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For Immediate Release
Winners Declared in 2010 Vegetable Recipe Contest
August 13, 2010

Four Pennsylvania cooks were declared winners in the seventh annual Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest Cook-Off. First-time finalist Karen Parish of Fleetwood, received the highest score of the contest for her “Butternut Squash and Apple Soup”. The other first prizes in the three other categories were won by Elysa Boffo of Camp Hill, Debra Deis of Harrisburg, and Kathy Rohrbaugh of Shrewsbury. The Cook Off was held on Friday, August 6, 2010, at the Olewine Center for Culinary Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Frank Jurbala, Director of the Bureau of Markets of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture presented the $100 cash prizes.

Ms. Parish, received 36 of 40 possible points from the judges for her “absolutely delicious” and “addictive” soup that smoothly blended the flavors of butternut squash with apples, carrots and onions in a chicken-stock base garnished with sauted prosciutto and apple, earning her the top prize in the Winter Squash/Pumpkin category.

Ms. Rohrbaugh, a veteran contestant and winner, earned the top prize in the Summer Squash/Zucchini category with her “Zucchini – Japanese Style,” a simple but flavorful side dish featuring zucchini and onions in an oriental, sesame-seed sauce. Ms. Deis became a three-time first-place winner with her “Cucumber and Shrimp Margarita Cocktail”, what one of the judges called an “amazing mixture of flavors” with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, lime, lemon and cilantro. Her entry took the top prize in the Melon/Cucumber category. Ms. Boffo, another first time finalist, topped the Tomato/Peppers/Eggplant category with her “Ciotola di Panzanella” a “very fresh and flavorful” mixture of tomatoes, onions and bread sticks served in a hollowed out tomato topped with pancetta.

Four finalists in each category completed for the top prizes. Judges choose the finalist recipes for the Cook-Off from 110 written recipe entries submitted by 43 cooks from across the state. Recipes were chosen on the basis of creativity, nutrition/healthfulness, ease of preparation, and overall appeal. Recipe entries had to contain as a major ingredient at least one vegetable in the category. Recipes had to be created or modified by the contestant or a member of the contestant’s family.

The other recipes prepared by the finalists at the Cook-Off are listed below. All the finalist recipes are available on the Vegetable Marketing and Research Program’s website at www.paveggies.local or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Program at : PA Vegetable Mktg. & Res. Program, 815 Middle Road, Richfield, PA 17086.

Cool Cucumber Mint Soup – Bonnie Lee Strunk Brasted, Allentown
Cool as a Cucumber Rounds – Kenneth Ward, Hulmeville
Cantaloupe Slush Dessert – Lori Ritter, Barto

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Vegetable Pizza with a Zucchini Crust – Deb Lyon, Bangor
Zucchini Surprise – Rita Torrens, Oley
Baked Zucchini Sticks – Vicky Sokoloff, Fleetwood

Veggie Biscuit Cups – Bonnie Lee Strunk Brasted, Allentown
Stuffed Pepper Nachos – Bonnie Mortimer, Mount Pleasant
Tomato and Broccoli Panzanella – Kathy Rohrbaugh, Shrewbury

Winter Squash/Pumpkins
Spaghetti Squash Casserole – Christina Kiesling, Bethlehem
Stuffed Crab Acorns – Darlene Gallagher, East Stroudsburg
Pumpkin Gnocchi – Deb Lyon, Bangor

These finalists each received a $25 gift certificate to the farm market of their choice.

Judges for the contest were:
Sue Gleiter
, food editor for the Patriot-News in Harrisburg
Autumn Patti, chef instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College
Fay Stricker, retired extension educator with Penn State Coop. Extension
Teresa Yoder
, nutritionist formerly with the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program

The winning recipes are as follows:


Cucumber and Shrimp Margarita Cocktail

This is inspired by the Mexican version of shrimp cocktail in which the shrimp are served in a juicy spicy tomato-based sauce.

