Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists With Deep Fried Alligator's Egg

Every year Texas eagerly awaits learning the State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards Finalists and what marvels of culinary amazement made the Top 8.

This year's Top 8 seems to be more varied than previous years, what with proteins like alligator, lobster and buffalo getting the deep fried treatment.

Of the Top 8, to my taste, the Deep Fried Alligator's Egg Nest is the least appealing. Followed closely be the Chicken Fried Lobster with Champagne Gravy.

Champagne Gravy?

Well, let's start with that Chicken Fried Lobster with Champagne Gravy and go through the 8 Finalists one by one.

Chicken Fried Lobster with Champagne Gravy by Abel Gonzales
A lobster tail is breaded, then deep fried, then covered with a sauce made with lemon butter and champagne gravy. I can find no explanation as to what champagne gravy is.

Cowboy Corn Crunch by Isaac Rousso
Jalapeno, sweet corn kernels, cream cheese and some bacon is deep fried to a crispy crunch, then stuck into something called a palm leaf cone for your consumption convenience.

Deep Fried Alligator’s Egg by Cassy Jones
That Cajun staple, alligator meat, is mixed with jalapenos, onions, garlic and Monterrey Jack cheese, then rolled in bread crumbs before being tossed in the deep fryer before being placed on a nest of shoestring French fries drizzled with chipotle sauce.

Fernie’s Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly by Christi Erpillo
That is one long name for this concoction's new take on carrot cake. Baked bread mixed with cinnamon gets flattened, then filled with carrot cake, raisins and shredded carrots. Then rolled in cream cheese before being breaded with a combo of panko and graham crackers, sprinkled with nutmeg and more cinnamon, then drizzled with more cream cheese and a dusting of powdered sugar, along with caramel on the side. Nothing appears to be deep fried with this Finalist.

Fried Beer-Battered Buffalo by James Barrera
Lean ground buffalo gets some Mesquite smoke flavor added before getting rolled in the Official Native Pepper of Texas, that being Pequin chili pepper. The buffalo is then covered with crushed corn nuts before being dipped in a batter made with Shiner Bock Beer before hitting the deep fryer and then being dusted with bacon bits. The Fried Beer-Battered Buffalo comes with a chipolte cream dipping sauce.

Lone Star Pork Handle by Justin Martinez
A pork chop, with the bone-in, for handle purposes, gets a pork rub marinate before getting dipped in batter made with Lone Star Beer, then a coating of toasted bread crumbs before getting deep fried and coated with a bourbon barbecue glaze.

Pretzel-Crusted Pollo Queso by Allan Weiss
Chicken is shredded, then mixed with cream cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, cilantro, Sriracha sauce and bacon, then rolled into a ball coated with pretzel breading before being deep fried. This is served with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce to provide some much needed extra heat.

Smoky Bacon Margarita by Isaac Rousso
You must prove to be 21 to sample this Finalist's concoction. Somehow the taste of bacon is infused into a frozen lime Margarita. Bacon crumbles garnish the top of the cocktail. As an added bonus the Smoky Bacon Margarita comes in a collectible souvenir cup that you will be sure to want to your collection of such things.

Well, that concludes our look at the 2015 Big Texas Choice Awards Finalists.

See you at the 2015 State Fair of Texas, opening September 25, closing October 18.

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