Award-Winning Recipes from Monroe College Culinary Arts Students


A press release that gives recipes for Catfish Fingers with Chipotle Aioli Sauce; Frito Lay Southwestern Fish Sliders with Spicy Jalopena Mayonaise Sauce; and Smoked Corn and Shrimp Fritter with Mango Ketchup.

After the jump.

Monroe College Culinary Arts Students rose to a new “Pepsi Challenge” by developing recipes using PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay snack products as key ingredients for taverns and casual dining establishments. They had a choice of six different chip products from which to choose and most of the students competing for prize money came up with new variations for breading, toppings and stuffing made from Tostitos Thick Cut Tortilla Chips Yellow Rounds, Munchies Cheese Flavor Snack Mix, Munchies Flamin’ Hot Snack Mix, Sunchips Multigrain Original Chips, Kettle Lays Hard Bite Potato Chips, or Fritos Corn Chips.

First place winner was Christine Gonzalez, a sophomore and December 2009 Associate degree candidate in the Culinary Arts degree program. She was awarded a $500 prize for her recipe for Catfish Fingers coated in Original Frito-Lay Kettle Chips and dipped in chipotle aioli.  A second place prize of $300 was awarded to Rosanne Peña, a Culinary Arts Associate degree candidate in December 2009, for her recipe for Frito Lay Southwestern Fish Sliders. Tilapia pieces, cut from fillets, are seasoned with an assortment of ingredients, including beer, and lightly coated in finely-crushed Frito-Lay Original Corn Chips. Kareem David, a December 2009 Bachelor’s degree candidate in the Hospitality Management program, was the third place, $200 winner who developed a recipe for Smoked Corn and Shrimp Fritter, breaded with Frito-Lay’s Thick Cut Tortilla Rounds and served with mango ketchup.

The competition was judged by guest chefs from area restaurants and food service organizations including Executive Chef Michael Salvatore, SYSCO Food Services of Metro New York, Lee Tremble, owner, Iron Horse Inn, Westwood, NJ, Executive Chef Jonathan Moosmiller, Westchester Country Club, Michael Hofer, owner, Smokehouse Grill, New Rochelle, and Jay Bigman, senior zone manager for PepsiCo. Monroe College’s Chef Costantino and Chef Tracy Zimmermann, also served as judges.

Here are the three winning recipes and pictures of each of the winning dishes:

Catfish Fingers with Chipotle Aioli Sauce (serves 12)

3 lbs catfish filet
12 cups    Frito-Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
4 eggs
4 tbsps. Florida Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dark beer
6 cups all purpose flour

1.    Cut the filets into two-and-a-half inch pieces.
2.    Season the fish with Florida Bay Seasoning, salt and pepper.
3.    Beat the eggs and add the dark beer to the mixture.
4.    Grind the Frito-Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips coarsely.
5.    Coat the fish in the flour, then the egg/beer mixture and finally the Potato Chips
6.    Deep Fry the Catfish fingers in 350-degree vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve with Chipotle Aioli Sauce:

4 cups mayonnaise
4 tbsp. Cilantro, chiffonade
6 Chipotle peppers
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine the mayonnaise, cilantro, chipotle peppers and lemon juice, chill well.

Frito Lay Southwestern Fish Sliders with Spicy Jalopena Mayonaise Sauce (serves 12)

1/2 cup red onion, small dice
3/4 cup orange pepper, small dice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1 cup cilantro, minced
4 cups Watercress, stems removed
3 cups Fritos Original Corn Chips
3/4 cup eggs, yolks and whites separated
11/2 cup all purpose flour
8 fl. ozs. Mexican beer
11/4 tsp. baking soda
24 (11/2 oz.) Tilapia pieces, cut from filets
12 small flour tortillas

Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and pepper
Wooden skewers

1.    Sift together flour, salt, pepper and baking soda then whisk the beer and egg yolks into the flour mixture until smooth.  Chill well.  Just before frying the fish whisk the egg whites into the batter.
2.    Process Fritos Original Corn Chips in the food processor until the consistency of bread crumbs.
3.    Season the Tilapia filets with salt and pepper and dip into the beer batter.  Then lightly press into the ground Fritos until well coated.
4.    Deep fry the fish until golden crust forms (approx. 10-15 seconds), then place in a 400-degree oven for 4-5 minutes until even golden brown and cooked through.  Drain on paper towels.
5.    Sauté red onions lightly with peppers, cherry tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.  Add the cilantro and set aside until plating.
6.    Toast the flour tortillas on a hot grill for 20 seconds.  Cut into 4 even pieces

Serve with Jalapeno Mayonnaise Spicy Sauce:

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, parsley, jalapeño, white pepper, cayenne pepper and limejuice to make the spicy sauce.  Chill well.

1 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsps. parsley, minced
4 tbsps. Jalapeño, minced
2 tbsps. lime juice
2 tbsps. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. salt

To serve: Spread the spicy mayonnaise on the toasted tortillas.  Place one tortilla down and top with fish, then watercress, then sautéed vegetables and finally a second piece of tortilla.  Place a skewer through it to hold it together.  Make two sliders per plate.

Smoked Corn and Shrimp Fritter with Mango Ketchup (serves 12)

6 ears of corn
2 lbs of shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
11/2 cups flour
6 oz.butter
6 cups milk
2 tsps. cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1 cup red pepper, small dice
2 ea. shallots, minced
1 fl. oz. (or as needed) vegetable oil for sauté
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
2 tbsps. smoked Paprika
6 cups Frito-Lay Thick Cut Tortilla Rounds, crumbled
Egg wash
Vegetable Oil for Frying


Heat Fryer oil to 350 degrees.

To make the Fritters

1.    Sweat shallots until softened then add red peppers and corn.  Season to taste and reserve in a bowl.
2.    Season shrimp and grill until cooked through, roughly chop and add to the corn mixture.
3.    Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stir until smooth and cook over low heat for approx. 3-4 minutes and is light golden in color.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly so that no lumps form.
4.    Fold milk mixture into the corn and shrimp mixture and add the liquid smoke, cilantro and cayenne pepper.  Adjust seasoning.
5.    Chill mixture and then portion into bite size balls.  Chill in freezer for 10-20 minutes.
6.    Dredge balls in flour with smoked paprika added, and then egg wash and then finally in the ground Frito-Lay Thick Cut Tortilla Rounds.
7.    Deep fry for approx. 3 minutes until golden brown

Serve with Mango-Ketchup

2 cups     mango puree
2 cups     white wine vinegar
2 tsps.     ground ginger
2 tsps    smoked paprika
2 tbsps. tomato paste

Add vinegar and mango puree to a pan and reduce by half, then whisk in ginger, paprika and tomato paste.  Chill.


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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