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Fry It, You’ll Like It: 19 Hot New Foods At The State Fair Of Texas

We’re just three weeks away from opening day of the 2013 State Fair of Texas.

And what’s the No. 1 reason we all go to the fair? To pig out. (Corny dogs, fried butter, funnel cakes, oh my!)

You’ve already heard about the top new foods – Fried Thanksgiving Dinner and Deep Fried Cuban Roll recently won the Big Tex Choice Awards. NPR’s John Burnett recently profiled some of the creative chefs.

Check out the slideshow of the eight dishes that competed in the Big Tex Choice contest. Just looking at those pictures raises your cholesterol levels.

But what else have these fried foodies whipped up this year?

The State Fair has given us the (deep-fried) scoop: There’s spaghetti and meatballs; shrimp and grits; chocolate chip burrito; Spam empanadas; barbecue wontons and much, much more.

All deep fried.

Of course.

Start loading up on salads. Take lots of walks. Delay your annual physical until November. The fair starts Sept. 27. (And, don't forget, Big Tex makes his big debut that day.)

Here’s a complete list of the new foods.

These first eight items competed in the Big Tex Choice Awards:

Fried Thanksgiving Dinner: Homemade stuffing and diced roasted turkey are rolled in a ball. Next it’s dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal - all fried. Served with giblet brown gravy. Comes with a zesty orange cranberry sauce.

Deep Fried Cuban Roll: Slow-cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and secret sauce are spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough, and deep fried. Served with a side of mojo sauce.

Fernie’s Deep Fried King Ranch Casserole: Melted cheese is dipped in a zesty egg wash and coated in panko bread crumbs.  Deep fried and served with a side of red, white, and blue tortilla chips with either “salsafied” sour cream or queso.

Awesome Deep Fried Nutella: Whipped Nutella is wrapped around crispy dough and deep fried. Topped with strawberries, bananas, Nutella and powdered sugar.

Golden Fried Millionaire Pie: Sweetened cream cheese filling is loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans and then wrapped in a flaky pie crust and fried. Topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and candied pecans.

Southern Style Chicken-Fried Meatloaf: Slices of meatloaf are coated in a Texas chicken-fried breading and deep fried. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, Texas cream gravy, and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze for dipping.

Spinach Dip Bites: Spinach artichoke dip bites are coated with tortilla chips and fried. Served with salsa.

Texas Fried Fireball: Pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper, and bacon are rolled into a ball, dipped in buttermilk, covered with a jalapeno-infused batter and deep fried. Served with chipotle ranch dressing.

And here’s the rest of the new foods:

Deep Fried Chocolate Chip Burrito: Chocolate chip cookie dough is fried in a flour tortilla. Served with chocolate or strawberry drizzle and whipped cream.

Deep Fried Shrimp and Grits: Grits are made with a blend of herbs, cheese, and Cajun shrimp, coated in batter, and deep fried.

Deep Fried Spaghetti and Meatball: Pasta, Roma tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella are fried in a cheddar biscuit.

Deep Fried Elote: A-bite sized and crunchy mix of corn, queso fresco, and salsa valentina. Served drizzled with a spicy cream sauce.

Pig Toes on a Stick: Six to eight tator tots are paired with a slice of jalapeno, wrapped in smoked bacon, and then fried. Served plain or with a chili cheese dipping sauce.

Loaded Avocado Crispy Fries: Fresh avocado slices are breaded and fried. Served covered with Monterey Jack cheese, queso, bacon crumbles, cilantro, and jalapeno slices.

The Beast Burrito: A 14-inch flour tortilla is folded and fried with Angus burger, beans, rice, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and jalapenos. Served with chili, chipotle, or green sauce.

Spicy Spam Empanadas: Shredded Spam, potatoes, bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, onions, red and green peppers, jalapeno and chipotle peppers, and spices are all stuffed inside a light empanada pastry shell and then fried.  

Deep Fried Creole Boulette: A sauteed ball of tilapia is seasoned with a blackened mixture, dipped in an egg wash, and then a seasoned fish fry batter, and deep fried. Topped with a mild green onion aioli sauce.

Fried Shrimp & Cheese Jalapeno: A deep-fried jalapeno pepper is stuffed with shrimp and cream cheese, battered and fried.

Deep Fried BBQ Wontons: Hickory-smoked pulled pork or chopped brisket is stuffed in a wonton wrapper and fried. Served with a side of barbecue sweet-and-sour sauce.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.