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"J. Paul Till, Director, Information Department"
334 613-4313

MONTGOMERY Starla Davis, a partner in one of Mobile County's largest pork production operations, claimed first place and a $500 cash prize in the 1997 State Pork Cooking Contest.

The competition, sponsored by the Alabama Pork Producers, was held Dec. 7 in Mobile during the Alabama Farmers Federation's 76th annual meeting. The Alabama Pork Producers is a division of the federation.

Mrs. Davis, her husband, Lee, and her father, Albert Gaston, own and operate Gaston & Davis Hog Farm in the Tanner-Williams community, about 15 miles west of Mobile. As a pork producer, Mrs. Davis is always looking for ways to get consumers "hooked" on pork, and that's bound to happen for those who try her delicious recipe, chosen as best among the 11 county-level winners competing in the statewide cookoff.

Second-place honors and $300 went to Barbara Krob of Baldwin County for her spicy pork chop dish. Sue Tucker of Russell County won third place and $100 with a special rib recipe.

Following are the three winning recipes. A booklet containing all 11 finalists' recipes will be available after the first of the year. For a free copy, write to Pork Recipes, Alabama Pork Producers, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery AL 36191-0001.

RIO GRANDE PORK ROAST (Starla Davis, Mobile County)

1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless pork loin Garlic pepper 1/2 cup barbecue sauce 1/2 cup apple or grape jelly 1 teaspoon chili powder

Rub surfaces of roast well with garlic pepper. Place roast in a shallow pan and roast, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While roast is baking, combine barbecue sauce, jelly and chili powder in a small bowl, stirring to mix well. Pour sauce over roast and continue to roast, basting occasionally, for 20-30 more minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove roast from pan and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Pour pan drippings into a measuring cup and add water to make 1 cup. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, boiling for 3-4 minutes. Serve sauce on side with roast.

Makes 12 three-ounce servings at 181 calories, 6 grams of fat and 66 mg cholesterol per serving.

PORK CHOPS DELUXE (Barbara Krob, Baldwin County)

6 boneless pork chops 2 tablespoons water 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies 1 can condensed golden mushroom soup 1/3 cup chopped onion 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups hot cooked rice 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Coat large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, brown chops on both sides. Remove chops and set aside. Add water, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen browned bits. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice; set tomatoes aside. Add juice, soup, onion, mustard, mushrooms and salt to skillet, stirring to blend. Return chops to skillet. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until chops are tender. Stir in tomatoes and heat through. Combine rice and parsley in a serving dish. Serve the pork chops and sauce over rice.

Makes 6 servings.

DIFFERENT RIBS (Sue Tucker, Russell County)

3 pounds pork ribs 3 beef bouillon cubes 1 1/2 cups hot water 1/3 cup honey 5 tablespoons soy sauce 1/4 cup sugar 4 teaspoons vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Cut ribs into serving-sized pieces and place in large resealable plastic bag. In a bowl, dissolve bouillon in hot water. Blend in honey, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and garlic. Pour over ribs. Seal bag and marinate five hour or overnight in refrigerator. Place ribs and marinade in a shallow pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender, turning ribs about every 15 minutes.

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