ADA — “Campicureans” across the country prove there's more to the cuisine of the great outdoors than hot dogs on a stick in the second national Redwood Creek Wines Campfire Classic which will bring together five talented, adventurous chefs to prepare their gourmet recipes over a campfire. Gathering in New York City's Riverside Park on the first day of summer, Thursday, these outdoor enthusiasts will demonstrate how campfire cooking-paired with a glass of rich and flavorful wine can turn even the most casual campsite meal into an unforgettable experience.

Ada’s own Leah Lyon will pit her skills and recipe for Coal-Roasted Chuckbox Pozole Stuffed Onions against four other finalists in the competition for a $10,000 grand prize and $5,000 donation to her favorite national park.

Lyon grew up on a small farm in Oklahoma where her parents fostered her love of the outdoors and nature. She keeps the outdoor tradition alive by taking her own daughters to Bluebird Mountain and Chickasaw National Recreation Area where as a young girl she used to take early morning hikes on the very same trails. She vividly recalls the many mornings spent helping her mother prepare breakfast potatoes over a camp grill well before sunrise.

One of Lyon's favorite grilled foods — onions — and a packet of green chile powder she discovered in New Mexico inspired her stuffed-onion recipe. The ingredients give it a wonderful, outdoor flavor and offer a twist on the traditional “packet meal.” When it comes to campfire cooking, Lyon likes to prepare as much of the meal as possible ahead of time before venturing out.

Lyon gives back to her community everyday as the Project Coordinator for Oklahoma's East Central University Campus Initiative to Reduce Crime Against Women. Lyon said her husband, Bryan, and four daughters — ranging in age from 6 to 15 — have their favorites among the many recipes she has entered into competition.

Approximately five years ago, Lyon began entering recipe contests. Since, Lyon’s skills have paid off. She recently won $25,000 for herself and $2,500 for her church; a trip to Disneyworld in Florida for her family, a Disney Adventure in California for her family, and an all-expense paid trip to New York for two, in addition to numerous other prizes.

The selection of the five finalists were based on their unique recipe submissions. Entries were judged on originality, presentation and creativity of the recipe; taste and ingredients; advancement of the tradition of campfire cookery; and the appropriateness of the wine pairing.

Coal-Roasted Chuckbox Pozole-Stuffed Onions

4 extra large sweet onions

1 pound thinly cut pork sirloin steak, cubed

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup boxed cornbread stuffing mix

2 tablespoons mild green chile powder

3 large poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded

1 15.5-ounce can of hominy, drained

1/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup aged cotija cheese, grated

Cilantro - garnish (optional)

Avocado - garnish (optional)

1. Slice tops off onions 1/4 of the way down and slice roots from bottom so they sit without rolling over. Peel skins from onions. Cut an 'X' into the center, using a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the center portion, leaving walls approximately 1/2-inch thick. Dice 1/4 cup of onion from centers and store the remaining onion for use in another recipe.

2. Mix diced onion with pork, salt and pepper, cumin, stuffing mix, chile powder, poblano chiles, hominy, red pepper and cheese. Fill each onion bowl with mixture. Wrap onions in large squares of heavy duty foil, bringing seams together on top by flattening the foil slightly. Keeping wrapped onions upright and nestle each on hot coals. With a small shovel, top each onion with 1-2 hot coals.

3. Cook approximately 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into center registers 175-180 degrees. Remove from coals, carefully open foil and serve. Garnish with cilantro and avocado, if desired. This dish serves 4 campers. Enjoy!

Estimated Cook Time: 30 minutes

Wine Pairing Varietal: Redwood Creek 2005 Pinot Noir

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