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August 11, 2000   Email to Friend 

Lorie Johnson
August 11, 2000

Mobile For the second time in three years, Walker County's Nella Dean Earnest took first place at the Alabama Farmers Federation's Pork Cooking Contest.

The contest was sponsored by the Alabama Pork Producers and the Alabama Women's Pork Council as part of the Federation's annual Commodity Producers Conference held Aug. 3-5 in Mobile.

Mrs. Earnest earned first place and $500 for her Sausage Ring, made of kraut and cream cheese and garnished with lemon roses and kale.

"I was shocked to win again," she said. "I couldn't believe I won the year before last, but I was really shocked to win again."

Mrs. Earnest said she added a new twist to an old recipe to make a Sausage Ring for her family, and it was so well received by her husband and son she decided to enter it in the contest.

Jean Fontaine of Baldwin County placed second and received $300 with a Breakfast Sausage Pizza, and Dianne Nall of Monroe County earned $100 and third place for her Texas Ranch Cake.

Judges for the contest were Josh Elmore, Mobile County Extension Agent; David Holloway, food editor, The Mobile Register; and Thomas Harrison, arts and entertainment editor, The Mobile Register.

Sausage Ring (First Place -- Alabama Farmers Federation Pork Cooking Contest)

1 pound pork sausage;½ cup chopped onion;½ cup chopped bell pepper; 1 (8-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed;1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces;1 (8-ounce) crescent dinner rolls

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet combine sausage, onion and bell pepper. Cook until sausage is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain. Add sauerkraut and cream cheese; mix until cheese is slightly melted. Unroll dinner rolls into 8 triangles. Arrange triangles on ungreased 12-inch cookie sheet with shortest sides toward center, overlapping in wreath shape. Leave 4-inch circle open in center. (Crescent dough points will overlap edge of pan.) Spoon sausage mixture on widest part of dough. Pull end points toward center over sausage mixture in pinwheel design; tuck under dough to form ring. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 16 servings. --Nella Dean Earnest, Walker County

Breakfast Sausage Pizza (Second Place--Alabama Farmers Federation Pork Cooking Contest)

1 pound pork sausage;5 eggs;¼ cup milk;½ teaspoon salt;1/8 teaspoon pepper;1 package crescent dinner rolls;1 cup thawed hash brown potatoes;1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese;1 (6-ounce) can pizza sauce; ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Brown and drain sausage, set aside. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Separate crescent rolls and place in 9-inch spring-form pan or deep dish with points toward center. Roll out dough to cover bottom and sides. Spoon in sausage, hash browns and cheese, pour egg mixture over pizza. Add pizza sauce and top with Parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-50 minutes. Makes 6 or 8 servings. --Jean Fontaine, Baldwin County

Texas Ranch Cake (Third Place--Alabama Farmers Federation Pork Cooking Contest)

3 small packages cornbread mix;1½ cups grated Cheddar cheese;1 pound ground sausage;1 medium onion, chopped;1 medium bell pepper, chopped; 1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained;1 can refried beans;1 pound Velveeta, cut into cubes

Mix cornbread according to package directions (times 3) adding cheese. Bake in three 8- or 9-inch greased round cake pans. In a heavy skillet, brown the sausage, onion and bell pepper together on medium to high temperature. Cook until the sausage is done and the vegetables are soft. Drain. Add the Rotel tomatoes and refried beans to the sausage mixture. Add Velveeta. Stir mixture until the cheese melts. Stack the cornbread like cakes, spreading the sausage mixture between layers and on top. Garnish. Makes 8 or 10 servings. --Dianne Nall, Monroe County

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