Three Massachusetts restaurants share their award-winning recipes

Massachusetts restaurants in Orange, Foxborough and Ipswich have each been recognized for a unique, mouthwatering dish as part of the General Mills Foodservice’s 2020 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest.

“Our bakery section became our ‘bread and butter,’ helping us to stay afloat during these times,” said Stephanie Cook whose parents own one of the winning restaurants, Terry’s Corner Café in Orange. “General Mills products are a staple in our kitchen and we have fun creating new and exciting items for our community.”

The $5,000 prize money was given to each winner including Corner Café for its mouthwatering maple frosted brownie cakes with candied bacon. Jetties Bagels in Ipswich won with its Mulled Apple Cider Bagels and the Union Straw in Foxborough won with its Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider. All 20 winning recipes can be found on the General Mills website.

“This past year has made it even more apparent the special place that independent eateries hold in the heart of their communities, exemplifying the spirit behind the Neighborhood to Nation Contest,” said Kelley Walhof, brand experience assistant manager for General Mills Foodservice. “We are excited to announce this year’s winners, whose creativity and tenacity shine through with these 20 distinctive menu items.”

“Chef Dan’s “Southern Straw Slider” features honey hot chicken on a homemade buttermilk biscuit,” stated a Facebook post by the Union Straw on Wednesday. “Starting tonight, this winning slider will be on the menu. Congrats Chef Dan and our amazing team.”

Winter months have been historically difficult for restaurants, even pre-pandemic when they could be at full capacity, with people choosing to hunker down at home in the face of dark evenings and frigid temperatures. After Gov. Charlie Baker issued guidelines on distancing in restaurants, the capacity for indoor seating for many has been more than halved.

The pandemic has been particularly rough on the restaurant industry with about 10% of the state’s workers, some 300,000 restaurant employees, being largely idled, said Steve Clark, vice president for Governmental Affairs for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

The state is also seeing an increasing demand for food banks by its residents. With that in mind, General Mills Foodservice is also offering the restaurants the chance to be named the “Peoples Choice” prize winner. The prize for this award will be an additional $5,000 donation to a local food bank charity.

According to data compiled by the Associated Press on quarterly food distributions at food banks across the country, three major Massachusetts food banks saw double-digit percent increases in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. The Greater Boston Food Bank saw the greatest increase: food distributions, measured in total pounds, were up by 65.7%. Distributions at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts were up 38.2%, and the Worcester County Food Bank saw an increase of 11.7%.

“We know that restaurants are the first to step up to help when their community is in need,” said Walhof. “With the growing hunger crisis that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19, we look forward to donating $5,000 to a local food bank on behalf of our Grand Prize Winner.”

The recipes:

Corner Cafe

maple frosted brownie cakes with candied bacon. (Corner Cafe)

Maple frosted brownie cakes with candied bacon:

Brownie Cakes
  1. Pour 1.5 cups of water into large mixing bowl.
  2. Add brownie mix.
  3. Mix vigorously using wire whisk until batter is fairly smooth.
  4. Spray half sheet pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper; spray parchment paper.
  5. Spread brownie batter in pan.
  6. Bake as directed below and allow to cool.

In a convection oven set temperature to 300°F for 17-19 minutes. In a standard oven 350°F for between 20-23 minutes.

Note: Rotate pans baked in convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 9 minutes of baking.

Candied Bacon
  1. Lay 2 bacon slices on parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  2. Rub 2 Tbsp brown sugar into bacon slices.
  3. Bake as directed below until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Drain; cool completely. Break into at least 1-inch pieces.
Maple Frosting
  1. Beat 3 cups of frosting and 2.5 cups of powdered sugar in mixing bowl with paddle attachment until combined.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp of maple flavoring; mix until blended.
  1. Freeze cooled brownies at least 30 minutes for easier cutting.
  2. Cut 18 brownie cake circles using 3-inch round cutter.
  3. Using pastry bag with large star tip, fill bag with frosting.
  4. Pipe frosting onto 6 brownie circles and then top each with another brownie circle.
  5. Pipe additional frosting onto middle brownie layer and then top with remaining brownie circles.
  6. Pipe a dollop of frosting on top of stacked brownie cake. Garnish with piece of candied bacon.
Jetties Bagels

Mulled Apple Cider Bagels. (Jetties Bagels)

Mulled Apple Cider Bagels:

Mulled apple cider
  1. Heat 1 gal apple cider and 10 cinnamon sticks in stock pot until cider begins to boil.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.
  3. Cool completely; remove cinnamon sticks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Combine 4 cups Mulled Apple Cider and 2 cups water. Heat to 110°F.
  2. Place yeast and 5 oz sugar into mixer bowl. Add 3/4 of heated cider/water mixture. Whisk until dissolved. Rest until bubbles form, approx. 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and remaining cider/water mixture to bowl.
  4. Mix using dough hook attachment on low speed to incorporate liquid, approx. 4 minutes until dough comes together, adding additional cooled Mulled Apple Cider to form a good dough.
  5. Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth, approx. 3 minutes.
  6. Cover; let dough stand for 30 minutes.
  7. Punch down dough.
  8. Shape approx. 5 oz pieces of dough into bagels. Place on parchment-lined full sheet pans. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
  1. Bring 1.5 gal of water and 2/3 cup of honey in large shallow pot to a simmer.
  2. Place bagels, 4 at a time, into water in pot.
  3. Cook 15 seconds; turnover and cook an additional 10 seconds.
  4. Lift bagels from water; place 3×4 on sprayed parchment-lined full sheet pans.
  5. Bake as directed below until deep golden brown.
  6. Brush with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar.
Union Straw

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider. (Union Straw)

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Honey Butter
  1. Mix 1 cup of butter and honey (1/4 cup of honey and 3/4 butter); set aside.
  1. Combine biscuit mix, sugar and maple syrup in large mixing bowl. Using rubber spatula, stir in water to make a soft dough.
  2. Place dough on floured surface. Dust with flour and fold in half lengthwise. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut dough into 24 rounds.
  3. Place on parchment-lined full sheet pan.
  4. Bake as directed until golden brown. Brush top with melted Honey Butter. Sprinkle each with pinch of sea salt.

In a convection oven set temperature to 400°F for 7-9 minutes. In a standard oven 450°F for between 9-12 minutes.

Note: Rotate pan baked in convection oven one-half turn (180°) after 3 minutes of baking.

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Hot Honey Sauce
  1. Mix Honey Hot Sauce ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

  1. Combine Marinade ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Add chicken; marinate 15 minutes.
  3. Mix Chicken Dredge ingredients.
Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

Assembly (Made to order)
  1. Remove chicken from marinade.
  2. Dredge chicken in Chicken Dredge.
  3. Fry chicken in deep-fat fryer preheated to 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes until chicken is crispy and internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4. Immediately toss chicken with a small amount of Honey Hot Sauce to coat chicken.
  5. Slice warm biscuit in half horizontally.
  6. Place 1/4 cup arugula on serving place.
  7. Place bottom half of biscuit on arugula; top with coated chicken piece and biscuit top.
  8. Thread jalapeño slices, red onion and pickles on wooden skewer. Place through top of biscuit to secure slider.

Related Content:

  • As COVID pandemic changes the face of hunger, food banks across Massachusetts see double-digit increases in demand
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