Ocean Spray Recipe Contest 2011

Ocean Spray Recipe Contest 2011

For those who don’t know, I was a finalist in the 2011 Ocean Spray Cranberry Recipe Contest.  The contest was held for foodservice professionals (chefs, etc) and had over 300 entries from across the nation.  I created a Holiday Caprese Salad recipe and was one of the final 4 contestants from across the nation to be named as a finalist.  As a finalist, Ocean Spray sent us out to Boston to compete and enjoy a weekend on them.  So although I didn’t win the $10,000 grand prize, I’ll take a $3000 trip as a constalation prize. . . especially for a recipe that only took me 1 hour to put together.

Here is the recipe . . .


1 cup olive oil
1 cup Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Blend
1/2 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 ounces fresh basil, 2 leaves set aside for garnish
2 ounces sliced almonds 1/2 ounce fresh mint, 3 leaves set aside for garnish
Dash salt and pepper

Cranberry-Nutmeg Reduction
3 cups Ocean Spray® 100% Cranberry Juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 large beefsteak tomato
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
Reserved basil and mint leaves, garnish


To Make Pesto:
Combine all pesto ingredients in food processor. Process on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth.

To Make Cranberry-Nutmeg Reduction:
Pour cranberry juice into medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until reduced to thin syrup consistency. Add nutmeg; stir until blended.

Slice tomato into 4 or 5 even slices; cut each slice in half. Slice cheese the same way. Stack basil and mint leaves together; roll tightly into a cylinder and thinly slice.

Spoon about 1/2 cup pesto onto each serving plate, spreading to cover. Top each with alternating slices tomato and cheese. Garnish with dried cranberries, basil and mint. Drizzle Cranberry-Nutmeg Reduction evenly over each serving.

Makes 4 servings.

2011 Ocean Spray Foodservice Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest Finalist Shawn Bucher

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Chef Shawn Bucher    801-675-8091    shawn@firsttimerscookbook.com    www.firsttimerscookbook.com