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brussels sprouts with bacon

All Photos: Fred Squillante / Columbus Dispatch

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Apples and Pecans

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Announcing the winners of our fall holiday recipe contest

Dear readers, you may remember that back in September, we launched our second annual holiday recipe contest, this time in partnership with the good folks at Home Town Cookin.' We asked for submissions across four categories — soups, vegetable dishes, non-turkey entrees, and cakes and cobblers — and y'all delivered in spades.

We're excited to announce the winners of the contest and to share each winning recipe. All four will be right at home on any Thanksgiving table, as well as any holiday event you've got coming up the rest of the year.

Karen Hacker took home the vegetable prize for her caramelized Brussels sprouts with apples, bacon and pecans. With that combination of ingredients, how could it possibly not be delicious?
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In the soups category, Jessica French won for her scallop soup, a decadent melange of cream, butter and, of course, a generous serving of fresh sea scallops.
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Our non-turkey entree winner came from Billie August Fasulo, who went wild with a savory bean and vegetable-filled crostata (that's a free-form pie for those not in the know).
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And in the desserts category, we had another free form pie, this time a pear galette from Paul Loncharic. All it needs on top is a scoop of real vanilla bean ice cream.
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About the contest
In September, hundreds of home cooks entered more than 780 recipes in our second Home Town Cooking Thanksgiving Recipe Contest, in four categories: soups, vegetable dishes, cakes and cobblers, and non-turkey entrees.

Those entries were whittled down to 12 finalists — three in each category — and on Oct. 12 faculty from Columbus State Community College’s culinary program in Ohio prepared and judged the recipes on taste, visual appeal and creativity. The judges were:

Adam Hagar, chef instructor in the school’s Department of Hospitality Management
Karen Krimmer, associate professor, advisor for the Baking & Pastry Arts program and program coordinator for the Department of Hospitality Management
Joshua Wickham, director of operations, School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in the Department of Hospitality Management
Barry Young, assistant professor and Culinary Apprenticeship coordinator in the Department of Hospitality Management

Columbus State’s culinary program has been ranked in the top 20 in the nation, and its graduates include several chefs at top restaurants in Columbus, Chicago and across the country. Next year the school will open an 80,000-square-foot Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts building, with space to double current program enrollment to more than 1,500; a professionally managed, student-staffed sit-down restaurant and bar and retail cafe and bakery; onsite farm-to-table food production gardens and more.


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Kate Williams is the editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She is also an on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She has been working in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.

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