Cooking at the State Fair on Opening Day & Jambalaya Hotdish Recipe

The Minnesota state fair is the second largest state fair in the US. Second only to Texas, this fair is a food obsessed person’s dream. The food booths were awesome!  When I would hear people walk by me talking, they would be working out what they were going to eat next.

I was honored to do a demonstration in the creative arts building at the St. Agnes Baking Stage. It’s a Betty Crocker Style kitchen in the middle of all the ribbons for cookies and quilts. Over 100,00 people go to the fair on opening day. All I can say is WOWSA!

Photo by Danny Klecko

Here I am getting ready for my demo, it was real Louisiana humid in the building!


Local Flavor


Gotta have a nut roll!


Taffy pulling hard at work- State Fair Taffy


Muffin Winners


Bread Winners






Princess Kay of the Milky Way

The sheep were not happy with the crowds!


Can you believe Hotdish on a stick?


Can’t have a state fair without fudge!


Even my homeland was represented!


You could recycle your corn cob..


A fair tradition


This captures it all…



Louisiana Jambalaya Hotdish

The theme this year was church basement foods- Bars, Bundt cakes and Hotdish so I decided to present my favorite Louisiana Hotdish- Jambalaya

Prairie Kitchen Specialty Foods

Serves 12




4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

2 cups onions, diced (1 large)

2 cups celery, chopped (2-3 stalks)

1 ½ cups green pepper, chopped (1 large)

2 tablespoons garlic, minced (3 large cloves)

1-2 pounds of Boneless Chicken Breast, diced

1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 Tablespoon L&P

1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning

2 teaspoons salt

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced thin

5 cups cooked rice of your choice (aprox. 2 cups raw)

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (divided in half)

½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped (divided in half)

Tabasco to taste

8 ounces sliced Fresh Mozzerella Cheese (optional)

Crispy garlic


In a large dutch oven or straight edge saucepan with a lid, melt butter over medium heat.

Add onions, celery, green peppers and garlic.

Cook until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add chicken and cook slightly.

Add diced tomatoes, L&P, Cajun seasoning and salt. Simmer 10 minutes more and add sausage and rice. Add in the green onions and parsley.

Stir until well mixed and place in a large 3 quart casserole dish.  Place sliced fresh mozzarella cheese on top and   bake for 30 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with  remaining green onions and parsley and crispy garlic.  Season to taste with Tabasco at the table.






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4 Responses to Cooking at the State Fair on Opening Day & Jambalaya Hotdish Recipe

  1. Denise P. says:

    We were at your presentation yesterday with Klecko. Enjoyed it very much and looking forward to following your blog.

  2. shenanegans says:

    Great to see you yesterday. I don’t think I can get enough produce in my system today to counteract the disgustingly deliciousness from yesterday. :-)

  3. marcia says:

    sounds so homey!! dying to try!

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