Amateur Chefs Compete For Top Citrus Honors

For the 2005 Sunkist Citrus Challenge, hundreds of at-home chefs throughout the country proved that a splash of citrus can spice up any meal and inspire flavorful, fun and fast developments that any cook would be eager to share.

The national contest called for amateur chefs to enter their recipes in 3 classifications: Entree, Quick & Easy and Citrus Celebre. Entrants from nearly 30 states submitted their signature, citrus-inspired recipes.

After much mixing, sauteing, simmering and stirring, official Sunkist Citrus Challenge judges revealed in March that they had discovered 3 excellent recipes rupturing with citrus taste. The winning chefs were Lisa Keys of Middlebury, Conn., Edwina Gadsby of Great Falls, Mt., and Nikki Norman of Milton, Tenn.

“It’s a pleasure to see how the premium excellent taste and flexibility of citrus motivated such creativity in the kitchen area,” stated chef Nancy Swinney, one of the contest’s head judges.

The winning dishes were examined by a panel of judges utilizing the official requirements – taste, ease of preparation and accordance with an enjoyable, wholesome and healthy way of life. Each winning chef was granted $2,000 and a bounty of fresh Sunkist citrus fruit in order to continue dealing with loved ones to their tasty recipes.

Keys sent her Fire & Ice Citrus Steaks & Salsa dish for the contest’s Entree classification, putting a distinctive spin on grilled steaks and typical salsa. This dish calls for rib-eye steaks to be marinaded in a delicate mix consisting of Moro orange juice and later grilled and smothered with a spicy and juicy salsa of navel oranges, jalapenos, tomatoes and cilantro.

Gadsby’s Asian Citrus Salmon Rolls, winner in the Quick & Easy classification, is best for cooks who are running short on time. The salmon is marinated in a blend of juices, consisting of orange and grapefruit, and hoisin sauce, Asian garlic chili sauce and Oriental sesame oil. The salmon is served inside fresh red-leaf lettuce and can be dipped in the citrus marinade sauce.

Norman’s Warm Lemon-Basil “Martini” Cake with Toasted-Spice Citrus Tartar, sent in the Citrus Celebre classification, includes enough citrus to dazzle the palate. It’s topped with a combination of cinnamon, Minneola tangelos and Moro oranges. The outcome is a citrus-infused dessert served in a martini glass and topped with a turbinado sugar-coated rim.

Gadsby’s Asian Citrus Salmon Rolls, winner in the Quick & Easy category, is ideal for cooks who are running short on time. The salmon is served inside fresh red-leaf lettuce and can be dipped in the citrus marinade sauce.

Norman’s Warm Lemon-Basil “Martini” Cake with Toasted-Spice Citrus Tartar, submitted in the Citrus Celebre classification, features enough citrus to charm the taste buds.

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