This past Sunday (10/21) i was given an amazing opportunity to attend the Hood New England Dairy Cook Off. It was an unforgettable event. Every single one of the contestants were winners in my eyes their food was fantastic and delicious. I was able to try quite a few of the dishes at the blogger table. The dishes were creative and things i would never have thought of to make. Each dish had to include a Hood Dairy item and they did a great job of incorporating it into the dish. The event was very organized and well put together. The VIP reception was even yummier with Hood products and recipes. The final cook off round was entertaining with the host being Billy Costa from NECN. Each contestant from the 5 New England states competed making their recipes in front of all of us including the judges that included:
The final round judges included Celebrity Chef Michele Ragussis; Chef Branden J. Lewis, Instructor,Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts; Peggy Poole, Vice President of Quality Systems and Regulatory Affairs, HP Hood; Cindy Salvato, Chef and founder of Savoring Rhode Island culinary walking tours; and David Dadekian, Eat Drink RI.
Overall the last 5 competitors did a wonderful job in the final round impressing everyone. The competitor who took home the 10,000 was Mary Jo Fletcher LaRocco of Rhode Island. Her dish Cranberry Limoncello Tarts in a Gingersnap Hazelnut Crust was delish and her presentation was fantastic! Check it out!
The Hood New England Dairy Cook Off brought together just regular everyday people not trained chefs just talented at home cooks. It gives everyone a shot at sharing their at home recipes with everyone. If you are from New England watch for next years Hood Cook-Off and enter your recipe you never know you could be next years 10K winner!
If you are interested in creating the winners recipe check it out below!
Cranberry Limoncello Tarts in a Gingersnap Hazelnut Crust
1 c. ground hazelnuts
2 c. ground gingersnap cookies
8 Tbsp melted butter
1/3 c. sugar
Zest of two lemons
1 ¼ c.lemon curd
Combine hazelnuts and gingersnaps with melted butter, sugar, & zest. Press into bottom and sides of six buttered mini-tart pans (4.75” diameter each). Bake in 350 degree oven for 6-7 minutes and cool on rack.
Meanwhile, combine water, sugar, cranberries, ginger, and zest & bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Take off heat & add limoncello. Cool half the cranberry filling, and puree half the mixture in a blender until smooth.
Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. In a separate bowl, combine lemon curd, sour cream, and mascarpone cheese until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.
Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks, then add maple syrup and vanilla.
To assemble, spread cranberry sauce on the bottom of each tart shell, then the lemon filling. Remove tarts from pans. Plate cranberry puree and whipped cream on the side. Garnish with candied lemon slices and sugared cranberries (optional).
**I was not compensated for this review. I was given VIP tickets to cover the event. These are solely my own opinions.