Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork-EASY RECIPE

Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork

Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork is made easy when using leftover cooked pork chops or chicken and store bought stir-fry sauce and rice. This is my go-to recipe when I’m in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Your family will love that this dish looks and tastes like a restaurant quality meal. 

The beautiful clay pot picture above was gifted to me by my sweet friend Chef Ava Marie the Autistic Chef and Owner of Autism Cooks food blog. It’s stunning and the perfect vessel for this satafiying meal. 

Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork-EASY RECIPE
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups cooked rice (from store deli hot foods)
  2. 2 left over cooked pork chops or cooked chicken (I used left over smoked chops from dinner the night before)
  3. 1 cup frozen peas
  4. 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  5. 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped
  6. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  7. 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  8. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  9. 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  10. 2 eggs, beaten
  11. 1/4 cup stir fry sauce (House of Tsang Classic Stir Fry Sauce)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  13. 1/2 cup green onion, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Slice leftover pork into thin strips. Prep all vegetables.
  2. Preheat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
  3. Pour sesame oil into pan. Cook sweet onion, carrots, peas, and garlic for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Slide mixture to the side of the pan using a spatula. Add eggs and scramble. Once the eggs are done mix with cooked vegetables. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to hot pan. Once the oil is hot add 1/4 cup stir fry sauce and sliced pork. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add black sesame and toss. Remove cooked pork from pan and set aside until ready to plate.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. pour in cooked rice and vegetables, and add soy sauce. Toss to combine and heat through.
  6. Taste for seasoning. Add a drizzle more sesame oil and more stir fry sauce to taste.
  7. To plate the dish, scoop out portion into a clay pot. Add slices of cooked pork to each serving and sprinkle with chopped green onion.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork

Fried Rice with Black Sesame Pork




Egg Fu Yung Recipe

Egg Fu Yung with Gravy 

Egg foo Yung is one of my favorite comfort foods and a dish my mother made regularly when I was growing up. I get cravings for this savory meal and because of its versatility and easy preparation, I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you’re wondering why the dish doesn’t look like the traditional Chinese style pancake, I’m still recovering from shoulder surgery and it turns out flipping a full size omelet shaped breakfast is more difficult than I expected with the use of only one good arm. The final dish was delicious but looked more like Egg Fu Yung scramble.

I had a few brussels sprouts in the fridge so I threw them in to add a wonderful crunch and delicious brussels sprout flavor.  In my opinion, Egg Fu Yung is not complete without the signature savory gravy! The sumptuous brown gravy has a silky texture and rounds out the flavor profile of this tasty meal.

Egg Fu Yung with Gravy
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 boneless chicken breast (sliced thinly)
  2. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  4. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  5. 1 green onion (white part only)
  6. 2 cups bean sprouts
  7. 1 medium onion (sliced thin)
  8. 2 cups brussel sprout leaves
  9. 6 large eggs
  10. 3 Tablespoon vegetable oil (divided)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste)
  12. 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
FOR THE GRAVY
  1. ¼ cup soy sauce
  2. ¼ cup chicken stock
  3. 2 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
  4. ¼ cup cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Marinate chicken in 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1 garlic clove, and minced green onion, white part only. Rest for 5 minutes in marinade.
  2. Cut the ends off Brussel sprouts and separate leaves.
  3. Slice onion thinly
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs till fluffy. Add to the bowl, bean sprouts and Brussel sprouts, onion. Toss to combine
  5. Heat a wok on medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to wok. Cooked chicken until done. Remove from wok and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add chicken to vegetable and egg mixture and toss to combine.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok. Place a scoop of egg fu yung mixture in the hot wok and cook for 2 minutes on one side. Flip and continue cooking until egg is set, about 2-3 minutes more. Continue until all mixture is made into pancakes.
To Make the Gravy
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine, soy sauce, chicken stock, oyster sauce and ¼ cup cornstarch. Whisk to combine. Pour ingredients into the wok and cook over medium heat until thick. Add salt pepper to taste. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Notes
  1. To Serve: Drizzle gravy over Egg Fu Yung. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion tops. Enjoy this meal with steamed rice.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Egg Fu Yung Recipe

 

 

 

 




Garlic Goat Cheese and Bacon Soufflés: WINS Gilroy Garlic CROWN

The Great Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner Rebecka Evans

The Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner-Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys

PRESS RELEASE:

2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off Winner

30 Jul 2016 by Jason
Rebecka Evans Wins Top Honors in 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off!

Amateur chef Rebecka Evans from Danville, CA claimed the coveted garlic crown – and a $5,000 cash prize – as winner of the 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off at the 2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival on Saturday, July 30, in Gilroy, CA.

