With such a long delay between my first post about my finalist status in this year’s Georgia Egg Commission contest, and this recap of the contest it’s self, you probably assumed I had won, and we were off spending the winnings on a fancy, tropical vacation. Well, you know what assuming does? It makes an a… never mind. I didn’t place. It’s taken me a month to recover from the let down, but I think I can finally write this without crying…
We drove out to the fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia early in case we got lost and so we could get a feel for the settings. There are a lot of beautiful peach and pecan orchards between Thomaston and Perry! The staff that put the event on were really nice. They were excited to be hosting the Egg Commission’s 29th consecutive contest. They also were excited to see a bunch of familiar faces back to compete. That part I thought was a little strange. I learned that only 50 people submitted recipes this year. In the past there have been as many as 200. Even still, I think I was one of maybe two contestants who were new to the contest. Oh well, it made the atmosphere feel like a nice family reunion. One where your crazy uncle didn’t attend because he is gone on a hunting trip, and so nothing really strange happens. They served us a buffet style breakfast and gave us a bag of goodies. I scored a fabric bag with a zipper opening, a Georgia Egg Commission chef’
I was in the first group of 5 to cook, and I’m glad they let us preheat the oven and set a few things out ahead of time because after breakfast, it was pretty much “ready set go”. My practicing paid off and my preparation went really smoothly. The biggest challenge was the fact that the ovens provided were 20 years old (my best guess). They were not calibrated, they had no timers, and the stove tops were old electric coils that didn’t sit flat enough for the contents of a pan to really stay in one place. Dani had given me a timer that morning before we left as a just in case, so I was covered there, but I should have brought an oven thermometer too. Next time I’ll be better prepared for the not-so-Master-Chef condition of the kitchen arrangement. My German Pancake crust was a bit more crusty in the center than it was supposed to be and I tried two batches of roasted kale chips without a satisfactory result because of the oven temperature, but over all, everything looked and tasted really good. I was the first one done too! Ease of preparation? Check. Hot dish for the Judges to taste? Check.
The rest of the day, I got to sit back and watch the other contestants. We got to taste everyone else’s dishes too. Mine had a lot of fans of both it’s taste and presentation; check and check. But none of them were judges. I’m sure I am a little biased, but I thought my dish fit all the criteria better than some of those that placed.
What are you going to do? The Georgia Egg Commission gave all of us losers a $50 dollar check to help ease the trouble we went to in showing up; which was nice of them. Another upside is the fact that there is no conflict in my posting my losing recipe on the blog for all of you to try! Now you can cast your own vote.
When you do, keep in mind that the theme was “Your Supreme Pizza With Eggs”, and there had to be at least 4 eggs in the dish. We were judged on creativity, ease of preparation, taste, and appearance. Mine was the only one that had an actual egg crust, did not have some kind of a scrambled egg topping, or alternatively, was not a desert. I present to you my German Pancake Breakfast Pizza! I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to substitute what ever toppings you like. It’s going to be a family standby in our kitchen.
I had fun competing. I can check “state wide cooking contest” of my bucket list now. Will I do it again? I don’t know. Next year’s theme sounds a bit easier to work with. Getting an early start on that theme is a privilege of having been a finalist this year… Later the same day, Dani and I went to an Irish pub to celebrate a friends 21st birthday, and I came away with a more whiskey perspective of the days events and a few uneggspected ideas for next year! That is if I do decide to enter.
The day started stressful but exciting as we awoke over an hour late due to an alarm malfunction but we had packed well the night before and managed to make it into the care at a reasonable time and actually arrived before they were even setup for us. We were excited. Really excited. Kevin’s recipe isn’t just good….it’s really good.
After the nice breakfast and setup he started cooking and nailed everything. Even with the glitch with the oven and having to redo the kale chips he rocked it. He was the first recipe in to the judges, presented it beautifully (perhaps a bit simply compared to the elaborate decorations other took in) and it was hot! We tasted it as it came out and even with a bit crispier crust on the bottom than he normally does due to the oven, it was delicious.
The rest of the day was relaxing as we tasted all the other dishes. It was a bit odd to us that the judges were not allowed to watch the competitors cook to actually see how easy the dishes were to prepare since that was part of the judging. Or to see one competitor licking her fingers while cooking uhm, that was an odd experience. But regardless we had high hopes.
It was rather frustrating to me that they had brought in sweet and savory pizza recipes to compete together. It seemed rather unfair to both parties as its almost impossible to judge between the two as they are so different. All in all it was a fun but disappointing day. I can say wholeheartedly that I believe Kevin deserved to place with this recipe.
Kevin's German Pancake Pizza
For the Crust:
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 5 tbs. butter
- Pinch of salt
- A few ounces of prosciutto
- 1/4 of a large onion sliced thin and halved
- 4 or 5 small vine tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of shredded Italian 4 cheese mix
- 3 or 4 Kale leaves
- Small jar of Basil Pesto or home made Queso
For the Homemade Queso:
- 1 tbs. butter
- 1 cup shredded Italian 4 cheese mix
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tbs. crushed red pepper
For the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a ten inch skillet or equivalent baking dish inside.
- Wisk eggs, milk, salt, and flour (added slowly) until the batter is frothy.
- Once the oven and pan are preheated, remove pan from the oven and melt the 5 tbs. of butter by spreading around with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter in the pan and quickly move the pan back into the oven.
- Turn the oven down to 425 degrees and set timer for 20 minutes.
For the Toppings:
- Cut onions and Prosciutto into pieces and lightly pan fry with a little olive oil (prosciutto is thin and does not need much time in the pan so add the onions first). Put a lid on the pan and move it to the back of the stove top.
- Slice tomatoes into halves. Chop Kale into small squares. Oil a small cookie sheet and place tomatoes on one side and the kale on the other. Lightly salt if desired and place in oven 10 minutes before the crust is done.You may want to adjust the amount of time you roast the Kale depending on your oven. Also, you can try pan frying the tomatoes. It takes a bit more time, but I liked the end result better.
- If you are using pesto as your pizza sauce, you are done prepping until the pancake crust is done and the toppings are added. I did a half and half pizza and used Queso as the sauce on one half.
For the Queso Sauce:
- Over medium heat, melt butter and add sour cream. Whisk together and allow to come to a simmer. Once simmering stir in corn starch, then stir in cheese and pepper. Keep stirring occasionally until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat.
- The pancake crust will come out of the oven puffed up, but it will quickly deflate. Spread the pesto and or Queso sauce on crust. If you are using pesto, sprinkle the cheese next. Add the onions and prosciutto. Remove the tomatoes and Kale from the oven and distribute the tomatoes and finally the crispy Kale over the pizza.
- Slice and serve.
Feel free to substitute any kind of toppings. It works equally well with a red sauce as well for a more traditional pizza.
It will be one of the iconic recipes of our cookbook someday and I hope you will make it soon and express to him how truly delicious it is.