Fab Frugal Friday: Inspired by State Fair Cuisine (no, really) – Chili & Polenta Savory Parfait

Chili Parfait With Text

Many of us foodies, in our low-brow moments, are fans of State Fair fare. C’mon. Who doesn’t love funnel cakes, or corn dogs or deep fried Coca Cola? If you don’t know if you’re a State Fair food junkie, take this fab quiz and find out. Did you know that the Iowa State Fair’s claim to fame is an annual life-size butter sculpture of a cow? But, I digress. Fair food is unabashedly uber UNhealthy, but intensely fun. Food should always be FUN, shouldn’t it?

Anyway, this month’s Food Network Magazine features a State Fair savory parfait of pulled pork and mashed potatoes. I laughed out loud! Then, I decided a veggie version was in order. If you whip up some chili and polenta and spoon it into fancy parfait glasses and eat it on your porch swing, you’ll have just as much fun as you would at the State Fair. Maybe even more, depending on who is sitting next to you!

(SHAMELESS PLUG: Come and watch my Demo at the Utah State Fair on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 4:00. I’ll be doing quesadillas and promoting my new book – Quesadillas! )

— posted by Donna

Food Bloggers do State Fair fare:

Iowa Girl Eats
Slash Food does Ohio State Fair
Endless Summer
Portland Food and Drink
Sac Foodies
King Arthur Flour

And, you have got to check out the Hot Beef Sundae!


    • says

      CaSaundra – We served these to a family that we invited over for dinner and they thought they were hysterically funny and posted photos on Facebook – and then gleefully ate every morsel!

  1. Jennine says

    Hi Donna found your blog while trying to find other bloggers who talk about state fair baking. Love your savory parfait, but do not think Ca state fair judges would appreciate it. I am known for doing the weird stuff at our fair however. One yearI got best of division with a green tomato,mushroom beer custard pie in an oatmeal basil cust. This year I entered 19 baked goods and won 18 ribbons. All these things had to be at the fair in two days. I live in in older home that does not have very good air conditioning so I rent a room ata motel a mile from the fair that has a full kitchen with a full sized refrigerator and a stove with a real oven I stayed 2days when I did cookies and candy, and 3 days when I did 10 larger items pies cakes pastries etc. I am working on my pastry certifiction at college and am about 50 years older then most of my fellow students.I will be 74 next week. Please check out my bog at


    I am new to blogging and not really computer savvy, but I am trying. I envy you going to the Utah Fair. I love traveling to food things. I just got back in April from eing a volunteer at the National Pie contest in celebration Florida. Happy baking, Jennine

  2. says

    My father always took us to the fair growing up and I have fond memories of it, especially the food. Love the idea of a savory parfait. Good luck with the demo – it’s such a fun book. By the way Sept. 14 is a Tuesday.

  3. Amy says

    That butter-cow sounds like something Kate and I could have gone to visit once upon a time :)

    I’ll come to the fair if I can!

  4. says

    True to form, proving that (a) we are related and (b) great minds think alike, I had actually been planning on posting a chili, cornbread and sour cream TRIFLE!

    Foodies of a feather . . .

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