Topic: Education and Values
I've kept up the quest for umami this past week, fascinated that my palate is so geared for this “taste.” Umami is supposedly linked to the amino acid glutamate. At least that's a common protein that's identified by scientists in foods that are frequently cited as having this “taste” .
Common foods or seasonings containing this are meats and seafood, soy sauce (and thus many things containing soy sauce like Worcestershire sauce or blends and marinades), mushrooms, anchovies, ripe cheeses.
According to the UMAMI INFORMATION CENTER (visit their website www.umamiinfo.com for much more information!):
What exactly is umami? Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious.
So, I've included a couple more recipes that I've made this week that are “heavily” representative of “Umami”:
Swiss Cheese,Mushroom, Onion and Bacon Quiche
Saute together in 2 Tbsp olive oil: 1 chopped yellow onion, cook until translucent, add 8 oz. chopped portabello mushrooms and cook until tender.Add about 1 tsp. herbs de Provence mixture, salt and pepper.
Separately, fry or microwave 4-6 pieces of bacon until crisp, throughly drain in between paper towels, allow to cool and then crumble. (Note: the bacon can be optional in this quiche.)
Fill a deep dish, unbaked 9” pie crust with the following:
6 oz. chopped Swiss cheese
Add the mushroom-onion and herb mixture. Add the bacon pieces.
Whisk 4 fresh eggs together in a Pyrex measuring cup, adding sufficient milk or cream to yield a total volume of 1 and1/2 cups of egg-milk mixture. Pour into the pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour until fully cooked and set.
Then there's this pre-season, umami-ladened magic on the indirect grill.
Marinated Pork Tenderloin (with UMAMI inspired marinade)
For the marinade: Combine ½ cup smoky tomato barbeque sauce (prepared or your own), add 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce and 4 large chopped garlic cloves. Coat all surfaces of of the pork tenderloin (large pork tenderloin may be cut in half to fit on the grill)- allow to marinade in the refrigerator for an hour or more)
Prep your Kettle grill for indirect cooking according to manufacturer's instructions (This entails pre-starting charcoal briquets, then piling them on opposite sides of the lower grate, your grill surface placed above the briquets. The food will be cooked with the lid on, placed in the middle of the cooking surface. Heat circulates around the meat.)
May you enjoy your Umami adventures!