Cumberland Times-News

Local News

March 30, 2013

Woman hopes shrimp dish will win her bakeoff crown

MARION STATION (AP) — It’s a long way from the salt marshes of Somerset County to the glitter of Las Vegas, yet not so far that a special recipe couldn’t propel Brenda Jackson into the national spotlight and make her a million dollars richer.

If her coveted Saucy Shrimp ‘N’ Broccoli Pizza recipe is a favorite with voters, she and her husband, Harry, will be on their way to compete in the finals of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-off Contest.

Jackson works as a correctional officer at ECI and enjoys cooking and developing new dishes.

A family favorite is a quick and easy Crab and Broccoli Pizza on a flatbread base.

When she saw that Pillsbury was sponsoring a “doable” dinners category, she submitted her recipe.

That was in February, and now she’s one of 60 semifinalists — and the only contest semifinalist in Maryland — vying for a position in the next tier of 33 contestants traveling to Vegas in November.

Just to get to her current level, Jackson had to beat out tens of thousands of potential national contestants, using an adaptation of a recipe she created for her family using Maryland crabmeat.

“I figured that Maryland crabmeat would not be readily available to cooks across the nation year-round,” she explained, “so I substituted medium shrimp.”

Parmesan cheese sauce, fresh shrimp, broccoli and a flatbread crust, all accented with fresh basil, may hold the recipe for a million-dollar success.

She is in the “doable dinners” category, which requires recipes to be prepared and served in 30 minutes or less, and to incorporate seven or less ingredients using two Pillsbury products. While her finished dish is cooked in a conventional oven, Jackson said it is further enhanced if the flatbread crust is heated over a grill. (“I think it really adds to the flavor and texture,” she said.)

The contest was a perfect fit for Jackson.

“I have long been a fan of Pillsbury. They have a lot of good recipes and family-oriented recipes, so this was an opportunity to get involved. Out of the thousands of submitted recipes, I have been fortunate to end up in the final 60 to be judged again, where 33 recipes will be selected,” she said. “I will know Thursday, April 4. That’s when I find out if I make the final cut.”

Her husband said he has been doing what he can to help his wife, and the contest has been an experience.

“No, he hasn’t started spending any of the million-dollar prize, and this had been hard on him, but if he wants a divorce, I’ll advance him the money,” she said with laughter.

To get the word out to folks who can vote, the Jacksons have developed a YouTube video.

“We’ve got a sign in the background with the address for voting, and our dog, Pixie, is shown chewing up the paper recipe because it’s so good,” she said.

From now until the deadline, Jackson is out beating the streets to get votes.

“I just need to beat 27 people out of 60,” she said with a smile. “Hey, if I don’t win, I sure had a great time doing it.”


Brenda’s Saucy Shrimp N Broccoli Pizza

1 pound medium-large shrimp shelled, deveined and cut in half

1 roll (11 ounce) Pillsbury refrigerated thin pizza crust

1 can (18 ounce) Progresso Recipe Starter Parmesan Basil

1 bag (11.8 ounce) Green Giant Seasoned Steamers Tuscan Seasoned Broccoli

3/4 ounce package fresh basil chopped, or about 3 tablespoons

2 tablespoons Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, use 1/2 cup in sauce and 1/2 cup for topping

Unroll crust onto baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle tablespoon fresh basil on crust and press gently. Prebake crust for 8-10 minutes until light brown. While crust is prebaking, in large saucepan whisk together Parmesan Basil Starter and 2 tablespoons flour. Prepare Tuscan Broccoli bag as directed on package, only cooking 5 minutes. While broccoli is cooking, begin heating savory sauce on medium temperature, adding shrimp as it begins to thicken. Add broccoli, cut up if pieces are too big,  1/2 cup shredded Parmesan and 1 tablespoon fresh basil. Fold gently to combine ingredients. Mixture should be thickened nicely.

Spread mixture on prepared crust, equally spreading shrimp. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and top is bubbly. Just before serving, add remaining fresh basil. Serve hot.

Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military