In Coast Packing’s Second Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest,
The Sweets Have It; Muffins, Pie and Cookies Take the Cake
On #NationalLardDay, Donna Pochoday-Stelmach of Morristown, NJ
Wins Top Honors; Lard-Friendly Treats from
Two Southern Californians Also Score Kitchen Bling
Nothing could be sweeter than homemade desserts prepared with lard –especially when they’re enjoyed on #NationalLardDay.
That’s the consensus takeaway of the Second Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest, organized by Coast Packing Company, the West’s largest supplier of healthy animal fat shortenings (http://coastpacking.com/lardlovers). The month-long contest drew homegrown recipes — savory and sweet alike — from around the country, as well as feedback from the social media community throughout November.
And the winners are:
- 1st Place: Tender Citrus, Bursting Blueberry Muffins, submitted by Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, N.J. Donna won a KitchenAid® Limited Edition Heritage Artisan Model K 5-Qt Stand Mixer with Ceramic Hobnail Bowl.
- 2nd Place: Razzleberry Pie, submitted by Anna Attia, Canoga Park, Calif. Anna received an Emile Henry® Essential 5-Piece Ruffled Bakeware Set.
- 3rd Place: Luscious Chocolate Chip Cookies, submitted by Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills, Calif. Michaela’s recipe earned her a Stargazer® Cast Iron Skillet.
The #LardLovers Contest is Coast Packing’s annual showcase of “the one ingredient that never fails to speak ‘flavor,’ even as it brings out the best in everything it touches,” according to Eric R. Gustafson, Coast CEO. “Lard is traditional, authentic and true to its roots and culture. There’s a reason certain ingredients are traditional — they provide better taste and quality than the non-traditional alternatives. Coast Packing knows (as do so many home cooks) that lard is what makes dishes from pie crusts to breads and cookies, from fried chicken to tamales, fantastically flavorful.”
Observed officially for the first time this year, #NationalLardDay, December 8, is a celebration of a traditional healthy animal fat – pure lard, derived from pork – that is now enjoying a resurgence within America’s food culture, in restaurants (especially those featuring ethnic specialties), fast food operations and home kitchens. Artificial trans fats are out, and minimally processed animal fats like lard — for superior baking, frying and a host of other cooking applications – are making a comeback. #NationalLardDay is an initiative of the Healthy Fats Coalition (http://www.healthyfatscoalition.org/).
Fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter helped choose this year top entries by voting for their favorites among the individual recipes, accompanied by images of the resulting dishes. The top 10 vote-getters were posted on the Coast site. Coast’s judges subsequently prepared those recipes and selected three winners based on flavor, creativity/originality and visual appeal.
Rounding out the Top 10 recipes:
- Banana Cabana Scones – Brenda Washnock, Nagaunee, Michigan
- Gobble up the Turkey Pie – Lois Spruytte, Richmond, Michigan
- Harvest Roasted Vegetables with Lardons, Cranberries & Pecans – Anthony Paska, Astoria, New York
- Heath’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – Heath Pinkerton, Huntington, Indiana
- Nutty Maple Glazed Chai Wreaths – Tiffany Aaron, Quitman, Arkansas (Tiffany’s Maple-Glazed Blueberry Pecan Cookie Bars were honored last year)
- Pig-licious Party Dip – Janine Washle, Eastview, Kentucky
- Snowflake Tiered Cookie – Maria Paska, Woodside, New York
Judges had this to say, in part, about the finalists:
- “Donna’s recipe yielded truly yummy muffins,” according to one judge. “I really appreciated the contrast between the crispy top and the tender interior, which made the muffin both delicate and rich. It just shows how versatile lard is as an ingredient. It’s not just a substitute for butter or vegetable shortening — it adds depth and improves texture.”
- “For me, Anna’s pie was ‘restaurant quality,’” said a Coast judge. “The sweet and sour notes of the berries complemented the flaky crust. While the pie shines on its own, it would pair nicely with fresh whipped cream or simply a la mode.”
- “I LOVE these cookies,” enthused one judge about Michaela’s recipe. “The nut oil and lard add a welcome savory quality to this classic (and frankly addictive) treat.”