By Diana Heidgerd Associated Press
DALLAS — A fried Thanksgiving dinner months ahead of the holiday and chicken-fried meatloaf made the greasy cut Tuesday with six other finalists for the State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards.
Winners for Best Taste and Most Creative new foods will be selected Sept. 2 by a three-judge panel. All eight food finalists will be for sale during the State Fair of Texas, which runs Sept. 27 through Oct. 20, fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said.
“We really do have incredible food,” Gooding said. “I would encourage people who come to the fair to be prepared to share the treats so that you can try even more.”
The Thanksgiving dinner features homemade stuffing and diced turkey that’s wrapped in a ball, dipped in cream corn, rolled in cornmeal and then fried.
The Southern-style meatloaf slices are coated in chicken-fried breading and then deep fried and served with garlic mashed potatoes, Texas cream gravy and a glaze for dipping.
Among the other treats up for the choice awards include a deep-fried Nutella — cream cheese and hazelnut spread on flaky dough sheets, that are rolled and deep friend. It’s served with honey and shaved almonds. And the Cuban roll is filled with slow-cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and sauce, rolled in pastry dough and — what else? — deep fried.
Made in the shape of Texas, Fernie’s deep-fried King Ranch Casserole is a mix of melted cheese dipped in an egg wash and coated in bread crumbs. Another entry is millionaire pie: sweetened cream-cheese filling with pineapple and Texas pecans, then wrapped in a pie crust and deep fried. There’s also spinach dip bites, which coated with crispy tortilla chips and then fried.
For bacon lovers, the Texas-fried fireball rolls pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper and bacon into a ball, which is then dipped in buttermilk, covered with a jalapeno-infused batter and deep fried.
Last year’s Best Taste winner was a fried bacon cinnamon roll, and the Most Creative new food in 2012 was deep-fried jambalaya.
State Fair of Texas website: http://www.bigtex.com/sft/