Nutella, artichoke, meatloaf and pimento cheese are among the primary ingredients in foods selected as finalists in this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards at the upcoming 2013 State Fair of Texas. The big taste-off to determine the “Best Taste” and “Most Creative” awards will be held Monday, Sept. 2.
Among the finalists:
• Nick Bert Jr.’s Golden Fried Millionaire Pie, which is sweetened, fluffy cream cheese filling loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans then wrapped in a flaky pie crust and fried to a golden brown, then topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut and candied pecans.
• Awesome Deep Fried Nutella from perennial winner Abel (Fried Coke) Gonzales; this food is described as cream cheese and Nutella whipped and spread over flaky Phyllo dough sheets, rolled up and deep fried, then served with a drizzle of honey and shaved almonds.
• Deep Fried Cuban Roll is from Issac Rousso and features slow-cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and secret sauce spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough and deep fried, then served with a side of majo sauce for dipping.
• Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole by Christi Erpillo features melted cheese dipped in a zesty Southwestern egg wash and coated in panko bread crumbs, then deep fried so it’s brown and crunchy on the outside and served with red, white and blue tortilla chips and homemade sour cream or cheesy queso and somehow all shaped like the state of Texas.
• Fried Thanksgiving Dinner by Justin and Rudy Martinez features homemade stuffing and diced roasted turkey rolled in a ball and dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal, then fried and served with giblet brown gravy and a zesty orange cranberry sauce.
• Spinach Dip Bites by Mark and Norman Zable takes spinach artichoke dip bites and coats them with crispy tortilla chips; everything is flash-fried and served with salsa.
• Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf by Clint Probst includes meatloaf slices coated in chicken-fried breading; the mixture is fried and served with garlic mashed potatoes, cream gravy and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze for dipping.
• Texas Fried Fireball by Butch Benavides takes pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper and bacon, rolls the mixture into a ball dipped in buttermilk and then covered with a jalapeno-infused batter and then fries everything; it’s served with chipotle ranch.
The State Fair of Texas will be held Sept. 27-Oct. 20 at Fair Park.