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September 03, 2009   Email to Friend 

TOP CHEFS COMPETE IN ALABAMA HERITAGE COOKING CONTEST
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
September 03, 2009

Winners in the Alabama Heritage Cooking Contest sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Division were, from left, first-place winner Helen Sumners of Marshall County, second-place winner Carol Knight of Randolph County and third-place winner Faye Williams of Dale County.
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- Appetizers in the Alabama Farmers Federation's Annual Heritage Cooking Contest ranged from simple to simply delicious as top chefs from 31 counties gathered in Montgomery for the statewide contest.

The annual competition is sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation Women's Division and was held at the corporate office of Alfa Insurance. Kim Earwood, director of the Women's Division, said the contest is designed to spotlight the versatility of agricultural products. Entries in the state contest had previously won their county competition.

"Appetizers were an excellent choice for this year's contest as football season kicks off and people begin making plans for the holidays," Earwood said.

Helen Sumners' Chicken Salad Roll-Ups won top honors and $150 at this year's contest. She said the dish is a favorite at baby showers and bridal teas back home in Marshall County, although she admits she had never written the recipe down until her county contest, which was held in advance of the state contest.

"My daughter-in-law, Misty Sumners, really got me started on the recipe, and we made it lots of times and just sort of knew what the ingredients were," Sumners said. "I had to measure and create the recipe just for this contest but I'm glad I did because people ask me for it all the time."

Sumners said a special ingredient in her winning recipe is the sweet pepper and apple relish. "But you can add your favorite sweet relish, and it gives it a little extra something to change the taste," she said.

Carol Knight's Game Day Appetizer Trio won second place and $100 at the contest. She said the dish is favorite tailgate fare for her family.

"We love Auburn football and love to tailgate," she said. "This dish is really simple and can be made ahead of time. It's something that adults and children both like, and it can be served hot or cold - perfect for just before the game whether you're tailgating or watching the game at home on TV."

Faye Williams of Dale County won third place and $50 with her Baked Cheese-Sausage Dip, which she said, is her favorite for parties and church gatherings because it's so simple to make.

"I've made this dish for years," she said. "It's something I can put together fast, and it's easy to take anywhere."

First Place
Helen Sumners, Marshall County
Chicken Salad Roll-Ups

3 1/2 cups cooked, chopped white chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons honey mustard
1 cup sweet pepper and apple relish
1 cup chopped seedless grapes
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour tortillas

Mix first four ingredients, salt and pepper; add grapes. Spoon onto tortillas, roll and slice. Garnish as desired.

Second Place
Carol Knight, Randolph County
Game Day Appetizer Trio

Easy Chicken Dip:
2 (10-ounce) cans of chunk chicken, drained
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with assorted crackers and focaccia bread.

Hot Chicken Dip:
2 (10-ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
3/4 cup hot wing sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup ranch salad dressing

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients in a 9x13-inch pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook about 20 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Serve with assorted crackers and focaccia bread.

Easy Chicken Biscuits:
1 package frozen tea biscuits, cooked
4 large boneless chicken breasts
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Poppy seeds for garnish (optional)

Cook and shred chicken breasts. Add cream cheese, mayonnaise and relish. Split biscuits and spoon chicken salad inside. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired.

Third Place
Faye Williams, Dale County
Baked Cheese-Sausage Dip

1 loaf of baked bread or round bread from supermarket bakery
1 pound hot bulk pork sausage
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (4.5-ounce) can green chilies
1 large bag of dip chips

Hollow out bread to make a bowl. Brown the sausage and drain. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, browned sausage, cheddar cheese and green chilies. Spoon mixture into bread bowl and bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve warm with dip chips.

Click here to view all the recipes in the state contest this year.


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