As the holiday season is upon us, this festive time calls for parties and gatherings of family and friends. Whether it is a dinner party or a family gathering, home-cooked sides make the meal! For your next gathering here are some ribbon-winning side dishes any chef can cook. These prize-winning recipes come directly from our Creative Arts Competition Kitchen of the 2019 State Fair of Texas. Get inspired with these recipes and consider entering a 2020 Creative Arts cooking competition!
Sally D. Muhl
1st Place–Blue Plate Special
|4 c yellow squash, sliced in ½ in. rounds||¾ c. sour cream|
|2 c. zucchini squash, sliced in ½-inch rounds||1 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded|
|2 T. oil||1 tsp. salt|
|4 T. butter||½ tsp. Garlic powder|
|2 med. Sweet onions||½ tsp. pepper|
Sauté squash and onions in oil and butter over medium-low heat until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mix squash, onions, sour cream, cheese, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour into a medium buttered casserole dish.
4 T. butter, melted
2 sleeves Ritz crackers, crushed
Melt 4 tablespoons butter and mix with crackers. Top casserole with buttered cracker mix and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.
Mamaw’s “El Rancho” Beans
Haltom City, TX
2nd Place–Blue Plate Special
|1 lb. dry pinto beans, soaked overnight||3 oz. kielbasa, cut in sm. pieces|
|1 onion, chopped||1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes|
|5 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled||2 T. ketchup|
|Salt & pepper to taste|
Drain beans and put fresh water to cover. Sauté onions in bacon drippings. Add to beans with drippings. Add bacon and kielbasa. Cook beans until tender. Add Ro-Tel, ketchup, salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture on low until juice is thickened. Serve hot with cornbread or as a side dish.
Bacon-Wrapped Maple Glazed Carrots
2nd Place–Farm to Fork Contest
|3 lbs. Whole carrots||Salt and pepper to taste|
|1 ½ lbs. bacon||½ c. maple syrup|
Preheat oven to 400°. Thoroughly scrub and peel each carrot. Wrap each carrot in a piece of bacon, overlapping ends so they are secured. Sprinkle each carrot with salt and pepper. Place wrapped carrots on a baking sheet. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crisp. During the last 5 minutes, brush carrots with maple syrup. Continue to cook until the syrup starts to bubble, remove from oven and serve.
Brenda J. Simpson
1st Place–Farm to Fork Contest
|1 c. ricotta cheese||2 lg. Eggs, beaten|
|¼ c. Romano cheese, grated||2 c. Italian bread crumbs|
|½ tsp. Black pepper||Olive Oil|
|½ tsp. Garlic powder||Italian pasta sauce|
|Pinch of oregano||1 c. mozzarella cheese, grated|
|1 lg. eggplant|
In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, Romano, black pepper, garlic powder and oregano; mix well then set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Peel eggplant and slice thin lengthwise. Dip in beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs. Place in skillet with olive oil and brown lightly. Set on paper towel to drain. In a greased baking pan, put a layer of sauce on the bottom. Take eggplant from the wide end and coat with ricotta cheese mixture. Roll from wide end to narrow end and place with end to the bottom of the pan. Coat all your rolled eggplant with Italian sauce. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Cook in the oven set to 3250 until bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and put a layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the eggplant. Return to oven just until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
These are just a few of the many side dishes our Creative Arts Cookbook has. Not only does it include sides, but there are also countless main dishes, desserts, soups, salads, and more! We encourage you to enter a unique recipe for our 2020 Fair cooking competitions for a chance to be in our next Creative Arts Cookbook. Happy holidays and happy cooking!