Gilroy Garlic Cook-off 2016 Winner

Photo by Lisa Keys

Evans beat out seven other finalists from around the country with her original recipe, “Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce”.

Second place (and a $2,500 prize) was awarded to Veronica Callaghan for her Roasted Garlic Pizza with Spicy Rosemary Caramelized Onions, Figs and Bacon. Third place (and $1,000) was awarded to Kelly Velasco for her Garlic Risotto Stuffed Mussels with Garlic Herb Toast. The remaining contestants each received $100. All contestants prepared their own original recipes containing at least six cloves of garlic. Source: gilroygarlicfestival.com 

 

The Garlic Court

The Queens of Garlic Court and Winners Great Garlic Cook-off 2016 3Rd Place Kelly Velasco, 1St Place Rebecka Evans, 2ND Place Veronica Callaghan Photo by Lisa Keys

Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé Rebecka Evans

1St Place Winner: Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé Photo Courtesy of Chef Jason Gronlund 

Covering the Great Garlic Cook-off in 2015 (see the article and past winners here) from the perspective of a blog writer was a pleasure but as a food competitor, not so much! I was itching on the insides to be cooking on that stage and knew at that moment, I had to create a winning recipe for the 38th Annual, 2016 Great Garlic Cook-off

This year, I not only garnered a place as one of the top eight finalists with my recipe, I won the coveted Gilroy Garlic Crown! You could have blown me over with a feather when they announced my name! Thank you esteemed judges, Gilroy Garlic Staff and assistants. I’m honored to be added to the list of Great Garlic Cook-Off Winners

The Great Garlic Cook-Off offers the best set-up I’ve ever seen at a food competition stage.

  • A large stadium with covered seating is beautifully decorated and complete with a Jumbotron so guests don’t miss any of the cooking action
  • A working sink (with hot and cold running water) is situated between an awesome four(4) burner gas range with a full size oven
  • Two large prep stations offer ample room to cook with ease 

Gilroy’s generosity goes even further, offering each food competitor their own personal chaperone/sous! This group of talented men and woman can wait several years to be chosen as a Cook-Off chaperone. Each Chaperone is eager to offer their undivided attention and “stay calm” presence to the contestant. They are willing to carry heavy boxes of food and cooking paraphernalia to and from the stage, help with food prep, clean up our mess and other miscellaneous jobs, too numerous to count. They even wash all your dishes when your done!! After seeing them in action, I can attest that they are the backbone of the show!

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth Photo by Lisa Keys

Special thanks to my “Chaperone” Barbara Orth! She was a rock star behind the scenes, super chill under pressure and a blessing from above! I have a new friend and cooking partner for life! xoxo

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Barbara Orth and Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys 

Gilroy Garlic Festival Barbara Orth Rebecka Evans Photo by Lisa Keys

Mimosas to start the day off right CHEERS! Photo by Lisa Keys

My favorite aspects of Food Sport (besides winning of course) are making new friends, meeting new people, and competing and visiting with friends from across the country.

Meeting my long time Facebook friend, Veronica Callaghan for the first time and sharing top honors in the cook-off was the delightful! Despite our competitive natures and intent to win, we will be… “forever” friends.

Two longtime Facebook friends were also in attendance: Mary Edwards from Long Beach, CA cooked her dynamite dish for the judges: Lamb Tenderloin with Sweet Pea Risotto and Garlic Demi-Glace and Michaela Mercer Rosenthal, previous Great Garlic Cook-Off finalist. I’m so pleased to finally meet them both!!

Veronica Callaghan

Veronica Callaghan

I met Chef Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef and culinary strategist, Vice President of Culinary for Smokey Bones & Fire Grill and Judge for the Great Garlic Cook-off not to mention, Master of Ceremonies for several Gilroy Food Stage events.

Chef Jason was gracious enough to share his professional insights and advice as well as, offer his friendship to our group. He made fast friends with my husband Blake (pretty sure they are now drinking buddies for life) and offered to share his chef wisdom in the future. Believe me, I will be taking him up on the offer!

Last but not least, Lisa Keys, Owner of Good Grief Cook, Winner of Chopped Mother’s Day Edition and my dear friend, attended the Cook-off with media credentials. She covered the event with expertise and was my personal photographer for the day.  

