What is your favorite recipe from the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off? Mine might be Orange Kiss Me Cake (1950) or possibly Peanut Butter Blossom cookies (1958).
Alas, neither of these would have been a finalist at the 2013 Bake-Off last month, because new rules called for recipes with seven or fewer ingredients and no more than 30 minutes of active preparation.
The 2013 winner of the million-dollar grand prize was Loaded Potato Pinwheels, an appetizer created by Glori Spriggs of Henderson, Nev., with already-baked frozen potatoes, shredded cheese and bottled bacon, baked in crescent roll dough and topped with sour cream and green onions.
Besides quick and convenient, I spotted other trends as I watched the contestants prepare their recipes for judging at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Heat has gone mainstream — sriracha, chile oil, chile paste, sweet chile sauce and chipotle were all well represented. Global flavors were abundant including Asian steam buns, Italian panzanella, Greek flatbread and Indian naan. Those flavors often crossed cultures as well —Thai turkey burgers and shrimp pizza, puffy potato chorizo tacos and chicken and spinach gyros.
The next Bake-Off will be in Nashville, and rules go up on the Pillsbury website in January. You can find the winning recipes at pillsbury.com, or in the recipe booklet on sale now at supermarkets.
The Glazed Bacon Rollups recipe here did not win a prize, but I thought it was delicious, and it has a Miami angle. It was created by Linda Blakely, now of Berne, N.Y., but a longtime resident of South Florida until 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, when she learned to cook on a charcoal grill while without power for nine days.
A recent survey by the Grain Foods Foundation found that people enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers more than the meal itself. I’m not so sure about that, but I do know I really look forward to that first turkey sandwich made from the leftovers.
Jason Pringle, executive chef at db Bistro Moderne, came up with the sandwich recipe here. I love the combination of spices in the cranberry-maple chutney and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the more assertive flavor of brussels sprouts in slaw.
Q: I enjoy trying to re-create excellent restaurant meals. Recently, I had the best pasta dish ever at Nani's Ristorante in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It was made with thinly sliced fresh figs, and I can’t figure out how to replicate it. Can you get the chef to share the recipe?
“We know it sounds strange, pasta with figs,” concedes Erin Neary, general manager at Nani’s. “When it all comes together, it’s creamy yet bright, sweet yet savory and completely satisfying.” Our thanks to executive chef Camille Parker Thomas for providing the recipe.
Tried and New
Cranberry Sprite and Cranberry Sprite Zero will only be around for the holiday season, which is really too bad. The combination sparkles.
Snappers are an easy gift just out from The Milk Shake Factory by Edward Marc Chocolatier —one-bite wonders of pretzel, caramel and milk chocolate that you could dress up as a hostess gift. A 30-ounce bag is $8.99 at Costco.
Turkey Day Help
Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s public-radio show PBS The Splendid Table is no longer broadcast in South Florida, but you can listen to her “Turkey Confidential” special from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at splendidtable.org. Helping Kasper provide live triage to Thanksgiving cooks will be Mario Batali, Michael Pollan, Ted Allen, Pati Jinich and Alexandra Guarnaschelli. To ask questions during the show, call 800-537-5252.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.