Blog Posts by Blue Ribbon Hunter

  • Tips for Growing and Cooking Tomatoes

    Blue Ribbon Hunter traveled to Pittston, PA for the Pittston Tomato Festival where thousands of people came out to sample delicious foods made with fresh tomatoes. One of the highlights of the festival is the tomato fight, where 250 people enter an arena and throw overripe or rotten tomatoes at each other for five minutes. Contestants must wear protective goggles that they can purchase for five dollars a piece and all of the proceeds go to food charities in the area.

    But they don't just throw tomatoes at the festival; they make some really delicious foods with them. Here are some of the tips we learned about cooking with tomatoes:

    • When making sauce, skim off the white foam that forms on top after boiling. This is the acid from the tomatoes and keeping it in the sauce will take away from the sweetness.
    • If your tomatoes are a little underripe, add sugar to your sauce to help sweeten it.
    • In season, ripe tomatoes are perfect as they are. When working with fresh ripe
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  • Where Do Fortune Cookies Come From?

    Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.
    Opening up a fortune cookie after enjoying Chinese food is always a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered where your fortune comes from? We traveled to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco, California to find out more about this cookie and learn how they're made.

    Fortune cookies are associated with Asian cuisine, but did you know you won't find a single fortune cookie in Asia? They originated in San Francisco, California in the 1950s and were intended to be served with tea at Japanese restaurants. Eventually the Chinese took over the production and continue to produce them in San Francisco today.

    The process of making the fortune cookies is actually quite simple. The cookie dough is made up of flour, sugar, sesame seeds, vanilla, egg, butter, and artificial color. Those ingredients are mixed together, and poured into a funnel with a pump. The correct amount of dough is dispensed into circular molds where they bake for four minutes. While they are still hot, they

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  • Award-Winning Lobster Cannelloni Recipe

    Blue Ribbon Hunter traveled to The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, ME where we watched 5 finalists go head-to-head, competing to see who had the best seafood dish. In the end, one dish came out on top:

    Tyrrell Hunter's award-winning lobster cannelloni.Tyrrell Hunter's award-winning lobster cannelloni.


    By Tyrrell Hunter, Brunswick, Maine

    INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 TO 5):


    4 1 1/4 lb Lobsters, cold water cooked method (see below), shucked. After removing the tail vein, cut the tail and claws into 1/2 inch chunks, mix with knuckle and body meat. Save the shells and bodies of two lobsters but discard the tamale. Refrigerate all until needed.

    1 lb. Large Sea Scallops - with muscle removed

    1 Tbl. Unsalted Butter (need total of 10 Tbl. for complete recipe)

    1 Tbl. Olive Oil

    1 tsp. Garlic - Minced

    2 Tbl. Onion - Finely Chopped

    1 Tbl. Fresh Parsley, washed, dried and chopped

    1 Tbl. Fresh Basil, washed, dried and chopped

    1 Tbl. Sun-dried Tomatoes - packed in oil, drained and chopped

    1 tsp. Anchovy Paste

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  • Tricks for Pairing Cheese

    Every year some of the best cheesemongers in the country come out to Larkin Cold Storage in Long Island City, New York to compete in the Cheesemonger Invitational to see who is the best in the industry. We went to the competition this year and were lucky enough to chat with some of the mongers who shared some of their cheese expertise with us. This is what we learned:

    Q: What are some of the best cheeses currently out there that people are missing out on?

    A: Challerhocker and Chiriboga Blue. Challerhocker is an aged cow's-milk cheese from Switzerland that is a hard cheese, but with a creamy, silky texture. This alpine cheese has both a sweetness and nuttiness that is hard to compete with. Chiriboga Blue is great for people who are overwhelmed by other more intense blue cheeses. This cow's milk blue cheese from Germany is more buttery than sharp and has the perfect balance of sweet cream and earthiness.

    Q: What is the key to properly pairing cheese with drinks and/or

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  • Award-Winning Halupki Recipe

    Blue Ribbon Hunter traveled to Whiting, Indiana for their annual Pierogi Festival, where over 200,000 people came out to party Polish style. We sampled classic and unique pierogies, danced the polka, and learned a lot about polish food and culture. One of the foods we learned about is called "halupki". This traditional Polish dish is beef and/or pork mixed with rice and onion, wrapped in steamed cabbage, and topped with tomato sauce. There was a halupki cook-off and we got the winning recipe:

    Nancy's Award-Winning Halupki Nancy's Award-Winning Halupki

    Award-Winning "Halupki" Recipe

    (aka Stuffed Cabbage)

    By Nancy Tatarek

    *Makes about 25 medium rolls

    1 pound ground chuck

    1 pound ground pork

    1 16 ounce box of regular rice (not instant)

    1 large onion, chopped

    1/4 cup butter or margarine

    2 eggs

    2 teaspoons salt

    1 teaspoon pepper

    1 large can of sour kraut

    2 large cans of tomato sauce

    1. Remove core of cabbage head and steam head until leaves can be separated. Cut off hard rib on cabbage leaf to

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  • Staggering Facts Behind Cruise Ship Cuisine

    Every year 20 million people choose to take a cruise for their vacation. Many people are drawn to cruise ships for their luxurious amenities and endless food. We hopped aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, to meet up with executive chef Nicholas Oldroyd to learn how he feeds so many people and still maintains the high standards that people expect.

