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State Fair’s fried food finalists include sriracha balls, Texas “bluebonnet” muffin

Posted 6:15pm on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014

Calling all fried food fanatics. The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived.

The finalists for the 10th annual Big Tex Choice Awards are … drumroll, please:

Chicken Fried Loaded Baked Potato: a loaded baked potato, with lots of butter, bacon and cheddar cheese. Fried! Sounds delicious. Served with a ranch dipping sauce.

Deep Fried “Breakfast for Dinner”: A flour tortilla stuffed with eight breakfast faves — scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, ham, onion, cheddar cheese and cinnamon roll bits. That’s all deep-fried, natch, and served with country gravy, salsa and a pico-queso dip.

Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet: A sweet ode to the wildflower, this blueberry muffin concoction is stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries and white chocolate, then deep fried and topped with whipped cream, white chocolate, powdered sugar, blueberries and a blueberry glaze. Drooling yet?

Fried Gulf Shrimp Boil: Baby gulf shrimp, diced red potatoes, onion, lemon and seasoning are all formed around a cocktail shrimp, dusted and fried. The tail sticks out for easy handling. Served with remoulade sauce.

Fried Sriracha Balls: Fire eaters will like this one, which includes shredded chicken, corn, green chiles, tomatoes and a lotta sriracha hot sauce. It’s all formed into balls and coated with crispy tortilla chips, then flash-fried. Hot heads should ask for extra sriracha.

Fried Sweet Texas: Pie dough filled with pecan pie, peach cobbler and buttermilk pie is deep fried and served with a side of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. Very Texas.

Funnel Cake Ale: An English-style summer ale brewed with hints of toastiness and sweetness, finishing with notes of natural vanilla; in other words it’s beer that tastes like funnel cake. Get the rim of your cup coated with powdered sugar, if you dare.

Twisted Texas Tacos: Hickory-smoked Texas brisket, double-dipped in a barbecue spiced buttermilk batter and deep-fried. Served in a flour tortilla, layered with a Mexican cheese blend, crispy fried okra and a sweet and crunchy tricolor slaw, accented with poblano and sweet pepper corn. Served with country gravy and spicy Texas chili.

Last year’s big winners were Fried Thanksgiving Dinner, created by Justin Martinez, who also created this year’s Fried Sweet Texas, and the Fried Cuban Roll, by Issac Russo.

The 2014 Big Tex Choice Awards will be decided on Sept. 1, Labor Day. Judges include former Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry; radio personality Donovan Lewis from The Ticket; Cynthia Smoot, Dallas lifestyle blogger; and Daniel Vaughn, the BBQ Snob and barbecue editor of Texas Monthly. There will also be one lucky fairgoer, who entered and won the Big Tex Choice Awards Video Contest.

Also new this year, you can be among the first people to taste the gluttonous, glorious finalists. Buy tickets here, but be warned, being a fried food insider doesn’t come cheap: Tickets are $100 and are limited.

Past Big Tex Choice award winners include fried bubble gum and deep-fried jambalaya.

The State Fair of Texas begins Sept. 26 and runs through Oct. 19 at Fair Park in Dallas.

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