On Monday morning the judges for the annual Big Tex Choice Awards met at historic Fair Park to evaluate the contenders for the 2013 State Fair of Texas. The fans had been speculating that more extreme dishes would win if history is anything to go by since quirky favorites such as Fried Coke, Fried Butter and Fried Beer have won in the past.
Aside from bragging rights, the winning dish typically profits quite well during the three-week run of the fair. "Winning typically means an additional $250,000 in sales," says Steven Doyle of Eater Dallas who was also a judge this year.
HINT: Use hashtag #BigTexChoiceAwards on your social media pages to discuss.
The early favorite - if social media chatter is anything to go by, showed that Fernie's Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole was the one most fan enthusiasts wanted to taste; however, this early fan favorite was not meant to be a winner.
The judges have spoken and the 2013 winners are:
Best Tasting: Deep Fried Cuban Roll – A filling of slow cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and secret sauce is spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough, and deep fried. Roll is served with a side of majo sauce for dipping. Created by Isaac Rousso.
Most Creative: Fried Thanksgiving Dinner – Mama’s homemade stuffing and diced roasted turkey are rolled in a ball. Next it’s dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal - all fried to a crispy golden brown. Served with old fashion giblet brown gravy. The zesty orange cranberry sauce fills your dipping needs and results in a complete thanksgiving dinner, FRIED! Created by Justin Martinez.
Here is a break down of the other 2013 contenders:
- Awesome Deep Fried Nutella® – Cream cheese and Nutella® are whipped and spread over flaky Phyllo dough sheets, rolled up, and deep fried. Served with a drizzle of honey and shaved almonds.
- Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole – This stick-to-your-ribs TEXAS SHAPED creation is melted cheese, salty, spicy, goodness that is dipped in a zesty southwestern egg wash and coated in panko bread crumbs. Deep fried golden brown and crunchy on the outside; steamy and creamy on the inside! Served with a side of red, white, and blue tortilla chips and your choice of our homemade “salsafied” sour cream or cheesy queso. Each one proudly flying the flag of the Lone Star State and deep fried in the Heart of Texas!
- Golden Fried Millionaire Pie – Sweetened, fluffy cream cheese filling is loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans then wrapped in a flaky pie crust and fried to a golden brown. Topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and candied pecans.
- Spinach Dip Bites – Creamy and delicious spinach artichoke dip bites are coated with crispy tortilla chips and flash-fried until golden brown. Bites are served with salsa for an additional kick.
- Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf – Homemade meatloaf slices are coated in an authentic Texas chicken-fried breading and deep fried golden brown. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, Texas cream gravy, and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze for dipping.
- Texas Fried Fireball – Pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper, and bacon are rolled into a ball, dipped in buttermilk, covered with a jalapeno-infused batter and deep fried. Served with chipotle ranch for dipping.