Iron Chef Delight

I’ll never turn down an opportunity to judge a food contest. And the latest one didn’t do anything to make me change my mind.

Today (July 25), columnist Marilyn Hagerty and I judged the the Grand Forks Moving More, Eating Smarter Coalition’s Iron Chef Cook-off at the Farmers Market between Nathan Sheppard of the Blue Moon in East Grand Forks and Greg Gefroh of UND Dining Services.
Sheppard served a Blackened Catfish Taco that was topped with a kohlrabi, cabbage and apple coleslaw.
Gefroh presented Chicken Scampi with Roated Rosemary Potatoes and Mediterranean Vegetables. (See recipes at

To say that the food was good would be an understatement. I particularly liked the coleslaw, which went with the fish taco, and the scampi and the potatoes.

Scampi always has been a favorite of mine, especially ones made with shrimp. The one the River Bend of East Grand Forks used to serve immediately comes to mind.

Here’s a scampi recipe, along with one for Basil Linguine, just in case you’d like to try your hand at it.

Shrimp Scampi
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ cup red vermouth
¾ pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Several drops hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium high and add garlic and red vermouth. Cook 1 minute. Add shrimp and parsley. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp are pink. Add hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serve 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 279 calories (23 percent from fat), 7.6 grams fat (1.2 grams saturated, 3.8 grams monounsaturated), 258 milligrams cholesterol, 35.2 grams protein, 6.4 grams carbohydrates, 0.7 grams fiber, 277 milligrams sodium.

Basil Linguine
¼ pound fresh linguine
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan with 3 to 4 quarts water to a boil. Add linguine and boil 2 to 3 minutes for fresh linguine, 8 to 9 minutes for dried. Remove 2 tablespoons cooking water and reserve. Drain linguine and place back in saucepan with reserved water and olive oil. Toss well. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve. Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 256 calories (19 percent from fat), 5.4 grams fat (0.7 grams saturated, 3.4 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 7.3 grams protein, 43.6 grams carbohydrates, 1.4 grams fiber, 4 milligrams sodium.