Trading Post: Winning fair recipes live on
One of the often overlooked benefits of state and county fairs is the great recipes that come out of the culinary contests.
In 2008, John Dale Kennedy of Springfield, Ill., took first place in the Illinois State Fair Spam Bake-Off with Spam Shooters.
“Spam, lettuce and tomatoes in a shooter glass creates an elegant alternative appetizer that will stand out amongst the other pedestrian offerings on the hors d’oeuvres table. It’s quick to eat, no messy hands and is a conversation starter before the main course arrives,” he wrote.
“I love the combined crunch of the sautéed Spam, lettuce and crackers against the smooth cool creaminess of the sour cream and mayonnaise. This reincarnation of the traditional BLT sandwich as a metro-modern appetizer puts Spam in the fast lane for fast tastes.”
In addition, Toni McCue of Springfield shares her recipe for Triple Chocolate Rebels, cookies that won Best of Show at the Sangamon County Fair in the early 1990s.
1 (12-ounce) can Classic Spam
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 large Roma tomatoes
12 Ritz crackers
1 large romaine lettuce leaf
6 (3-to-4-ounce) straight-sided shot glasses
6 small teaspoons
Dice Spam into small pieces, about 1/8 inch, and brown in skillet. Drain and set aside to cool. Mix sour cream and mayonnaise, set aside. Core tomatoes, removing soft insides; discard. Dice only the meaty outer portion into ¼ inch pieces; set aside. Hand-crumble crackers; set aside. Chop lettuce into small shreds; set aside. Combine sour cream/mayonnaise mixture and Spam.
Assembling shooters: Using a pastry bag, plastic baggie with a ¼-inch hole in one end or a frosting bag, squirt about 1 ½ tablespoon of Spam mixture in the bottom of each shot glass.
Place a tablespoon of diced tomato on top. Follow with a tablespoon of lettuce; lightly press down. Drop in a tablespoon of crumbled crackers followed by another 1 ½ tablespoon squirt of the Spam mixture. Finish with about a teaspoon of tomato on top. Serve with a small spoon to dig out ingredients.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Triple Chocolate Rebels
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups regular oats, uncooked
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels, divided
Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add egg, beating well.
Combine flour, soda, salt and cocoa in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add oats and 6 ounces (1 cup) chocolate morsels, stirring just to combine.
Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets; transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
Melt remaining cup of chocolate morsels according to package directions; drizzle across top of cookies with a spoon.
Makes 72 cookies.
We’re looking for recipes using apples. If you have a good one, please send it to the Trading Post at one of the addresses below.
The Trading Post is a recipe-exchange column that runs every other week and is compiled by Kathryn Rem. Send recipes and recipe requests to the Trading Post, The State Journal-Register, P.O. Box 219, Springfield, IL 62705, fax to 217-788-1551 or e-mail email@example.com. Please include your name, city and daytime phone number.