It was hot and steamy on the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway this Saturday, but there was a Kenmore kitchen station with my name on it for the World Food Championships Super Regional Goo Goo finals!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many Goo Goo Clusters I went through playing with recipe concepts. When my friend Kathryn Mitchell Johnson of Lady Smokey came over on Friday, we decided the hand pies were the way to go. We called them hand pies, but kept hearing folks at the competition call them empanadas. Whatever you want to call them is fine by us!
I’ll say it a million times: “Fresh ingredients that are locally and sustainably sourced will make a dish sing!” My Hunka Hunka Goo Goo Love did just that. Paying homage to Elvis, local goodies won the Golden Ticket.
I can’t imagine what the competition would have been like if Kathryn had not been by my side. Kathryn even took all the photos of the day. We had one hour to make the dish. Shall I say every minute counted? It seemed like no time and an eternity all at the same time.
With a big ol’ lump in my throat, they called my name from the stage. My little pies won first place. Pank, Mamma and Daddy were there and my heart swelled seeing them grinning ear to ear. Taking Kathryn’s hand, we gladly accepted the award. Y’all, we’re going to Las Vegas in November to compete for the Grand Prize!
Hunka Hunka Goo Goo Love
For the Pastry
(yields 6-12 pastries)
3 cup flour
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter
6 slices chopped Porter Road Butcher Bacon
1/2 cup chilled George Dickel 12
1/4 tsp salt
preheat oven 375°. pulse in food processor butter, flour, bacon and salt until coarse meal. add cold whiskey a little at a time while continuing to pulse. when dough forms ball, remove and chill for at least 1 hour when time allows. (for sake of competition, chill as much as possible) roll dough 1/4 inch thick. cut into 6 inch circles.
For the Filling
2 chopped Goo Goo Originals
2 chopped Goo Goo Peanut Butter
1 ripe banana pureed
1 ripe banana thinly sliced
1 Willow Farm egg separated
fold chopped Goo Goos into pureed bananas. using tablespoon of filling for each pastry circle, lay filling in oblong shape in middle of pastry. add a small layer of thinly sliced banana. dip finger into whisked egg yolk and “paint” edges of pastry. fold pastry in half, making sure filling is secure by crimping dough with fingers. on parchment-lined cookie sheet, place pastries without touching. trim excess dough and crimp with fork. brush egg white over top of pastries. pierce top once with knife. bake on center rack for approximately 20 minutes. pastries will be light brown when done.
For the George Dickel Caramel Sauce
(yields 1 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream ( Hatcher’s Dairy)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp George Dickel 12
in heavy-bottomed sauce pan, on medium heat, slowly whisk all ingredients except Dickel for about 5 minutes or until sauce starts to bubble and thicken. whisk in Dickel and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
For the Garnish
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Goo Goo (of your choice) chopped
1-3 slices of Porter Road Butcher Bacon fried and chopped
drizzle Dickel sauce on serving plate. place pastry in center of plate. drizzle Dickel sauce on top. sprinkle nuts on top. if you really want more Goo Goo, sprinkle those on top as well. finish with a pinch of fresh Porter Road Butcher bacon bits.