Parsons, Kansas —
April Sadler from Topeka, Kan., beat out thousands of entries in the 2013 National Beef Cook-Off contest, funded by the Beef Checkoff, to win a tasty $1,500 prize. Sadler joined six other regional finalists in winning the honor with her Pesto-Pepper Jack Sliders.
"My Pesto-Pepper Jack Sliders recipe is convenient because I can have dinner on the table in 25 minutes, using only one skillet," said Sadler.
Sadler was one of 21 finalists up for either a regional or grand prize award for the National Beef Cook-Off, a bi-yearly recipe contest ranked one of the top three recipe/cooking contests in the country. The remaining entrants, who were not named as regional winners, now have a chance to win the grand prize of $25,000.
"Choosing this year's regional winners was more difficult than ever," said Kristen Browning-Blas, head judge. "The entrants really stepped up their game and incorporated diverse flavors, convenience and originality into their recipes. We believe home cooks will be impressed by the versatility of these beef dishes and their ease of preparation."
The National Beef Cook-Off seeks recipes that meet the tastes and techniques of the home cook while demonstrating the benefits and versatility of cooking with beef.
This year's contest theme was "Making the Most of MyPlate," which encouraged delicious, healthy recipe entries from a variety of food groups. Recipes were accepted for the following categories:
•Belt-Tightening Beef Recipes — Nutritious, affordable beef recipes that are great values to prepare
•Semi-Homemade Beef Recipes — Recipes that combine beef and fresh ingredients with prepackaged food products
•Real-Worldly, Real Simple Beef and Potato Recipes — Easy and nutritious lean beef and fresh potato recipes that feature international flavors
•Craveable Fresh Beef and California Avocado Recipes — Easy, fresh lean beef and avocado recipes that highlight California cuisine or cooking trends
To enter a recipe, participants had to prepare a recipe that fit one of the contest categories and submit it online at www.beefcookoff.org. Entries were accepted between January 15, 2013, and April 15, 2013.
At the Judge's Table
During last week's regional round, recipes were selected by a group of food-savvy media judges including; Kristen Browning-Blas, food blogger of Colorado Table, editor and food editor for the Denver Post; Kathy Moore, food consultant, cookbook author and blogger of PluggedIntoCooking.com; Barbara Kiebel, recipe developer, writer and photographer, Creative-Culinary.com; and Leslie Green, food blogger of The Hungry Housewife and food contributor to Creative Loafing. The judges made decisions based on appearance, taste, nutritional balance and convenience for all categories. Affordability was considered in the Belt-Tightening category, and freshness was deemed important in the Fresh Beef and Fresh California Avocados category.
Grand Prize winner Crowned in November
In addition to Sadler's recipe, other regional winners included:
•Christina Verrelli, Devon, Pa.—Simple Spanish Beef and Potato Wraps
•Harold Cohen, Hollywood, Fla.—Tuscan Burgers and Avocado-Tomato Spread
•Sonya Goergen, Moorhead, Minn.—Pesto Steak and Artichoke Sandwich
•Teresa Cardin, Stephenville, Tex.—Korean Beef and Vegetable Bowls
•Deborah McGuire, West Linn, Ore.—Simple Beef and Potato Skillet Ole
•Emily Detwiler, Truckee, Calif.—Balsamic and Blue Cheese Steak Sandwich
Sadler's winning recipe, as well as the other finalists, will be posted on www.beefcookoff.org in late July.
The $25,000 grand prizewinner will be announced Nov. 2 at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington, D.C., and was selected based on the highest overall scoring recipe. £