Gilroy Garlic Festival Chef Gronlund and Friends

Veronica Callaghan, Chef Jason Gronlund, Rebecka Evans, Lisa Keys Photo by Blake Evans

The list of other contenders and their delicious recipes (not in any specific order) 

Andre Alban (Coconut Creek, FL)
Black Butter Skirt Steaks with Herb Garlic Mushrooms and Potatoes

Gloria Bradley (Naperville, IL)
Veggie Eggplant Mushroom Stacks, Green Chili Garlic Adobo & Peppadew Vinaigrette

Mary Edwards (Long Beach, CA)
Lamb Tenderloin with Sweet Pea Risotto and Garlic Demi-Glace

Greg Fontenot (The Woodlands, TX)
Beef Short Ribs in Garlic Balsamic Cherry Sauce

Betty Hass (Sanibel, FL)
Wasabi-Glazed Garlic Stuffed Shrimp with Sweet Garlic Rice Crisps

A resounding thank you to my sweet husband Blake, for supporting me in my Food Sport journey, and to my family and friends, for your love and encouragement and eating my mistakes! 

Finally…my winning recipe!! 

Garlic & Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflés with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce and Blistered Garlic Plum Tomatoes
Serves 6
Decedent goat cheese souffles served with creamy garlic mustard sauce and blistered garlic grape tomatoes is satisfying and delicious.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for buttering ramekins
  2. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  4. 3 ounces mild fresh goat cheese
  5. 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  7. 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  8. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  9. ¼ cup bread crumbs (for dusting ramekins)
  10. 4 large eggs, separated
  11. Boiling water
  12. 4 heads garlic (about 35 cloves) peeled and separated
  13. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  14. ½ pound bacon, drippings reserved
  15. 1/2 cups heavy cream
  16. 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  17. 2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
  18. 1 tablespoon honey
  19. 1 8-ounce package red and yellow grape tomatoes
  20. Salt and white pepper to taste
  21. 1 bunch Mache or baby greens
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter six 1/2-cup ramekins, dust buttered ramekins with bread crumbs, removing any excess by gently tipping upside down, and set them in a large roasting pan.
  2. Make garlic paste: To a small sauce pan, add about 30 cloves garlic and about 1 tablespoon water. Cook over medium high heat until all water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to cook until garlic is caramelized/roasted. Transfer garlic to a food processor. Add ½ tablespoon chopped thyme and a pinch of salt. Process until very smooth. Makes about 4 tablespoons paste. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Chop bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon from grease and set aside. Turn off the heat and keep pan with reserved bacon grease. Cool bacon slightly and chop fine. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves and set aside until ready to fry. Mince 2 remaining garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to make blistered tomatoes.
For the Soufflés
  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly, until the white sauce is thick and has lost its floury taste, about 4 minutes. Mixture will be thick and creamy. Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan, chives, thyme, 2 tablespoons garlic paste and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
  2. In another bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the white sauce to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Add about ½ teaspoon crumbled bacon to the bottom of each prepared ramekin. Pour the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden and firm. Remove the soufflés from the roasting pan using tongs
For the Sauce and Tomatoes
  1. Re-heat the pan with bacon grease to medium high. Fry the thinly sliced garlic until golden brown. Remove garlic to a small bowl to garnish soufflés leaving bacon grease in pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to hot pan. Add tomatoes to hot pan and blister for 1-2 minutes, shaking pan to keep them moving. Add minced garlic and continue to cook for additional 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant but not browned. Remove tomatoes to a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup hot water. Add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon remaining garlic puree, and whisk until incorporated. If using Bourbon…add 2 tablespoons and flame the liquor. When flame subsides, add 2 tablespoon butter and continue whisking until butter is melted. Pour in ½ cup heavy cream and whisk to combine. Add remaining crumbled bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes, and taste for salt. Add more if necessary. Turn off the heat and keep in the pan until ready to use. If sauce becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon hot water
To Plate
  1. Run a thin sharp knife around the rims of the ramekins and gently remove soufflés, carefully transfer the soufflés to plates. Pour Garlic Mustard sauce over each soufflé and serve blistered tomatoes alongside the soufflés.
Garnish
  1. Top each soufflé with fried garlic chips and Mache or other mini greens. Serve immediately
Notes
  1. You will need six 1/2-cup ramekins and one large shallow roasting pan.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

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World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACON

World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACONDutch Apple Baby RecipeIt was all about the bacon when Janet Tharpe, host for the Just A Pinch® online community, and her Kitchen Crew picked my Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon recipe, as a Blue Ribbon winner and my Golden Ticket to represent their company at the 2015 World Food Championships, Bacon Category. Blessed to be a part of the competition, I was honored to represent them.

