S.F. woman wins Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off crown and $25,000 grand prize
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Josie Shapiro and her winning recipe
Forget about March Madness. Josie Shapiro has given us a case of Man-O-Manischewitz Madness!
The San Francisco resident on Thursday, March 21, captured the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off in Newark, N.J. She and her recipe for "Faux Pho" beat out four other finalists in an intense competition at the Manischweitz factory.
The contest was the seventh annual, and the 35-year-old married mother of two — who works as the director of advancement for Jewish LearningWorks in San Francisco — won a grand prize package of Maytag appliances and cash worth $25,000.
According to NJ.com, Shapiro beat out "hometown favorite Yitzi Taber, a 17-year-old from Bergenfield, N.J., who brought along his own cheering section."
Shapiro's recipe was a riff on the traditional Vietnamese rice noodle dish, usually made with beef. She used a curried chicken soup with coconut milk, egg noodles, lime and basil, among other ingredients.
The other recipes were Chicken Potato and Leek Pie, Balsamic Mushroom Matzah Panini with Mango Jam, Garlic Chicken Rollatini and Sweet and Spicy Seared Tuna.
The contest was judged by six food journalists and celebrity chef Jamie Geller, author of "Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes."
Shapiro and three of the other finalists were chosen from thousands of entries. A fifth finalist was added in an online vote. Each recipe could include a maximum of nine ingredients, two of which had to be Manischewitz products.
At the finals on Thursday, the contestants had an hour to cook in makeshift kitchens set up in Manischewitz's huge Newark factory. The guidelines were for taste to account for 50 percent of the score, with 25 percent each for ease of preparation and creativity.
"I am beyond thrilled to have been chosen as the 2013 Manischewitz Cook-Off winner; words cannot even express how exciting this journey has been," Shapiro said in a press release issued by Manischewitz. "Each finalist did a great job and I enjoyed getting to know all of them and learning about their unique recipes as well.
"I love incorporating Manischewitz products into my cooking, because as a working mother with two kids under the age of 5, I am always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen without compromising quality."
Before the competition, Shapiro told j. she created "Faux Pho" as a "fast, easy recipe" that she "can throw together after work." She said her young kids will eat it because it includes one meat they actually like to eat: chicken.
Here's is Shapiro's winning recipe:
Josie Shapiro's Faux Pho
12 oz. Manischewitz egg noodles
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 Tbs. curry powder
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6-8 oz. each
32 oz. Manischewitz chicken broth
1⁄2 cup orange juice
1 cup coconut milk
1⁄4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper
1 1⁄2 cups fresh basil leaves
Cook the egg noodles 2 minutes less than directed on package. Strain, run under cold water to stop cooking process, and set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add curry powder, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken. Flip to coat in curry. Add broth, orange juice and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and gently simmer until chicken is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove chicken from soup and roughly chop into bite-size pieces. Return chopped chicken to soup. Add cooked egg noodles, turn heat to high and return soup to boil. Lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.
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