3/4 cups
Heavy cream 6 ounces/ 3/4 cup
Flour, all-purpose 4 ounces/1 cup
Butter, salted, melted 6 ounces/ 3/4 cup
Bacon, hickory smoked, raw, thick cut 2 lb 10 ounces/42 slices
Arugula, fresh 4 ounces/7 cups
Tomatoes, fresh, sliced 1 pound 12 ounces/28 slices
Salt, kosher 1 tsp
Pepper, black 1/2 tsp
Red pepper jelly, prepared 11 ounces/1 cup
Combine biscuit mix, cheddar cheese, pimentos, brown sugar and salt in large mixing bowl; make a well in center of the mix.
Pour buttermilk and heavy cream into well; mix using rubber spatula approx. 30 strokes or until soft dough is formed.
Dust bench top with flour and flatten dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle; fold up sides leaving a rectangle that is 1/3 the size of original size of dough. DO NOT KNEAD.
Repeat flattening of dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
Fold up sides then flatten dough into 3/4-1-inch thick rectangle.
Cut biscuit dough using 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter.
Place biscuits close together on greased or parchment-lined full sheet pan; push one finger down into center of all biscuits about 1/4-inch.
Brush with melted butter and bake until golden brown. Bake in a convection oven 400°F 7-9 minutes or a standard oven 450°F 11-13 minutes. Rotate pans baked in convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 4 minutes of baking.
Remove biscuits from oven; brush again with melted butter.
Cook bacon slices in oven until crisply cooked; drain and cool.
Cut each bacon strip in half; set aside.
Split biscuits in half horizontally; layer bottom with 3 half slices bacon, approx. 1/4 cup arugula and 1 tomato slice.
Sprinkle tomato with salt and pepper; spread approx. 1 1/2 tsp jelly on cut side of remaining biscuit half and place on top.