Creating Bacon recipes for the competition was a three month process luckily, I already had a winning recipe for the Signature Dish Round, all I had to do was prefect the execution. 

SIGNATURE DISH:

“The Signature Dish is the competitor’s choice, although it needs to fit the general “theme” of the competition category to be able to receive maximum points in execution. The Signature Dish is intended to allow the cook to put their best culinary foot forward. Show the judges what you do best. It’s your Signature Dish. ” Source: WFC 2015 Competitor Handbook

 

Dutch Apple baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon
Serves 6
Dutch Apple Baby meets its best companion with blackberry hoisin bacon, creating the perfect sweet and savory combination. The delicate pancake is married gently to the bacon with just a hint of hoisin and a touch of blackberry to balance out the of flavors…simply delicious.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb thick slice Wright Brand Applewood Smoked, divided
  2. 1 1/4 cups blackberry jam, divided
  3. 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, divided
  4. 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  5. 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  6. 1/2 cup organic apple cider, divided
  7. 2 1/2 cups diced apples, skins on
  8. 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon nutmeg, divided
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  12. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  13. 3/4 c flour
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 c milk
  16. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  17. 5 large eggs
  18. 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  19. 1/4 cup powder sugar for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. You will need parchment paper to line baking sheet
For the Hoisin Marinade
  1. In a small bowl combine, 2 tablespoon mustard, 1 cup blackberry
  2. jam, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoon brown sugar, stir to
  3. combine
Blackberry Maple and Hoisin Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon hoisin, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/4 cup blackberry jam, 1 cup fresh blackberries.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened
  3. Strain through fine sieve. Keep warm until ready to plate.
  4. Transfer to little syrup mugs during plating
Method for The Hoisin Bacon
  1. In a small bowl combine,
  2. 2 tablespoons mustard, 3/4 cup blackberry jam, 1/4 cup hoisin and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix well
  3. Place 18 slices bacon on parchment lined paper, brush about 1 tablespoon of mixture over each slice and turn and repeat.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over all bacon
  5. Cook 400 degrees F. for 2o min.
  6. Cool bacon, reserve out 5 slices for garnish.
  7. Chop remaining bacon into small pieces, reserve 1/2 cup for garnish
Method For the Apple Filling
  1. Cut apples into small dice
  2. In a medium sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  4. Add diced apples and 1 tablespoon apple cider to pan
  5. Stir in sugar mixture
  6. Cook apples until tender but not soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare cast iron skillet
  1. Cut butter into chunks and place in cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet at 400 degree F. oven for 3-4 minutes, while making pancake batter.
  2. Method for The Batter
  3. Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl
  4. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps
  5. When batter is smooth, beat in vanilla and eggs, one by one, Beat pancake batter, 1-2 minutes with whisk. Let batter rest for 5 minutes
  6. While batter is resting, prepare cast iron skillets.
  7. Place skillets in 400 degree F. oven on parchment lined tray. Heat for 5 minutes
  8. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter
  9. Remove skillets from oven and pour butter evenly into each skillet.
  10. Add even amounts of crumbled bacon to skillet bottom
  11. Pour batter over bacon, leaving 1/4 inch headspace
  12. Add cooked apples to middle of skillets
  13. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove small skillets, bake larger for 5-7 minutes longer
  14. Garnish with strip of bacon and fresh blackberries, powdered sugar and mint leaves.
  15. The pancake will puff dramatically while baking but begin to fall within a few minutes after baking.
Garnish
  1. powder sugar
  2. blackberry hoisin syrup
  3. fresh blackberries
  4. strips of hoisin bacon
Notes
  1. Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Recipe
  2. Winner Top Ten World Food Championships 2015 Category: Bacon
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Dutch Apple Baby

I felt so blessed to be chosen to compete in the 2015 World Food Championships, and then doubly blessed as a fellow competitor Kim Banick, an award winning home cook, owner of The Prize of Cooking, and seasoned World Food Champion, offered to be my sous chef for the opening round. I was moved to tears when I read her message, what an answer to prayer! God knew I needed help competing in such a prestigious event for the very first time. Kim shared her wisdom as a competitive cook as well as, her sweet spirit and gracious attitude. She also, brought with her a team of sous, Mark Banick and Kasey Brown. We cooked together, we prayed together, and we took TOP TEN in the Bacon Category!

