I got an email today from accomplished regional chef Tom Skold, regarding my mention of him in an Aug. 30 column about his Rochester Community Ed. cooking class ("One dish wonders").
Here's the class description in the course listings: “Check your cream of mushroom soup at the door. These one-dish meals are all from scratch and up to date: just add a salad and bread for a complete meal. We'll work in groups to make these stand-alone sensations: Straw Potato Gelatte with Leeks and Smoked Salmon; Baked Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms and Smoked Mozzarella; Tamale Pie with Pork and Green Chilies; and Roasted Vegetable Gratin with Walnuts and Feta. Please bring an apron. (Preferred aprons will contain jokes about 'hot dish.')"
I used the course description as a jumping off point for a defense of cream of mushroom soup in general, and of my "Ultimate Minnesota Potluck Recipe Contest," in particular.
Here's Tom's email:
Thanks for just sayin something about my class. We were full to the gills and everyone had a great time. By creating interest through your writing you help the cause of better eating in Southeast Minnesota. And yes I do like things made with canned soup though I'm forbidden from using it myself. I'm also Lutheran and Scandanavian, though I'm seldom allowed in my church's kitchen by the ladies who run the place.
Speaking of the contest...
On Wednesday night about 30 people at the church my family attends, Mt. Olive Lutheran in Rochester,got together to judge the 19 finalists at a mini-potluck organized by a Mt. Olive "church lady," Pam Berg, whom I enlisted to coordinate the judging. The judges were ages 6 through 70-something and ranged from accomplished cooks to accomplished eaters. I'm in the process of compiling the results and judges' comments, and I'll list the winners in my Saturday, Oct. 8 column. I'll include the recipe for the overall winner in the print edition. Other recipes will be posted online.
Thanks again to the 80 or so people who submitted recipes for the contest. This has been great fun! Stay tuned.