Saul Good Restaurant & Pub, 1808 Alysheba Way, invited community cooks to create a pizza combination that could be added to the restaurant's menu. Twelve recipes were chosen for a cook-off, and the donations were made to the favorite charities of the winning cooks.
Nicolle van Rouwendaal won first place with California mission pizza. A donation was made to Camp Horsin' Around, a facility designed and equipped to enrich the lives of children with serious chronic illnesses and physical difficulties.
Second-place went to Lynn Stidham and Richard Dieffenbach, who created a French/Italian fusion pizza. A donation was made to Special Olympics. Patti Taylor topped her third place pizza with duck and pineapple BBQ; her prize benefited the Lexington Humane Society. Adam Yosim won fourth place with New Mexico heater; money was donated to the Bluegrass chapter of the American Red Cross.
Here's the recipe for the first-place pizza.
California mission pizza
Pizza dough for 1 pizza, baked to a light golden brown
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce fresh basil
2 ounces shaved Parmesan
15 sliced dried figs (soak in water overnight) or 5 large ripe fresh figs sliced (skin on)
3 ounces prosciutto (dry-cured Italian ham)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces arugula
3/4 teaspoon white truffle oil
Prepare dough as instructed. Prep all toppings: Slice the figs. Pull prosciutto apart.
Bake crust in the oven until golden brown (You will add toppings and return to the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes to complete the baking process, so don't overcook crust).
Brush crust with extra virgin olive oil (use a brush or your hands). Add fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Spread figs and the prosciutto until crust is covered. Crumble feta cheese on top and add a bit of freshly ground pepper. Bake pizza about 3 to 4 more minutes, until toppings get warm and bottom of the crust can finish cooking.
Meanwhile, mix arugula with white truffle oil. Take pizza out of the oven, cut and garnish with a layer of arugula.
Brigitte Nguyen of Lexington, who is a TV host on the Cooking Channel, was one of the judges at the Pillsbury Bake-Off last week and helped select the $1 million grand prize winner. Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pa. won the top prize with a dessert recipe for pumpkin ravioli with salted caramel whipped cream. Other winning recipes are at Pillsbury.com/bakeoff.
Here's the $1 million recipe.
Pumpkin ravioli with salted caramel whipped cream
4 tablespoons Land O'Lakes butter, melted
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon McCormick pure vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar
5 tablespoons Pillsbury Best all purpose flour
½ teaspoon McCormick pumpkin pie spice
1⁄3 cup Fisher Chef's Natural pecans, finely chopped
2 cans Pillsbury refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Hershey's caramel syrup
4 tablespoons McCormick cinnamon sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 large cookie sheets with 2 tablespoons melted butter. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Add egg yolk, vanilla, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour and pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed until blended. Reserve 4 teaspoons pecans; set aside. Stir remaining pecans into pumpkin mixture.
Lightly sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Unroll 1 can of dough on floured surface with 1 short side facing you. Press dough into 14- by 12-inch rectangle. With paring knife, lightly score dough in half horizontally. Lightly score bottom half into 12 rectangles (3-by-21/4 inches each). Spoon heaping tablespoon of pumpkin filling onto center of each square. Gently lift and position unscored half of dough over filling. Starting at top folded edge, press handle of wooden spoon firmly between mounds and along edges of pumpkin filling to seal. Using toothpick, poke small hole in top of each ravioli. Using pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut between each ravioli; place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, dough sheet and filling. Brush ravioli with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Bake 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream and salt with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in 2 tablespoons caramel syrup until stiff peaks form. Transfer to serving bowl; cover and refrigerate.
Remove ravioli from oven. Sprinkle ravioli with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar; turn. Sprinkle other side with remaining cinnamon sugar.
To serve, place 2 ravioli on each of 12 dessert plates. Using 2 tablespoons caramel syrup, drizzle some over each serving; sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans. With spoon, swirl remaining 1 tablespoon caramel syrup into bowl of whipped cream. Serve warm ravioli with whipped cream.
In shape for Easter
European Delights Gourmet Bakery, 221 East Brannon Road, Nicholasville, is offering specials for your Easter feast. Mini egg-shaped cakes for $4.95 are available in white and chocolate flavors covered with white and dark chocolate. Egg-shaped cookies are $2.50 apiece. Call (859) 271-7000.
Here's the beef
As a tribute to Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, and the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland Race Track's opening this weekend, several restaurants are offering steak specials.
Henry Clay was one of the early syndicators and a significant horse breeder, with 11 Kentucky Derby winners' bloodlines tracing back to the estate. Clay also introduced Hereford cattle to the United States.
Restaurants that will offer Ashland steak specials Friday and Saturday are: Dudley's, 259 West Short Street, (859) 252-1010; Portofino, 249 East Main Street, (859) 253-9300; Nick Ryan's, 157 Jefferson Street, (859) 233-7900; and Varden's, 509 Main Street, Paris, (859) 987-4700.
A sizzling Bacon Ball
The Louisville Visual Art Association will hold its Bacon Ball 2012 at the Louisville Water Tower on April 27.
The Bacon Ball will feature a competition for the Bacon King Award among local chefs challenged to create a bacon-inspired dish to be voted on by event attendees. The Bacon Ball also will feature a signature Maker's Mark cocktail, local beer and bacon-inspired desserts. Proceeds benefit the Art Supply Fund, a program that supplements art supply budgets at schools and children's fine art classes.
Tickets are $25 for association members, $35 for others. Call (502) 896-2146, Ext. 100, or go to Louisvillevisualart.org.
Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, has released its 2012 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. It features an illustration by Michael Schwab showing a Thoroughbred and its jockey racing toward the finish line. The jockey is wearing brightly colored argyle silks, and his tack includes the No. 1 saddle cloth. A matching argyle neck band seals the top of the commemorative bottle. The limited edition lite bottle retails for $42.99. Go to Woodfordreserve.com.