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Recipe contestants make most of mountain mandarins

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2016 MOUNTAIN MANDARIN FESTIVAL
MAKE IT WITH MANDARINS RECIPE CONTEST WINNERS
Grand Prize (Set of Kitchencraft Cookware valued at $1900.)
Carol Daniels – Cookies and Cream Mandarin Cheesecake

Main dish
1st: Carol Daniels – Sweet and Savory Stuffed Pork Chops
2nd: Rachel Griffeth – Chicken and Waffles with Mandarin Glaze and Honey*
3rd: Mandarin Oranges over Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Side dish
1st: Rachel Griffeth – Bacon Wrapped Smashed Mandarin Potatoes with Mandarin Glaze
2nd: Jill Rafael – Citrus Pork Bites with Mandarin Salsa
3rd: Kezzia Bullen – Mandarin Star Bread

Desserts
1st: Barbara Janosko – Mandarin/Cranberry Cheese Pie
2nd: Jill Rafael – Chocolate Mandarin Parfaits
3rd: Andrea Perry – Heavenly Mandarin Bread Pudding

*Also won the Snow’s Citrus Court prize

***

COOKIES ‘N’ CREAM MANDARIN CHEESECAKE
By grand prize-winner Carol Daniels

Crust
2 sleeves of chocolate sandwich cookies
Zest of 3 mandarins
Juice of 1 mandarin
2 tablespoons melted butter
directions
Grind the cookies then add the zest, juice, and butter to cookie mixture
Press the mixture to a 10-inch spring form pan
Place in the freezer until cheesecake filling is complete

Filling
3 packages cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (slightly beaten)
Zest of 3 mandarins
Juice of 2 mandarins
directions
Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, zest, and juice and mix on slow.
Pour into crust and bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes.
Note: No water bath required.

Topping
2 cups sour cream (16 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 mandarin
Juice of 2 mandarins
directions
Mix and spread on cheesecake and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes

Garnish (jam)
This should be made a day or two ahead and leftovers are great on toast or scones.
2 cups mandarin juice and zest of 4 mandarins
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ to 1 cup sugar (The sweetness depends on the mandarins.)
1 can chopped canned mandarins (11 ounces)
1 package fruit pectin
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
Bring juice, zest, spices, and sugar to a boil, then add butter and skim the surface. Add the pectin and bring back to a boil for only 1 minute. Let cool and refrigerate.

They didn’t make our job easy.
The entries into the Mountain Mandarin Festival's mandarin recipe contest were creative with great attention to detail.
How about some sweet and savory stuffed pork chops? Or bacon-wrapped smashed mandarin potatoes with mandarin glaze? Do we try the chocolate mandarin parfaits before the citrus pork bites with mandarin salsa, or after?
Just sit there, they said, we’ll bring the dishes to you.
Works for me.
You’d think eating in front of an audience would rattle us a bit. But we’re pros. At least for this day.
Six judges faced the crowd Sunday in the middle of the Armory Building at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.
Including myself, the mandarin recipe-loving panel included Lisa Pilz, Pilz Orchards; Linda Hulet, Flo the Clown; Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County Supervisor; Daniel Berlant, Auburn City Councilman; and Mike Smith, Hot August Nights board member.
We came hungry and unafraid.
The audience watched intently. The cooks who entered their dishes made up most of the crowd, we were sure of it.
No pressure.
Just remember, you practiced your poker face all morning, I thought.
It didn’t work.
We’re programmed to open eyes wide or nod or hum a sound of delight when we taste good food.
Just don’t do the opposite if something comes around that’s inedible, I thought.
No worries. It didn’t happen.
Everything was great.
Carol Daniels was the grand prize winner with her cookies and cream mandarin cheesecake.
After the contest I was full for at least a day. But I could still go for some more of that cheesecake, or mandarin oranges over pasta with roasted vegetables, or ... .
Reach Features Editor Carol Guild at carolg@goldcountrymedia.com.