Wednesday, March 22, 2006
ANNA GINSBERG WINS PILLSBURY BAKE-OFF
Just because I knew you would want to know I print the following from the Austin American Statesman. HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE I DO NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM CONDONE THE EATING OF CHICKENS...
Austinite wins Pillsbury Bake-Off
Anna Ginsberg won $1 million for chicken and stuffing recipe
By Kitty Crider
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF FOOD EDITOR
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
ORLANDO — Austinite Anna Ginsberg is $1 million richer this morning, as the winner of the 42nd Pillsbury Bake-Off. Her original recipe for Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing beat out 98 other finalists from all over the country for the grand prize announced today, which will be awarded as a $50,000 a year annuity for 20 years.
Ginsberg, a stay-at-home mother of a 4-year-old daughter, creatively combined spinach with frozen homestyle waffle sticks, fresh sage and pecans for the stuffing and then used waffle syrup in the peach glaze for the savory chicken dish.
Judge Martha Holmberg, food editor of the Oregonian and former food editor of Fine Cooking magazine, said of the recipe, "It's not a lot of work but feels restauranty in the good sense of the word. The waffle fingers had a nice texture and it was a good way to get spinach and vegetables in there. It's a complete dinner." (Ginsburg's recipe is below.)
Recipes were judged on appearance, appeal, creativity and taste and had to win one of the Bake-Off's six categories before they could compete for the grand prize. Ginsberg's recipe won the Cooking for Two category. Each of the other five category winners earned $10,000 plus GE Profile ovens with Trivection.
All Bake-Off recipes had to include at least two of more than 60 qualifying products from Pillsbury, General Mills, Progresso, Green Giant, Yoplait, Old El Paso and more. Ginsberg used Green Giant frozen spinach and Pillsbury Dunkables waffle sticks.
In addition to the $1 million, Ginsberg, as grand prize winner, will receive $10,000 worth of GE Profile stainless steel kitchen appliances.
Confetti rained down on Ginsberg, à la Vince Young style, as she was announced the grand-prize winner. She grabbed her head with her hands in disbelief. "It's like I haven't woken up yet," she said of the early-morning announcement. She said she made the recipe up for dinner one night, for herself because she likes stuffing. "I thought it was creative and it tastes so good. I ran upstairs and typed it up."
She plans to use the money for her daughter's education and a trip to London. And she has a dream of owning a coffeehouse, with a playscape for kids, where she bakes cookies every day.
Competition cooking is not new to Ginsberg, who began entering recipe contests two years ago and has been a finalist or winner in 15 national ones. Last year her wins included $10,000 in a California raisin contest and $5,000 in Cooking Light. In 2004, she was a Bake-Off finalist and, as such, received a trip to Hollywood, an Advantium oven and a $1,000 supermarket shopping spree. But even though her recipe did not place that year, it whetted her appetite to try again. Rarely entering single recipes in contests, she estimates that she has submitted 300 original creations in two dozen contests in the past couple of years. She was elusive on how many she entered in the Bake-Off but told reporters it was between 1 and 100, hinting the higher end.
While the money is nice, recipe contests are "more of a creative outlet for me," the 35-year-old University of Texas advertising graduate told the American-Statesman last year in a profile for the newspaper after the Cooking Light win.
Ginsberg was not the only Austin resident competing in the Bake-Off. Jennifer Mohn was a finalist in Orlando with a roasted tomato-corn chowder with cilantro pesto. As a finalist, she won an expense-paid trip to the competition at the Gaylord Palms Resort, a $1,700 value.
Judges for the Bake-Off were nine newspaper or magazine food writers (including this writer), dietitians, and cookbook authors, including Angela Shelf Medearis, an Austin radio food show host.
Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing
9 Pillsbury® Dunkables® frozen homestyle waffle sticks with 3 syrup cups (from 1 lb 1.3-oz box)
2 tablespoons peach preserves
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (1 lb)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 cups Green Giant® frozen cut leaf spinach (from 1-lb bag), thawed, squeezed to drain well
1 tablespoon beaten egg white
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate or 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix contents of syrup cups from waffles, the preserves and Worcestershire sauce. Place chicken, skin side up, in pie plate; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon syrup mixture over chicken. Bake uncovered 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast waffle sticks as directed on box. Cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Cut waffles into 3/4-inch cubes; set aside. Spray 1-quart casserole with cooking spray (or use 9x5-inch nonstick loaf pan; do not spray). In 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in waffle pieces and broth, breaking up and moistening waffle pieces. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and sage. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Cool about 5 minutes. Stir in egg white and pecans.
Spoon stuffing into casserole; place in oven with chicken. Bake uncovered 15 to 25 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (170 degrees) and stuffing is thoroughly heated. Serve chicken with stuffing, spooning remaining sauce in pan over chicken.