Published by

Jeff Tiedeman

About Chef Jeff Name: Jeff Tiedeman, former Grand Forks Herald food editor Alias: Chef Jeff. Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota. Gender: Male. Birthday: April 9, 1951. Occupation: Journalist and blogger. About Me: I was born and raised in Crookston, Minn. I attended Cathedral High School for two years and Mount St. Benedict High School for two years, graduating in 1969. I attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Corbett College, Bemidji State University and Moorhead State University, where I graduated in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications. During college, I worked on the MSU Advocate and was sports editor for two years. I also worked part time at the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead while attending MSU. I joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 1974 as a part-time sportswriter, going full time in November 1974. I was food editor at the Herald from the mid-1990s to February 2013. My Interests: Cooking, gardening, hunting.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken, Kale And Bean Soup

Some people are calling kale the new spinach. (Pound for pound kale has up to 120 percent more vitamin C and 150 percent more vitamin A than spinach.)

Others are calling it the new beef. (Kale is richer in iron, fiber and omega fatty acids than beef.)

And still more are calling it the new bread and milk. (Kale is the the new must-have snowstorm essential.)

I don’t care what people are calling kale. It’s become one of my favorite vegetables for another reason. Not only is kale packed with vitamins and minerals whose health benefits are indisputable, it is very versatile.

If you have any doubts, just ponder this: Kale chips are a great on-the-go snack that are easy to make. The addition of kale to an iceberg salad makes it a nutrition dynamo. And in the case of soup, it goes great with most other vegetables and any number of meats, including chicken and sausage.

And that brings me to today’s recipe, Chicken, Kale and Bean Soup. With two kale plants in our garden that are big producers and a pile of leftover chicken, soup seemed like a logical choice.

That’s what I call a no-brainer!

Chicken, Kale and Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less, to taste)
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (more or less, to taste)
1 15.8-ounce cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.8-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and roughly chopped into about 2-inch pieces
2 cups fully cooked chicken, cut up or shredded
2 slices bacon, diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans, chicken broth, water, kale, chicken and thyme. Stir well to combine. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: Serve 4 to 6.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Sweet Potato Marinara

A week at the lake can be a nice respite when the temperatures are in the 80s and the humidity is nearly as high.

And if you don’t do much fishing or they are not biting if you do, means you better have better brought along enough food from home or that your lake retreat isn’t too far from the nearest supermarket.

We recently spent a week at a cabin of a friend on Lake Beltrami north of Bemidji in northern Minnesota. We figured to be doing a little fishing to put some food on the table, so we didn’t bring as many vittles as nonanglers would.

A sore back kept me off the water and onshore most of the time, so we had to venture into town to pick up some supplies, which by the end of the week weren’t quite depleted.

And that brings me today’s recipe. An extra sweet potato, a small zucchini and a little onion and green pepper that we bought after we got to the lake, along with some tomato sauce and homemade juice, were all I needed to a nice marinara sauce.

It almost made me forget about not catching any fish.

Sweet Potato Marinara
1 sweet potato, cut into small dice
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sweet potato and continue to saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, juice and seasonings. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Garlicky Mushroom Chicken With Spinach In Cream Sauce

Comfort food is most often associated with winter, when the wind is blowing and the snow is flying and the temperature is on the nippy side, usually below zero.

But there can be times when the weather is nice, perhaps with temps in the 70s or 80s, that a hearty meal really hits the spot.

That’s where I found myself recently after putting in a few hours in the garden, where I worked up an appetite for more than a bowl of soup and a sandwich, a casserole or burgers and such.

What I came up with was a combination of chicken (in my case pheasant), mushrooms, spinach and a rich, garlicky cream sauce that took just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the skillet before it hit the dining room table.

If you are looking for a comforting, satisfying and tasty entree, this dish is for you.

Garlicky Mushroom Chicken with Spinach in Cream Sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can substitute pheasant breasts)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup spinach, chopped
In a large skillet, add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until brown on each side and no longer pink in center. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove and set aside.
To make the sauce, add the butter to the skillet and melt. Add garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in the flour until it thickens. Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Add the spinach and let simmer until it starts to thicken and spinach wilts. Add the chicken and mushrooms back to the sauce and serve over rice.
Yield: Serves 4.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Slow Cooker Roast Stroganoff

Cooking for two can be a challenging. But as the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way.

