The Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) recently partnered with University of Rhode Island’s Nutrition & Food Sciences Department for a cranberry-themed cooking competition among Scientific Principles of Food students.
Over the course of three lab sessions, 30 students created 11 mouth-watering appetizers. From Cranberry-Jalapeno Salsa, Cranorange Crostinis, and Cranberry Chia Jam to Cranberry Brussels Sprout Spring Rolls, Cranberry Chicken Wonton Bites, and a Pistachio Cranberry Cheese Ball, students showcased the versatility of America’s Original Superfruit® in an array of culinary creations.
“It was a great week; the students were able to showcase their food science knowledge and kitchen skills to create some truly delicious and creative recipes,” said Sarah Larson, MS, RD, LDN, who teaches the Scientific Principles of Food courses at URI.
Students and visiting guest judges rated the recipes on the basis of appearance, aroma, texture, flavor, and creativity. The overall winner was the Cran “Brie” Bites recipe created and executed by Kelly Bianco, Jenna LoDebole, and Megan Weir. This delightful phyllo dough cup combined flavors of cranberry, brie, pistachio, orange and rosemary in one creamy, crunchy bite.
“I was very impressed with the students’ creativity and innovative uses of cranberry products,” said Karen Cahill, communications and marketing specialist at CMC and guest judge of the competition. “The assortment of recipes really shows the utility of cranberries and how they can be easily incorporated into sweet and savory dishes.”
All of the recipes from this competition can be found in the CMC’s recipe section.
Recipe by Kelly Bianco, Jenna LoDebole, Megan Weir
- 2 sheets phyllo dough
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces brie cheese
- 14 ounces whole berry cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup pistachios, salted and roasted
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 large navel orange
- 18 small rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 380°F. Grease two muffin tins with cooking spray. Cut each sheet of phyllo dough into nine equal squares for a total of 18 squares. Press into muffin tins. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Cut Brie cheese into 18 equal pieces. Stir cranberry sauce and spoon about a tablespoon into each phyllo cup. Top with a square of brie. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, check after 15 minutes.
- Finely chop ½ cup unshelled pistachios (equivalent to ¼ cup shelled). Toast in pan over low heat for 5 minutes with rind from orange, stirring constantly. Combine confectioner’s sugar with juice and zest from one orange to make glaze.
- Remove Cran “Brie” Bites from oven, take out of muffin tins and place on cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then drizzle with orange glaze. Top with toasted pistachios and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.