    Some Surprising Stats

    The cruise ship kitchens feed 2,600 guests and 1,200 crew every day.

    The kitchen staff represents 55 different nationalities.

    During a 7 day voyage, the ship goes through:

    • 13 tons of meat
    • 13 - 14 tons of fish
    • 45,000 eggs
    • 85,000 pieces of china
    • 5,000+ bottles of wine
    • 7,000+ bottles of beer

    In one hour the kitchen staff serves 1,200 meals and does this twice per night.

    The kitchen staff serves 16,000 meals per day.

    Beef WellingtonBeef Wellington

    Fun Facts

    The most ordered dinner is Beef Wellington.

    The most ordered dessert is Baked Alaska.

    The ship has two

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  • Onion Parmesan Cracker Bread Recipe

    Blue Ribbon Hunter traveled to Manhattan, Kansas for the National Festival of Breads, where eight finalists from all over the country competed live to see who makes the best bread in America. The judging criteria of course included taste, but nutrition and ease of preparation also played big roles in determining the winner. In the end, one person rose to the top.

    Congratulations to Rosemary Leicht from Bethel, OH for her award-winning Onion Parmesan Cracker Bread. This bread won because it tastes delicious, is easy to make at home, is nutritious, and a whole lot of fun to share with the family!

    The award-winning Onion Parmesan Cracker Bread.The award-winning Onion Parmesan Cracker Bread.

    Onion Parmesan Cracker Bread Recipe

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Bake Time: 20 minutes

    Yield: Makes 4 (12 to 13-inch) cracker breads, 8 servings each.


    1/3 cup warm water (100° - 110°F)

    1 (1/4 ounce) package Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast

    1 teaspoon honey

    1 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour plus extra for rolling dough

    ½ cup

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  • Eating Cicadas

    Every seventeen years, cicadas emerge in certain parts of North America. While most people do their best to avoid these odd-looking insects, others seek them out. We met up with James Beard nominated chef Bun Lai of Miya's Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, who cooks and eats cicadas, to learn more about them and try them for ourselves.

    The cooked cicadas as prepared by chef Bun Lai.

    Is it crazy to eat cicadas?

    Not at all. In fact, people all over the world have been eating cicadas for years. North America is the only continent where the cicadas only appear every seventeen years. In some places they are on shorter live cycles, or even come out annually. It is quite common, especially in parts of Africa and Asia, to eat cicadas.

    But why?

    Why not? According to chef Bun Lai, not only are cicadas delicious, but they are also more nutritious than any livestock or seafood we could eat. In general, eating insects is also a more sustainable way of eating that people like Bun hope will catch on.

    How do you prepare

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  • Paul Qui's Award-Winning Recipe

    Blue Ribbon Hunter traveled to Venice, Italy for the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup where ten chefs from ten different countries battled it out to see who is the best young chef in the world. After two days of competitive cooking, including a challenge where the chefs had to cook a dish on a racing boat, one chef rose to the top: Chef Paul Qui from the United States!

    Paul Qui's award-winning egg custard dish.


    Prosciutto skin dashi

    100g prosciutto skin

    300g water

    30g bonito flakes

    20g white soy sauce

    Simmer pork skin and water until broth is flavorful (approximately 1 hour).

    Egg Custard

    80g raw beaten eggs

    240g prosciutto skin dashi

    Mix together and pour evenly into 4 teacups cover with plastic film and steam in a pan with water. Pour enough water in the pan to cover teacups halfway. Steam on medium high heat until custard is set (approximately 15 minutes).


    8 langoustines

    100g ovuli mushrooms

    20g butter

    Sauté in butter

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  • Award-Winning Pigs in a Blanket

    Brooklyn Piggies pig in a blanket.Brooklyn Piggies pig in a blanket.
    Pigs in a Blanket are a classic and beloved party hors d'oeuvre, but there is one company that makes them better than anyone else - well, according to Oprah at least. We traveled to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York to meet up with Missy Koo, the co-founder of Brooklyn Piggies, to find out what makes her pigs in a blanket so special.

    Just a few weeks after launching their artisan pigs in a blanket stand at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York, members from Oprah's team discovered Brooklyn Piggies and knew that they were something that Oprah would love. After trying them herself, Oprah helped put Brooklyn Piggies on the map by adding them to her "List of Favorite Things" in 2012. Since then, Brooklyn Piggies has been hand making their pigs in a blanket and shipping them across the United States.

    But what makes Brooklyn Piggies better than your normal store-bought brand? Missy says that since the concept of the pig in a blanket is so simple and only consists of two

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