Opening Round WFC 2105

The Banick Team spent the following day winning People’s Choice for their Tex-Mex Chili Sundae Split-2015 WFC Chili competition entry. I’m forever grateful for their generosity, hearts for Christ, and shared talent in my kitchen! 

Kim Banick The Prize of CookingThe opportunity to stay with my eldest son, his wife and family while in Orlando, was the icing on the cake. Their support and love gave me strength to carry on each day not to mention, the special morning hugs and kisses from my grand girls.

Grand girls WFC

By the third day of competition I didn’t know which side was up, even calling my friend Lisa Keys by the wrong name for an entire day! As a fellow competitor, and food blogger Lisa understood my memory laps and graciously forgave me!  The 10 day experience was overwhelming, exciting, exhausting, and one of the best experiences in my life.

Lisa Keys

With the help of family and friends, I moved on to compete in the Top Ten and took home 4th in the World in the Bacon Category!

Some of the perks for winning a place at #WFC2015…sponsorship from Hammer Stahl Cutlery, with a awesome set of chefs knives, backpack and carrying case. More about them in my final blog post and filleting American Red Snapper with their stellar filet knife.

Below is a Holiday video with Chef Kevin Gillespie featuring Wright Brand Bacon and several WFC Bacon competitors and….ME! The photo pictured below is my Dutch Apple Baby right before turn into the judges!




Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015 – The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The Gilroy Garlic Festival just celebrated its 37 year with the third annual Great Garlic Cook-Off.  I had the pleasure of attending the event where I met up with several of my foodie friends for the very first time. It was the most competitive garlic cook off  the event has ever seen.

Eight home cooks vied for the coveted title, Garlic Queen/King, cooking some very impressive dishes for the five celebrity judges; Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef, Smokey Bones BBQ, Jason Lavinsky, Executive Chef, Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf, Adam Sanchez – The Milias Restaurant, Bryan Martinez, Executive Chef, Raley’s, and Carl Stewart, Executive Chef, Raley’s. Master of Ceremonies: Dan Green, Kate Callaghan & Wendy Brodie, HAAC, Executive Chef.

Contestants, Jodi Taffel, Lauren Katz, Tresa Hargrove, Merry Graham, Sherri Williams, Gloria Bradley, Loanne Chiu and Margee Berry, wowed the audience and judges with their garlic infused recipes. The outdoor stage was set with two jumbo-trons giving spectators a birds-eye view of all the cooking action. The air was filled with mouthwatering aromas of charred meats and my favorite kitchen staple, garlic.  Once the smoke settled, the judges crowned Jodi Taffel, first place for her stunning breakfast dish, Shashuka with Deep Fried Garlic. Second place went to Lauren Katz with her Glazed Garlic-Buttermilk Fried chicken and Savory Waffled grits. Third Place went to Tresa Hargrove for her, Chipotle Cilantro Chimichurri Steak on Enchiladas with Roasted Salsa Verde.

I became friends with Tresa, Sherri and Merry, five years ago over our shared interest in food competitions, and Facebook groups. What a pleasure for me to finally meet them all in person as well as, the other competitors. Making new friends and sharing this special day with my fellow foodies was a true blessing.

The day was made more enjoyable hanging out with my dear friend Nancy Judd, winner of the 2013 World Food Championships, Dessert category, and contestant on Chopped Grandma’s.  She and I cooked together in my home during the Real Women of Philadelphia-Cooks Across America-Colorado Cooks video promotion. To see more from that event, watch our Youtube video HERE and HERE.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t chosen to compete with my Benedict Florentine with Roasted Garlic Hollandaise and Garlic Basil Oil this year, but I hope to be on stage at next years competition, cooking alongside my friends. 

Gilroy Garlic Festival Eggs Benedict

 

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri and Nancy

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams, Rebecka Evans, Nancy Judd, Jodi Taffel, Merry Graham and Lauren Katz

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Lady Nann and her man

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

THE WINNER! Jodi Taffel

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The top THREE Jodi, Lauren and Tresa

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Waiting for the big announcement

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Selfies with Nancy and Rebecka

Winner Circle

Gilroy Garlic Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams and Merry Graham

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Rebecka Evans, The Garlic Man, Nancy Judd




Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon

Dutch Apple Baby

Dutch Apple

My Dutch Apple Baby Wins 8th Place in the Top Ten WFC 2015 Photo by OC Food Diva


This is my entry for the World Food Championships Recipe Contest, Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon, Category BACON! This sweet and savory breakfast can also be served as a sideboard brunch dish or as the main event at dinner! Served with additional blackberry syrup, and a piping hot cup of coffee; the recipe is scrumptious!
 
