Some of the best home-cooks in the county offered up their best dishes for charity on Saturday, Feb. 18, in the “Country Cooks for Charity” event hosted by the Rotary Club of Montrose.
Attendees tasted their way around the Montrose VFW and were able to cast their ballots for their favorite “country cook.”
“I love it all,” said Dory Browning, Executive Director of True Friends Animal Welfare Center. “I’m in awe of the incredible job the Rotary did and the amount of people who came out to support True Friends. Proceeds from the event benefited True Friends Animal Welfare Center.
District Attorney Robert Klein prepared a penne pasta in vodka sauce, a recipe he learned a long time ago and modified it to make it his own over the years. “I like to cook,” he said. “Cooking is like therapy.”
Scott and Amy Knauer combined their culinary skills to develop a healthier version of a sausage gumbo. “We made it as simple and healthy as possible,” Amy said. “We upped the veggie content and used a multi-grain rice.” She said the recipe was a “mash up” of a few different ones. “We think this collaboration is the best version,” she said.
Sharon and Tom Norville were split on their favorite offering.
Sharon offered up praise for Karen Hubbard’s “OKIE” beans; and Bruce Legg’s beef sandwiches. Tom was impressed with Roxanne Custer’s macaroni and cheese with mini corn muffins. “Her presentation is great,” he said.
Ruth Ten Hoeve said she favored Tammy Bonnice’s macaroni and cheese.
Bonnice said she used a combination of four cheeses – sharp, Monterey jack, jalapeno, and Velveeta. The recipe also includes milk; and Bonnice adds in a special ingredient – almond milk. “It makes it sweet and creamy,” she said.
Chrissy and David Lathrop were both fans of Russ Kaub’s pulled pork.
“It’s phenomenal,” David said. “He smoked it for 12 hours.”
Bill Bayne said he had sampled quite a few of the offerings. “I haven’t found any I don’t like yet.”
The People’s Choice award went to Karen Hubbard who prepared her “OKIE” beans – a hearty combination of meat and beans.
Judges presented four awards:
Best Tasting: Russ Kaub – Rip’s Smokin’ Hickory Pulled Pork;
Best Presentation: Bruce Legg – Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwich;
Healthiest: Alan Wilmarth – White Chicken Chili;
Most Unusual: Pat Osgood – Acini Heavenly Salad.