SMORGASBOARD: Mark your calendar... Umami Ketchup... Riverboart Ride
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports, Grand Forks Herald
Mark your calendar
Mark down Sept. 22 on your calendar. That’s the day Grand Forks Housing Authority and Grand Forks Homes Inc. will be hosting the Sixth Annual Best Pizza in Grand Forks contest. The event will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. downtown in Town Square, and the public is once again invited.
Pizza lovers of all ages will get to vote for their favorite pizza in the People’s Choice category, while a panel of judges will taste test and score entries in four other categories: Best Dessert, Most Creative, Best Crust and Best Vegetarian. So far, Rhombus Guys, Green Mill, Deeks, Marco’s and Pizza Ranch have signed up to participate.
A $3 freewill donation for children and a $5 donation for adults is suggested. The money raised will benefit the four Neighborhood Networks Learning Centers in Grand Forks.
You know sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
Now, school your taste buds in the fifth taste, umami, the savory effect in Umami Ketchup. It’s one of several condiments (Umami Dust, Umami Master Sauce, etc.) brought to you by the Los Angeles restaurateur who created the Umami Burger restaurant group. Its umami power comes from a label full of ingredients: tomatoes, spices, oyster extract, truffle oil, dashi powder, etc.
The 14.5-ounce bottle is $7.50 at umami.com.
If you’re interested in what passengers on the world’s last authentic overnight wooden steamboat, the Delta Queen, ate, check out “The Delta Queen Cookbook,” available this month from LSU Press. The cookbook brings the riverboat’s story to life with a historical narrative and more than 125 recipes prepared by the steamboat’s former chefs during their tenures in the “cookhouse” from 1927 through 2008.
Author Cynthia LeJeune Nobles traces the story of the “Grand Old Lady” as she faced social, economic and political challenges. The Delta Queen became a haven for illegal drinking during Prohibition. She survived the effects of the Great Depression, World War II and increasingly modern competition.
Each chapter ends with authentic Delta Queen recipes — including citrus and watercress salad with chili dressing, roast duck and wild rice soup, speckled trout pecan, eggs crawkitty, steamboat pudding and more — proportioned and tested for home kitchens.
“The Delta Queen Cookbook” includes interviews with former crew, chefs and passengers; more than 90 historical and full-color photographs; and vintage and modern menus.
For more information, visit www.lsupress.org.
There are lots of veggie versions of the iconic link. But Field Roast Vegetarian Frankfurters, made from grains and vegetables (and vital wheat gluten, liquid smoke, spices), earned fans among our tasters, especially those who eat veggie hot dogs.
The links, which can be grilled or boiled, delivered a smoky/spicy flavor tasters found appealing. And when grilled, the classic snap won over one taster. Some, though, found them a bit salty.
A six-link, 16-ounce package has a suggested retail price of $5.49. A store locater is at fieldroast.com.
Ultimate student cookbook
When writing a cookbook for beginners, it’s best to assume complete ignorance. Mincing may be new to the reader’s vocabulary. Rice may require step-by-step instructions.
“The Ultimate Student Cookbook: From Chicken to Chili” (Firefly, $14.95), by Tiffany Goodall, offers an almost foolproof guide for college students who may have been eating cereal for every meal. Photographs accompany each step so that you can see what it means, exactly, to quarter an onion. Thought bubbles remind you to wash the raw chicken off your hands.
From a simple omelet to a more ambitious roast chicken to a homey (the author is British) shepherd’s pie, Goodall knows her audience. A section on “food on the move” has a default serving size of one. A budget-friendly recommendation involves inviting friends to chip in for a big midweek meal. Several recipes are described as being choice for hangovers (Thai green curry) or before a night out of partying (sausage and mashed potatoes). A page is dedicated to making “vodka watermelon,” which entails scooping a hole out of the melon, pouring in vodka and inserting a bunch of straws.
And, brilliantly, among Goodall’s smoothie recipes is one calling for dried instead of fresh fruit, which often meets a sad end in the refrigerators of the kitchen-averse — a group far larger than students. The dried apricot and raisin smoothie is a frothy and somewhat chunky concoction, but tasty and worthwhile considering the shelf life of the key ingredients.