I’ve been in the kitchen for the past few weeks creating recipes like a madwoman in order to win a coveted Golden Ticket, to the World Food Championships this coming June. This recipe, as well as a few more, are being entered via Just a Pinch website, in the WFC official qualifying event. 

Contest Information: Earn your chance to cook at the 2015 World Food Championships. It’s the ultimate invite-only culinary competition and you may walk away with some serious bragging rights… and prize money of up to $100,000. It’s in a new location this year too – Kissimmee, FL!

  • Get in on the fun! Enter your very best original recipe from one (or all!) of the following categories:
  • Bacon
  • Burger
  • Chili
  • Dessert
  • Fresh Recipe*
  • Pasta
  • Sandwich
  • Seafood

*Fresh means creating a recipe using fresh ingredients and products that have never been frozen or canned.A total of twenty (20) winners will be selected from among the categories to compete as part of Team Just A Pinch!

★Winners Each Receive:

  • Invitation to prepare and compete with their winning recipe November 3 – 10 at the 2015 World Food Championships in Kissimmee, FL
  • Waiver of all WFC entrance fees (Exclusive feature for Just A Pinch Contestants!)
  • Induction into Just A Pinch’s Honorary Kitchen Crew

I’m ready to make my way to Florida in a few months to compete; let’s hope the official judges choose one of my recipes and honor me with a WIN! 

In the meantime, give my recipe a try and let me know what you think! Is it a winner in your book?

Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb thick slice bacon
  2. 2 large apples
  3. 4 Tbsp granulated sugar divided
  4. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  6. 1/3 c unsalted butter
  7. 3/4 c flour
  8. 1/2 pkg salt
  9. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  10. 1 c milk
  11. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  12. 5 large eggs
  13. 1 c blackberry jam
  14. 1/4 c hoisin sauce
  15. 2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
  16. powder sugar garnish
  17. maple or blackberry syrup
For the Bacon
  1. Preheat oven 500 degree F.
  2. Place 10 slice bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet lengthwise, pull bacon to stretch about half its original length (this helps with shrinkage during the cooking process) don't allow bacon to go over sheet pan edges
  3. In a small bowl add, mustard, blackberry jam, hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoon brown sugar, stir to combine
  4. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam mixture over each piece of bacon, using a basting brush spread the jam mixture to coat the entire side of bacon, flip bacon over and repeat this process.
  5. To cook, cover the bacon with an additional sheet/baking pan laying the bottom of the pan directly on top of the bacon
  6. Place pans in oven and par-cook bacon for 5-6 minutes or until hot and bubbling but not browned
  7. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use
  8. Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F.
  9. Brown remaining bacon slices and crumble for garnish
For the Batter
  1. Peel and core apples, cut them into slices then slice into halves and thirds (about 3 cups apples) In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoon sugar with cinnamon and ginger, set aside until ready to use
  2. Cut butter into chunks and place in a deep cast iron skillet. Put the skillet into the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the butter is melted and skillet is hot. Remove skillet from oven, sprinkle bottom of pan with about 1/3 brown sugar mixture. Carefully spread apples over the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle remaining sugar over apples. Put skillet back into the oven, cook for 5-8 minutes to caramelize apples (you should be able to complete the next step while apples are caramelizing)
  3. Whisk flour with remaining tablespoon sugar, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When flour batter is smooth, beat in vanilla and eggs one by one. Beat by hand for approximately 2 minutes. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Remove apples from the oven
  4. Add one strip of bacon to the bottom of the skillet at a time trying not to overlap the pieces, arrange in a star or spoke pattern so that when sliced each piece will have a slice of bacon cooked into the batter. It may be necessary to cut bacon to fit skillet. Try not to go over the edge of the skillet to keep bacon from becoming too darkened while cooking.
  5. Pour batter over bacon and caramelized apples, bake in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or center is set and sides are golden brown.
  6. The pancake will puff dramatically while baking but fall within a few minutes after baking. Slice pancake into 6 pieces, sprinkle with powder sugar, bacon bites and serve with blackberry or maple syrup
Notes
  1. Course/Dish: Sweet Breads, Savory Breads, Pancakes Main Ingredient: Eggs Regional Style: Dutch Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Heirloom Hashtags: #breakfast, #WFC Cooking
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Dutch Apple Baby
 
Dutch Apple Baby with Hoisin Blackberry bacon