DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For you it might be the Ferris Wheel, the midway games, the concerts, or the Red River Showdown… but when you think of the State Fair of Texas you also think about fried foods.
With the start of the fair less than two months away that means competition has begun in the Big Tex Choice Awards. As always, the contest looks for the best new fair food creations. The ten finalists were announced this morning. Among them, the Texas Twang-Kie, Fernie’s Hoppin’ John Cake with Jackpot Sauce, the Arroz Con Leche and the State Fair Fun-L Cake Ice Cream.
The contest is split into two categories — savory and sweet.
In the savory category Clint Probst presented the Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie.
A dish described as having shredded cheddar cheese and cream, mixed into mashed potatoes. Each potato ball is then filled with a shepherd’s pie filling made of ground beef, mixed vegetables, and beef gravy. The ball is of course seasoned, formed into a ball and fried.
Another contender is Fernie’s Hoppin’ John cake with Jackpot Sauce by Winter Family Concessions.
The dish consists of black-eyed peas, white rice, spicy smoked sausage, green onions, and a “secret” blend of spices, combined with breadcrumbs and eggbeaters. The cake is breaded, deep fried, and topped with a black-eyed pea relish, garnished with pickled okra, and served with a side of Jackpot Sauce.
If you prefer things with sugar, a finalist in the sweet category is the Cotton Candy Taco by Justin and Rudy Martinez.
This treat is made by taking a graham cracker waffle cone, pressing it into a taco shell shape and coating it with a marshmallow glaze. The shell is then stuffed with chocolate, toasted marshmallow, sugar cotton candy and topped with chocolate cookie crumbles and two chocolate cream-covered biscuit sticks with marshmallows.
Competitors Ed and Eddie Campbell added a little something extra to their sweet entry called Sweet Bakin’ Bacon.
This dish has a cream-filled sponge cake wrapped in bacon and then dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried. Of course it’s finished off with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Winners of the 14th Annual Big Tex Choice Awards will be announced on August 26.
The State Fair of Texas runs from September 28 through to October 21.