Texan Chef Takes the Gold at Ocean Spray’s Fifth Annual Recipe Contest
This champion’s tale hits close to home! Shonna Ebert of Dietert Center in Kerrville, Texas and her mouthwatering masterpiece, “Kickin’ Chicken Tortilla Soup with Zesty Cranberry Crème Fraîche,” took home the title “Ultimate Cranberry Recipe” and the $10,000 grand prize!!
Ebert prepared her innovative creation for a panel of judges including Paul King, executive chef of Davio’s; Lawrence Parks, executive chef; and Jason Ward, executive chef of Renaissance Boston Hotel & Spa at Patriot Place during the final cooking showdown. The judges announced Ebert as the winner during Ocean Spray’s Fall Harvest Festival.
“For more than 80 years, Ocean Spray has been on the lookout for the most creative and innovative ways to use the cranberry – from sauces and glazes to cocktails and desserts.” said Keith Benoit, Ocean Spray’s director of food service and special markets. “All of the finalists’ recipes, including Shonna Ebert’s winning tortilla soup, prove once again that no matter the dish, the cranberry can add that sweet or tangy accent to make any ordinary dish extraordinary.”
The contest was open to food professionals – from established chefs to recent culinary school graduates – who have a passion for the little red wonderberry. The finalists and winner recipes can be found at www.oceanspray.com as well as www.oceansprayfoodservice.com/recipes/.
Combine water and 1 cup juice drink in 4-quart stockpot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast, chicken base, garlic powder and white pepper; boil for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 cup juice drink in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add jalapeños, carrots and onion; cook for 7 minutes or until tender.
Reduce heat under stockpot; transfer chicken breast to plate. Add sautéed vegetables to stockpot; return to a boil for 5 minutes. Transfer 1 cup stock from pot to a small mixing bowl; add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and set aside.
Add corn and black beans to stockpot. Dice chicken breast into 1/2-inch cubes; add to stockpot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries; simmer for 5 minutes longer.
To make crème fraîche, place sour cream, buttermilk and reconstituted dried cranberries into a food processor. Process until smooth.
To serve, ladle soup into large, rimmed soup bowl; top with crispy tortilla strips. Drizzle with crème fraîche. Garnish with cilantro.
- 2 ½ quarts water
- 2 cups Ocean Spray White Cran•Peach Peach White Cranberry
- Juice Drink, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon chicken base
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 5 medium jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- ½ medium white onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups Ocean Spray Craisins Original Dried Cranberries, divided
- 1 11-ounce can sweet yellow and white corn, drained
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 6 to 8 corn tortillas, cut into 2-inch strips and fried crisp
- 6 to 8 cilantro sprigs
6 to 8 servings