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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Hawai'i contest selects top young chefs

Advertiser Staff

Shari Iha (top), who cooked Crescent Taco Stars, is a winner in a Foodland-sponsored cooking contest. Susan Pratt, who entered a teriyaki chicken fritter recipe, is another local winner.
Shari Iha, an 11-year-old from Pearl City, and 14-year-old Susan Pratt from Kapolei are the grand prize winners in Foodland's Pillsbury Kids Bake-Off 2001.

The fifth annual event, held March 24 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, involved 30 young bakers and cooks, ages 9-18.

Shari, a student at Waiau Elementary School, won for her Taco Crescent Stars recipe. Suzanne, who attends Hawaii Baptist Academy, submitted the winning recipe in her age division, Teri-ific Chicken and Corn Fritters.

Each child received a $500 savings bond and a computer for her school.

In addition, Shari will represent Hawai'i in June at the National Kids Bake-Off Contest, which only includes contestants in her age division (9-13). All state representatives receive a GE compact microwave oven and refrigerator and a trip for four to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., where the national bake-off will take place.

Finalists at the Foodland contest were:

  • Marisa Sakuda, 10, Mauka Lani Elementary.
  • Joelle Teasley, 13 Kalaniala'ole Elementary and Intermediate.
  • Clinton Fukushima, 17, King Kekaulike High School.
  • Alisa Kali, 16, Campbell High School.

The 30 semifinalists were chosen from among 200 entries submitted to the local market company this year.

Taco Crescent Stars
By Shari Iha, age 11

  • 1 8-ounce can Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
  • 1/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • Pam spray

Optional: lettuce, pitted olives, tomatoes

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough into four rectangles on lightly floured surface. Cut each rectangle into three smaller rectangles. Cut a triangle starting from the short end of the rectangle; repeat on the other end. Place little triangles on side of rectangle (which should resemble a six-sided star). Press dough together to seal. Place on a flattened paper baking cup; shape into a cup and drop into muffin pan. Bake 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brown ground beef; drain fat. Add cream cheese, taco seasoning and water. Fill crescent stars with beef mixture. Top with cheese and crushed tortilla chips. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with salsa, sour cream and chopped green onions. Garnish with lettuce, olives, tomatoes. Makes 12.

Teri-ific Chicken and Corn Fritters
By Suzanne Pratt, Age 14

  • 1 10-ounce box frozen Green Giant Corn in Butter Sauce, thawed
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour (mochiko)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 28 ounces peanut oil

Garnishes: sliced green onions and slivered red bell peppers

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the corn, green onions, bell pepper, cheese and chicken. In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, soy sauce, ginger root, garlic and black pepper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Fold in the corn mixture to form a stiff batter.

Heat oven to 250 degrees. In a deep skillet or wok, heat the oil until a haze forms above the surface of the oil. Drop the batter by level tablespoons into the hot oil, on medium-high heat. Fry six to seven fritters at a time, turning once or twice until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Place fritters in the warm oven until serving time. Garnish and serve. Servings: about 70 bite-size fritters.