Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 South Carolina Campground Cook-Off

I missed the first two South Carolina Campground Cook-Offs but I won't willingly skip future ones having learned what amazing dishes dedicated campers can make over fire.

The cooking rules are simple: Everything must be cooked over a wood or coal fire, no gas. No more than two store-bought, packaged ingredients can be included. Fire prep and cooking begin at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday and one portion of each entry must be brought to the main stage area between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Plates are provided and no decorations other than ingredients in the recipe may be added. Recipes are scored on creativity, taste and presentation.

This, the third year, 23 teams pulled into Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area to compete for the $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third place prizes in entrees and desserts. Special non-cash Judges Awards were given this year and having been one of the three judges, I can tell you it wasn't easy.

I'll start with those and work my way up to the winners. If I can get through tasting 23 different entrees, none of them bad, you can stand the anticipation.

Oh, and all of this is sponsored by the Old 96 District Tourism Commission, the same group that brought us the annual Peach-Offs (on indefinite hiatus) to celebrate the area's stellar peach producers.

Ol' Carolina Chili and Korn Bread, the entry of Team
Daddy Don's Gang impressed us all with its flavor, appearance and family-friendliness. It's something we'd like to make at home, really good comfort food.

Team Daddy Don's Gang Ol' Carolina Chili and Korn Bread
2 lbs hamburger meat
2 cans Manwich Bold
1 TBS Texas Pete
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix all together except cheese and cook. When ready to serve, top with cheese.

Korn Bread
3 cups self-rising corn meal
1 cup flour
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
4 Jalapeno peppers, chopped
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix all together and cook.

Serve with home made sweet pickles.

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