Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do you have a killer recipe for Louisiana Sweet Potatoes?

Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission seeks your winning recipe

Do you have a killer recipe for sweet potatoes? Get inspired to create a unique dish featuring this exceptional root veggie and enter to win the annual Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission Contest.

The sweet potatoes popularity in Louisiana in the past few years has risen and can be found on many restaurant menus. Most commonly consumed as a side dish complimenting a Thanksgiving Feast, the year round consumption boosts many health benefits and let’s face it, they are delicious.

However, the sweet potato is not a potato at all. Or even a distant relative to the potato. Potatoes are tubers and sweet potatoes are actually roots. In Louisiana, they are often referred to as yams and have found their way onto many restaurant menus as side dishes and desserts mainly in recent years.

Now in its 10th year, the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission is sponsoring a recipe contest in partnership with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine. More than 1,000 recipes were submitted last year from every state in the nation and more are expected this year. 
Sweet Potato Corn Spoon Bread took the top prize in the
Professional category in 2012.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association is also a sponsor and encourages professional chefs and amateurs foodies to submit their most delicious recipe for an appetizers, side dish, entrĂ©e or desserts. An overall grand prize winner will be selected and will win $1,000! To top it off, one winner in the professional category will be awarded an additional $500 each. 

"Culinary competitions are really exciting ways to grow your restaurant's customer base and exposure," said Wendy Waren, LRA VP of Communications. "Winning this contest results in a spot in the October issue of Louisiana Cookin' magazine and hard cold cash. What are you waiting for?"

So if you are thinking you want to try your hand at a root vegetable gratin featuring sweet potatoes, a gulf seafood bisque or your specialty sweet potato dessert, here’s your chance to possibly cash in and earn bragging rights.

This year, chefs and home cooks have the option of using fresh, frozen or canned sweet potatoes in their creations.  Deadline to submit your recipe(s) is May 31, 2013. If you enter more than one recipe, you need to complete a separate entry for each recipe.

Prize winners will be determined based on overall flavor, visual appeal and creativity. Finalists’ recipes will be prepared by culinary students at Delgado Community College of New Orleans and judged by an independent panel of food industry professional whose decisions are final.

Those that are the brightest, prettiest orange color are the richest in beta-carotene, contain vitamin B6, iron, potassium and fiber and contain virtually no fat or sodium.  Studies have consistently shown that a high intake of beta carotene-rich foods like the sweet potato can significantly reduce the risks for certain types of cancer.

With the rich soil conditions in Louisiana, the nutritional benefits and a cash prize, that’s a winning recipe in our books! So enter today!

We love to eat them fried, mashed, baked, in a soup and even as a hash for breakfast. What is your favorite way to eat the beloved sweet potato?

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