Ready to Rumble!

After the Aetna Healthy Food Fight earlier this year, I didn’t know I’d be in another “fight” so quickly.  And since I didn’t win that fight, I sort of was reluctant to enter another. Thank goodness for me, the next one didn’t involve an open cook-off.

I entered the Jimmy Dean Crumble Rumble where contestants use the new product, Jimmy Dean Hearty Sausage Crumbles in their recipes. (If you’ve not tried this new product, you need to! Already cooked sausage that can easily be added to recipes to help speed up the cooking time) The stipulation was to enter 2 recipes, one breakfast recipe and then another recipe from any category.

The recipe I entered (in detail below) for the breakfast part, was: Jimmy and Jack Empanadas with Sweet Maple-Apple-Ginger Syrup. Crescent roll empanadas filled with savory sausage, eggs and Monterey-Jack cheese drizzled with a syrup with sweet flavors of maple, apple and brown sugar mixed with the pungent flavor of ginger.

For the other recipe, I designed one to go along with the Spanish cuisine of the first.  Southwestern Sausage Ravioli and Avocado Salsa Vinaigrette – stuffed wontons with a “twist”. Loaded with Spanish cheese and sausage these boiled wonders are topped with an avocado and tomato salsa mixed with an olive oil-based vinaigrette loaded with poblano chiles, garlic and lime juice.

Also, as a contestant submitting recipes I also needed to submit the blogger who “took” me to the contest by way of their blog. So, I nominated the blog. Crissy Page sounded so nice and her site is very thorough and offers so much for her readers. I’ve not been following it long, but what I’ve read and noticed is her intense way of notifying everyone of special information around the net concerning household items to food items.

I found out today, I WON and since I had nominated Crissy Page’s blog, she won as well. We are going to NY City for 3 days and 2 nights AND, get this….we’re also seeing the Rachael Ray show!!Vote for Rach as your favorite tv chef for the People's Choice Awards! Photo

I’m not sure when we’re going, but I know I won and I’m going!!


Jimmy and Jack Empanadas with Sweet Maple-Apple-Ginger Syrup

Yields: 10 – 12 empanadas

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time:1 hour and 10 minutes


2 tablespoons butter

8 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 package Jimmy Dean Original Hearty Sausage Crumbles

1 cup shredded Monterrey-Jack cheese

3 scallions, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large can of crescent rolls

1 egg (for egg wash)


½ cup maple-flavored syrup

1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

2 Tablespoons ginger preserves

1 Tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Add the chopped scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft.

Whisk eggs with milk and season with salt and pepper. Add eggs to scallions in pan and cook, stirring, until well scrambled. Warm sausage per package instructions in microwave.

Remove crescent dough from can. Roll out crescent dough, careful not to separate. Roll with a rolling pin to make dough thinner. Cut into10 or 12 6-inch circles of dough.

Place spoonfuls of the egg mixture in the middle of each dough circle, dividing the mixture evenly between the empanadas. Sprinkle some sausage and grated pepper jack cheese on top of the egg mixture, dividing the cheese and sausage evenly between empanadas. Fold and seal the empanadas. Carefully fold the circle over to make a half moon and crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat.

Place empanadas on a baking sheet. Whisk an egg with a tablespoon of water, and brush empanadas carefully with the egg wash. Using a small knife poke 3 small air vents in the top of each half moon and brush with a little egg. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

While empanadas are baking, heat syrup ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan just to boiling. Stir occasionally, until juice concentrate is melted and sugar has dissolved.

Plate empanadas and drizzle warm syrup over. Serve while empanadas are warm.

Southwestern Sausage Ravioli and Avocado Salsa Vinaigrette

Serves: 4 servings (30 wontons)

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes



1 packet (9.6oz.) Jimmy Dean Turkey Hearty Sausage Crumbles

1/2 cup finely grated Manchego cheese

1 shallot, minced

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (1 pound) package round wonton wrappers (60 wonton wrappers)

1 egg, whisked for egg wash

Salsa Vinaigrette:

2 large poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 – 3 Tablespoons lime juice

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

pinch sugar

3/4 – 1 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 ripe Haas avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped

3 cups chopped tomatoes

1 red (Spanish) onion, diced

3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


Create the ravioli. In a large saute pan bring heavily salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly to a gentle boil. Put the turkey sausage, cheese, shallot, garlic, and black pepper, in a large bowl and mix well to incorporate.

Assemble the ravioli: Put a wonton wrapper on a clean dry working surface and brush the entire wrapper with egg wash. Keep the remaining wonton wrappers covered while working to prevent them from drying out.

Put 1 tablespoon meat mixture in the center of each wrapper. Gently stretch another wonton over top to cover, connecting the edges of the wrappers, press to secure. Gently lift, cup hands over filling to release any air inside, pinch around the rim to secure and put on a plate or large flat dish. Repeat with remaining wontons.

Cook the wontons: Gently put a batch of wontons in the boiling water, turn over half way through cooking and remove after about 5 minutes. Repeat for all wontons.

Create vinaigrette by combining chiles, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, and sugar in a blender. Puree until smooth. If ingredients do not puree, add water by teaspoons full until pureed. Gradually add olive oil and pulse until mixture is emulsified to a consistency like that of heavy cream. If too thick, add water to achieve desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In a large bowl combine avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro with vinaigrette.

Serve warm ravioli equally in 4 bowls with salsa vinaigrette drizzled and placed over wontons.

About Angela Milani

My love of cooking has taken over. I was on the net one day and saw an ad for a recipe contest. I entered. Then, I entered another. Then another, and so on and when I won a contest... an entire year's worth of tomato products, I was hooked. Since then, I've entered many many different recipe contests. I have won a trip to New York, entries into cook-offs, a recipe published in a Kraft/Paula Deen cookbook and many food products and food related items. I enjoy cooking and entering recipe contests. I hope I spark an interest in others to create something they can be proud of. I'm always getting more ideas from the internet. Wow, I remember not having the internet years ago. It's a God send and I'm trying to cover every inch of the food sites!! Join me in my quest to keep fresh ideas flowing and creating new and exciting dishes.
This entry was posted in Apples, Breakfast, Cheese, Contest, Meats, Pork, Sauces, Spanish/Mexican Cuisine, Tomatoes, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ready to Rumble!

  1. Lindsay says:

    Congratulations!!!! Those recipes sound delicious!! It’s a well-deserved win!

  2. Angie Walker says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so excited for you…*happy dance*

    What a thrill to be going to N.Y. Tell Rachael I said hello (like she will know who I am…DUH). Enjoy yourself Angela, you work hard for your achievements.

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