Last night, I had the opportunity to help judge Crocktoberfest, a recipe contest sponsored by The National Pork Board. It was fun bumping into fellow foodies like Amie, Yvo, Cindy, Nick, and Gary. And, in addition to trying various pork dishes, I got to meet Top Chef Season 5's winner Hosea Rosenberg and actress Candace Cameron Bure (after just meeting Lori Loughlin, I wonder which Full House cast member I'll meet next!).
It was a good thing I wore comfortable shoes, because the location was really far from the closest subway stop! The event was held at the Hudson Terrace, which had a great view of the Intrepid...
...And a beautiful sunset view over the Hudson River.
To make sure I had pork on the mind, the first drink I had was a Bakon Vodka martini. There was a lot of ingredients in this cocktail, including maple syrup and Jack Daniels. It was interesting, but all I could really taste was the JD.
I liked chatting with Top Chef's Hosea because he was a very down-to-earth guy. Since he's currently based in Colorado, we talked about the great beer found in that region (my husband would be proud!). We also talked about his upcoming projects like potential new TV shows (that allows him to cook and travel) and expanding his food truck to other college towns. He was excited to check out the food truck scene here in NYC.
Candace was also really nice, friendly, and easily engaging. She says she's a foodie, but her husband (retired hockey star Valeri Bure) is the main cook at home. As a mother of 3, she loves encouraging her kids to try and eat anything and everything. We chatted a bit about hockey (both of her sons play). We'll both be in Toronto this weekend (she's visiting her husband who's currently competing in Battle of the Blades or Dancing with the Stars on Ice), so she got me to promise that I'd vote for him.
|After asking my server to model the food for me, I thought the least I could do was actually take a picture of him!|
In addition to the various Crock-pot pork recipes, there was plenty of other pork products to try (including sliders, prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, and grilled cheese sandwiches).
My favorite dish was made by Linda Cifuentes from Mahomet, IL. Her Kapusta Pork was German in style, with sauerkraut and beer. It was hearty, the flavors worked well together, and seems easy to put together. I'll definitely be making this for my husband!
Ingredients (serves 6)
3 pound pork loin, boneless
3 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
3/4 pound bacon, chopped
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cans sauerkraut (approximately 14.5-ounce can)
1 can diced tomatoes (approximately 28-ounce can)
2 bay leaves
1 8-ounce German beer
1. Insert 6 small slits into pork loin. Insert garlic slices in the slits. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place pork loin in slow cooker. Layer bacon, cabbage, sauerkraut, tomatoes, caraway seeds and bay leaf on top of pork loin. Top with beer.
3. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours.
4. Before serving, shred pork and stir all slow cooker ingredients.
5. Serve with remaining beer.
Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories: 610; Fat: 34g; Saturated Fat: 11g; Cholesterol: 185mg; Sodium: 1500mg; Carbohydrates: 16g; Protein: 56g; Fiber: 7g
Candace Cameron Bure and Hosea Rosenberg pose with the 5 finalists.
|The many faces of a winner!|
I was so happy that my favorite recipe was the winning one! Linda was ecstatic, and $5000 richer!
Thanks to the National Pork Board for inviting me to this event and for providing me with this nice swag bag! Check out and download the other finalists' recipes here! My second favorite recipe was by NYC's Cheryl Bailey. Inspired by her trip to Tuscany, her recipe (appropriately names Trip-To-Tuscany Pork Tenderloin) had lovely flavors derived from artichokes and white wine.