Tulsa 'mom chef' vies for cooking prize
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Sunday, September 30, 2012
9/30/12 at 9:09 AM
Melanie Terwilliger's Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Frittata has earned her a chance to claim the $10,000 grand prize in a national competition.
And Terwilliger may have an advantage. She's won a cooking contest grand prize before and took home $20,000.
Terwilliger has been selected as a semi-finalist in the first Eggland's Best "Your Best Recipe" contest. Out of thousands of entries, her frittata has been selected as one of the top five recipes in the Main Course category.
She invented the recipe that has taken her this far in the competition by thinking of ingredients that taste great with eggs: spinach, artichokes and crab. She doesn't have a professional cooking background, but she has plenty of cooking experience.
"I do not have a culinary background; I have a mom background," Terwilliger said. "I just love to cook, and I come from a long line of people who like to cook."
Terwilliger has raised three children, who are now ages 20, 23 and 24. She moved from Birmingham, Ala., to Tulsa about nine months ago.
She learned about the Eggland's Best contest, which Terwilliger estimates is the 10th contest she's entered, on the Internet. She won the grand prize in a contest from Jose Ole frozen foods a couple of years ago for her Steak House Chimi Bites. An honorable mention was her next highest contest finish.
Terwilliger and her husband eat eggs dishes in some form or fashion almost every night, so she has experience with egg-based recipes.
"I knew what I wanted to make, and I made it one Sunday night for dinner and just tweaked it a little as I went," Terwilliger said.
But Terwilliger needs votes for the chance to win the $10,000 grand prize.
To vote for Terwilliger, go to tulsaworld.com/bestrecipevote and look for Melanie Terwilliger's Spinach-Artichoke-Crab Frittata under the Main Course heading.
Online voting will come to a close noon Sunday and will account for 10 percent of each semifinalist's final score. The Eggland's Best "Your Best Recipe" contest judges, chef Candice Kumai and registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward, will make up the remaining 90 percent and will be awarding points for taste, presentation/appearance and creativity.
On Nov. 12, four at-home chefs will be announced as winners in the following categories: Breakfast, Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert, and will receive a $1,000 prize. One of these category winners will also take home the $10,000 grand prize.
Here's the recipe that Terwilliger created for the contest.
MELANIE'S SPINACH- ARTICHOKE-CRAB FRITTATA
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 Eggland's Best eggs (large)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 box (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can (13.75 ounces) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup crab meat
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a 12-inch oven-proof skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil 3-5 minutes or until soft.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper until foamy; stir in sour cream, cheddar cheese and spinach. Fold in artichokes and crab meat.
4. Pour egg mixture into skillet and sprinkle with parsley.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are set; allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459