The three men and three women had one hour to prepare and fully cook their dishes before presenting them to a panel of judges.
Contestants included Joe Carver from Philadelphia, Falafel Pizza; Joy Devor from Far Rockaway, N.Y., Fantastic Flounder Rolls; Greg Fontenot from the Woodlands, Texas, Chicken in Balsamic Cherry Sauce; Julie Hession from Las Vegas, Rib-Eye With Marsala Mushroom Sauce; Evan Levy from Danville, Calif., Southwestern Potato Kugel; and Tracy Rapp from Memphis, Tenn., Southern Smothered Burgers.
After much smacking of the lips and sampling by the audience, Joy Devor, a mother of six, took the top prize — a $25,000 G.E. state-of-the-art kitchen, which the winner noted, she needed badly.
Here are a few others.
Evan Levy's Southwestern Potato Kugel
2 packages Manischewitz potato-pancake mix
3 tsps. chili spice
16 oz. diced green chilies (2 cans, drained)
30 oz. black beans (2 cans, drained)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 Tbsps. vegetable oil
11 oz. canned corn
salt and pepper to taste
For the Toppings:
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jar mild salsa
Grease the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish with 2 tablespoons of oil.
Mix two boxes of Manischewitz potato-pancake mix according to directions. (Combine mix, 4 large eggs and 41/2 cups water in a large bowl.)
Add the drained chilies, corn, black beans and 11/4 cup cheese to mixture.
Pour potato mixture into baking dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on top of the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425°.
After 30 minutes, sprinkle the remaining cheese on the kugel.
Bake for 15 minutes more.
Serve with the toppings.
Greg Fontenot's Chicken in Balsamic Cherry Sauce
6 chicken breasts, boned
salt and pepper
2 Tbsps. Manischewitz extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1/4 cup Manischewitz balsamic vinegar
1 cup New Manischewitz All-Natural Ready-to-Serve Chicken Broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 jar Manischewitz cherry preserves
flat-leaf parsley (garnish)
Pat chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté seasoned chicken until browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove chicken. Add onions to skillet and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce to just a couple of tablespoons.
Add the wine and broth, bring heat to high and reduce by half.
Add the cherry preserves, and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the sauce is thick.
Return chicken to the pan to heat through while spooning the sauce over the chicken.
Garnish with parsley, if using.