More than 40 recipes were submitted to the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation’s #Community Harvest Recipe Contest, and it’s now official: Crockpot Chicken Stew is king.
Gig Harbor resident Sandra Hagen’s Crockpot Chicken Stew triumphed over seven finalists at a tasting Sept. 28 as part of the Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business After Hours event. More than 40 chamber members served as judges for the seven finalist recipes submitted by community members to the #Community Harvest project’s Crockpot Recipe Contest, which closed in mid-August.
The finalist dishes were selected by how well they met four key criteria: nutritional value, providing 8 to 10 servings, primarily composed of non-perishable ingredients, preparation ease and importantly — can be cooked in a slow cooker.
Three area chefs then helped narrow the field to those recipes prepared for judging at the event. The top seven recipes included Chicken Tortilla Soup Texas Style, Crockpot Chicken Burritos, Chicken Stew with Dumplings, Crockpot Split Pea Soup, Crockpot Vegetable Soup, and Slow Cooker Barley, Quinoa and Chickpea Risotto.
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After more than two hours of sampling and discussing the #Community Harvest, all cast their votes. With nearly two-dozen first place votes, Hagen’s Chicken Stew took the grand prize, a cruise trip for two. Maria Lanier claimed the Gold Spoon award for her Chicken Tortilla Soup Texas Style, while both Silver and Bronze Spoon awards go to Ariel Gustanski, for her Crockpot Split Pea Soup and Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup, respectively.
All 29 recipes will be published in the #Community Harvest recipe book available for purchase on Make A Difference Day at Peninsula High School on Oct. 22.
Activities will run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and will include a crockpot cook-off where the community can get a wonderful hearty and wholesome meal for $5 and participate in unloading the #Community Harvest Food Convoy. Trucks will arrive throughout the day; each bearing 425 bags of recipe ingredients from the various sponsors.
With “feeding families for a brighter future” as its tagline, the #Community Harvest project is a significant local project that will culminate on Oct. 22 at Peninsula on national Make A Difference Day, when for the 25th year millions of Americans will once again unite in a common mission to improve their communities.
“We really wanted to expand the impact of our local Make A Difference Day activities in a way that supported our community well beyond the day itself,” Barb Turecky, who has served for the past three years on GGHF’s Social Capital Board and as co-chair of past Make A Difference Day events, said in a release. “So many in our community struggle with hunger daily, and the #Community Harvest project makes it easy for people to work together and get involved in making a real difference for families in need, right here where we live.”
More information can be found on the web at gigharborfoundation.org/communityharvest.