6 Cucumbers – fresh, pickle-type or 2 long greenhouse type
2 Tomatoes – large, very juicy and ripe, cut into 1/2″ pieces.
2 c. Tomato or Vegetable Juice (V8)
1/3 c. Sweet Onion (such as Pennsylvania Simply Sweet) – chopped
2 Jalapeno Peppers – seeded and finely chopped
1/4 c. Sweet Pepper – diced
2 Limes – juiced
2 Lemons – juiced
1/3 c. Cilantro Leaves
Black Pepper – ground
1/2 lb. Shrimp – peeled, cooked
1 Avocado
Tortilla Chips
Salt – flaked or coarse

If the cucumber skin is tough, peel it. Other wise just slice in half, then cut into 1/4″ thick chunks. Add to a large bowl and salt lightly. Let sit 10 minutes, then add tomatoes, tomato juice, onion, jalapeno and sweet pepper, lime and lemon juices, cilantro, 1/2 tsp. salt and some ground black pepper. Slice shrimp in half, then into bite size pieces and add into vegetables. Let sit 1/2 hour. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice. If not spicy hot enough add more jalapeno or your favorite hot-sauce. Right before serving pit the avocado and cut into 1/2″ chunks. Gently stir into the bowl of vegetables To serve, choose over-sized goblets or margarita glasses. Rub rim with a cut lemon slice and dip the rip in flaked salt. Carefully ladle in the shrimp cocktail with a lot of the juice. Top with additional cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and a spoon. Pass hot sauce at the table.
Debra Deis, Harrisburg

Summer Squash/Zucchini

Zucchini – Japanese Style
Serves 6

2 T. Sesame Oil
1 Onion – medium thinly sliced
2 Zucchini – medium, cut into thin strips
2 T. Teriyaki Sauce
1 T. Soy Sauce
1 T. Sesame Seeds
Black Pepper – ground

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook while stirring about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir in ground pepper and serve immediately.
Kathy Rohrbaugh, Shrewsbury


Ciotola di Panzanella (Panzanella Bowls)

4 Tomatoes – large, of different colors if available, about 3 lbs.
3T.+ Red Wine Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper – fresh cracked
1/2 Red Onion – very thinly sliced
1/4 c.+ Olive Oil – garlic-flavored (If you don’t have garlic oil, you can infuse oil by adding garlic to heated oil and then cooling or use olive oil and add garlic powder carefully to taste.) 4 oz. Grissini (bread sticks) – thin, broken into 1/2″ pieces
8 rounds Pancetta (or slices of Bacon)

Cut the top 1/4-inch off each tomato and reserve. With a serrated knife, cut the tomato meat away from the outside skin without cutting through completely. Scoop the membrane and seeds out with a spoon and transfer to a strainer set over a bowl to drain. Season the hollowed tomatoes and the membrane in the strainer with a drizzle of vinegar.and some salt and pepper. Put onion slices in a small bowl and cover with 2 tablespoons vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let stand 10 minutes to remove some of the raw sharp flavor of the onion. Whisk together 1 tablespoon vinegar, the garlic oil and 1/4 cup of the drained tomato water. Season well with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop the drained tomato and put in a mixing bowl. Drain the onions and add them along with the grissini pieces. Drizzle the dressing over the bowl and toss very well. Season again and add more oil, tomato water and vinegar, as needed, to evenly moisten the stuffing. Stuff each tomato with 1/4 of the stuffing and garnish with the tomato tops. Chill until ready to serve. Fry pancetta/bacon and set aside for assembly. Before serving, top with the crisp pancetta or bacon.
Elysa Boffo, Camp Hill

Winter Squash/Pumpkins

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Serves 6

1 T. Olive Oil
6 slices Prosciutto – cut into thin strips
1 Apple – thinly sliced

4 T. Butter
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 1/2 c. Onion, diced
2 Apples – large, peeled and diced (use a sweet apple like Gala or a tart apple)
2 c. Carrots – diced
2 lbs. Butternut Squash – 1 medium, peeled and diced
8 c. Chicken Broth
Salt – kosher preferably
Pepper – to taste
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
3 T. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 c. Half and Half

Prepare garnish – saute prosciutto in oil and remove from pan. Saute apple in same pan.
In a large stock pot, melt butter and add garlic, onion, apple, carrots, and squash. Saute for 10 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Simmer about 35 minutes until tender. Puree with hand blender or beater. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Add cream and stir. Return to heat and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Top with prosciutto and apple.
Karen Parish, Fleetwood

The contest is sponsored annually by the Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program, a marketing order for vegetable growers under the state Department of Agriculture. Growers pay annual assessments to the Program to promote Pennsylvania-grown vegetables and to fund practical vegetable production research at Penn State and other universities. The Vegetable Recipe Contest is designed to generate creative new recipes for consumers to use to enjoy “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Pennsylvania vegetables.

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