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Cameron Bailey, a project manager from Salt Lake City, and Elizabeth DeHart, an operating room assistant from West Jordan, will represent Utah in the 2012 Pillsbury Bake-Off.

They are among 100 finalists who will be heading to Orlando, Fla., for the March 25-27 competition, which carries a $1 million grand prize.

Bailey, who has run 15 half-marathons and six triathlons, was selected to compete in the "entertaining appetizers" category with his recipe for bacon-chicken sliders with raspberry-onion spread.

DeHart, an avid hiker, biker and camper, will compete in the "Dinner Made Easy" category with her recipe for falafel sliders with fire-roasted tomato aioli.

The finalists for this popular culinary competition, which takes place every other year, were selected out of thousands of entries.

Falafel Sandwiches with Fire-Roasted Tomato Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes (from 14 1/2-ounce can), drained (Muir Glen brand suggested)

3/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1 (16.3 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, (Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle recommended)

5 tablespoons light olive oil

1 (15 ounce) can chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground roasted coriander

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

To prepare aioli, place mayonnaise, tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the minced garlic in food processor or blender. Cover; process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in food processor, place chick peas, onion, remaining 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, parsley, chili powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander. Cover; process, using quick on-and-off motions, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture is well blended.

With wet hands, form about 3 tablespoons chick pea mixture into 3-inch patty. Repeat to make 7 more patties. In 12-inch skillet, heat remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties in oil 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown.

Split biscuits; spread a generous tablespoon aioli on bottom half of each biscuit. Top each with patty, spinach leaves and top of biscuit.

Servings • 8

Source: Elizabeth DeHart, West Jordan; 2012 Pillsbury Bake-off Finalist —

Bacon-Chicken Sliders with Raspberry-Onion Spread

1 can refrigerated crescent rounds (Pillsbury Place 'n Bake suggested)

1 egg, beaten

1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped red onions

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup red raspberry preserves

1/4 cup apricot preserves

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked, thinly sliced

4 slices hickory-smoked bacon, crisply cooked, broken in half

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Place crescent rounds on cookie sheet; press each crescent into 2 1/2-inch round. Brush with egg; sprinkle with poppy seed. Bake 8 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt and pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onions are tender. Add chicken broth and balsamic vinegar; cook 12 to 17 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half. Stir in red raspberry and apricot preserves; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until slightly thickened. Cool 5 minutes.

Cut each crescent round in half horizontally. Place bottoms of buns on serving platter; top each with 2 teaspoons of the onion mixture, chicken, bacon, cilantro and top of bun.

Servings • 8

Source: Cameron Bailey, Salt Lake City, 2012 Pillsbury Bake-off finalist

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