For me, the biggest issue is leftovers. When our grandson, Rakeem, was in town and coming over for supper two to four times a week, it wasn’t that big a deal. But now that he’s gone away for college, I’ve had to come up with some new recipes or cut back on some old ones so we aren’t eating the same thing for a week.

We had a bit of a reprieve recently when he came home for a visit. I made a couple of his favorite meals — Swiss steak and spaghetti with meat sauce — while he was here. His appetite assuredly cut back on the amount of leftovers.

However when preparing the Swiss steak, I had a pretty good chunk of meat remaining after cutting slices off a 3- to 4-pound bison roast and no plan for the remainder. That’s when I started searching through cookbooks and on the internet for recipes that might give me some ideas on what to do with the large hunk of roast.

After looking over more than a dozen recipes, I put together the following concoction, which vastly exceeded my expectations. And needless to say, the leftovers didn’t last very long.

Slow Cooker Roast Stroganoff
1 3- to 4-pound beef or bison roast
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 10½-ounce can cream of mushroom soup (If using a condensed soup add 1 can of water.)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 14½-ounce can stewed tomatoes
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Sour cream
Put the onion soup mix on the bottom of the slow cooker. Brown all sides of the roast in a skillet. Remove meat and place in slow cooker.
Add soup, flour and Worcestershire sauce to the hot skillet, cook until smooth (add water if you are using condensed soup). Pour over the roast in the crockpot. Add tomatoes and mushrooms.
Cook for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the roast and cut into bite-size pieces. Stir the sauce. Mix in a few dollops of sour cream. Add the meat and mix. Serve over egg noodles tossed with butter or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some dried dill on top of stroganoff and noodles or potatoes along with a few more spoonfuls of sour cream.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Fried Cabbage With Brats

There is nothing simpler to make than fried cabbage. And combine it with a little meat, and you have a meal in a skillet.

My taste for cabbage runs the gamut when it comes to spiciness. I like it lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper — some might call this bland — or it can be relatively hot when it features some of my favorite capsaicin-laden jalapeños or habaneros.

The following fried cabbage recipe, which features bacon and brats, goes lightly on the hot stuff, containing just a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

This is a good example of the old adage that some of the most simple meals are the best.

Fried Cabbage with Brats
2 slices bacon
3 bratwursts
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 head cabbage, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic power
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Take bratwurst out of casings and cook with bacon oven medium heat in a large skillet. Cook until bacon is crisp and sausage is crumbly and done. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Add cabbage, sugar, vinegar, garlic and onion powder, paprika and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add crumbled bacon and bratwurst. Combine with cabbage mixture and serve.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Grandma’s Hotdish

I remember a couple of years ago, when my stepdaughter, Jessica, called from Cincinnati to get a recipe. My granddaughter, Naomi, wanted hotdish — the way Grandma makes it.

Back when we were both still working, Therese used to make the tasty hotdish for our grandson, Rakeem, on Tuesdays, when I worked from 4 p.m. to midnight. In retirement, we continue to have the hotdish, which is easy to make, at least once a week when Rakeem was living here and having supper with us two to four times a week.

The hamburger hotdish is basically the same as one my mom used to make when I was growing up. The only difference is that she used a can of vegetable vegetarian soup instead of tomato soup and we add a can of green beans. (We also use ground bison instead of beef.)

After he moved to Cincinnati to go to college, Rakeem asked Grandma for the hotdish recipe so he could make it for himself in his efficiency apartment. One of the last times I texted with him, he said he had made Grandma’s hotdish for supper.

Therese and I still enjoy the hotdish once every week or two, but we have twice as many leftovers as we did when Rakeem was in town. But needless to say, that hasn’t been a problem.

Grandma’s Hotdish
1 pound ground beef
1 14½-ounce can green beans
1 10¾-ounce can tomato soup
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup ketchup
1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked per package instructions
Salt and pepper to taste. Brown meat and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in green beans and tomato soup. Add cooked macaroni. Place in casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. Serve.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Honey Garlic Shrimp

Do you know what is the most popular seafood in America? If you guessed salmon or halibut, two of the most delicious and nutritious fish around, you would be wrong. Ditto with crab and lobster.

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in America. In fact, it represents more than a quarter of the annual per capita seafood consumption in the United States.

While I’m a fan of all the aforementioned types of seafood, shrimp is my favorite, no matter if it’s fried, broiled, baked or grilled.

So, needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for any new ways to prepare camarones as they are called in Mexico or gamberettos as they are know in Italy.

The following recipe caught my eye recently, and I decided to give it a try.

And guess what? I still haven’t found a shrimp recipe that’s disappointed me!

Honey Garlic Shrimp
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (or juice of half a lemon)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
21 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on or off)
Salt to season
Lemon wedges (to serve)
Fresh chopped parsley, to serve
Heat butter in a nonstick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Melt, swirling pan and stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes, or until the foam settles; the butter begins to change in color to golden brown and has a nutty fragrance. Add the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and garlic; stir well to combine all of the flavors together and cook for 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat. Pour out just over half of the browned butter from the pan (liquid only), leaving 2 tablespoons of the honey butter mixture in the pan, and reserve the rest for later.
Add half of the shrimp to the honey/butter in the pan; sear for about 2 minutes each side, or until just cooked through and no longer opaque. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
Wipe pan over with paper towel and add 2 more tablespoons of the honey/butter mixture to the pan. (You may need to add 1 teaspoon of olive oil or extra butter to the pan if your sauce has thickened too much.) Sear the remaining shrimp for 2 minutes each side, or until just cooked through and no longer opaque.
Add the cooked shrimp back into the pan, and pour in the remaining honey/butter sauce; stirring through the shrimp to evenly coat. Season with salt if desired and garnish with parsley.
Serve with steamed vegetables; over rice.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp iPaella!

Fish and seafood meals are a popular during Lent, and not just for Catholics, who are required to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during the 40 days that precede Easter.

That was very evident to me when guest hosting one of East Grand Forks Sacred Heart Men’s Club-sponsored fish fries during Lent over the past several years. Many of the people who partook in the meal weren’t even Catholic. They just came for a good meal at a good price.

I wasn’t asked to host one of the meals this year but am sure a good many Lutherans and members of other denominations have had their share of the tasty pollock — known by many as Alaskan walleye — that’s served at Sacred Heart.

But for a lot of people, Lent is not the only season for fish or seafood. I attribute that to the growing evidence that eating certain kinds of fish and seafood at least once a week is linked to better health.

We like to have meatless meals several times a week. And usually at least one features fish or seafood. Our most recent was an entree called Shrimp iPaella!

Paella is a rice dish that has its roots in the area around Valencia, Spain, and has become quite popular at Spanish restaurants all over the world.

There’s not much of a consensus regarding how this tasty dish should be prepared and what should or shouldn’t go into it. Some say it should be just seafood with saffron-scented rice and sweet bell peppers, while other insist on a combination of seafood and meat such as chorizo or chicken.

The following is a shrimp version, which includes rice, peppers, black olives and capers. I don’t remember the origin of the recipe but it definitely is a keeper.

Shrimp iPaella!
6 tablespoons butter
½ onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pinch saffron
1 tablespoon bouillon
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
½ cup black olives, chopped
3 tablespoons capers
2 bay leaves
1½ pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled
4 teaspoons oregano
6 ounces stewed tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar
2½ cups rice
4 cups water or broth
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 ounce chipotle peppers, sliced
In large pan, saute onion and garlic in 4 tablespoons of the butter until onion is transparent. Add saffron, bouillon, peppers, olives, capers and bay leaves. In separate pan, saute shrimp in remaining butter and oregano until shrimp whiten. Drain, then add to first pan, along with stewed tomatoes and sugar. Stir. Cook rice in water or broth in large pot. When rice is 2 minutes from being done, dump in contents of saute pan, plus parsley, cilantro and chipotles. Stir. Let sit for an hour. Reheat and serve.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken And Rice

Chicken and rice is a popular combination. In fact, some people would say it’s unbeatable.

This simple pairing has been around for ages. After all, rice is a staple in many countries around the world, and chicken is probably more widely available than any other meat. The two go together like spaghetti and meatballs, or peanut butter and jelly.

Recently, we had chicken and rice, using a recipe that originally called for pheasant. It was so tasty that I duplicated the meal only a week or so after the first time we had it.

One of the things that we particularly liked was the sauce, a rich combination of butter, olive oil, wine and broth, along with a dab of sugar. And I should mention the meat was very tender, probably because it was browned first before being place in the oven with the sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and black olives.

A nice salad and some home-grown buttercup squash rounded out our meal, which complemented the chicken and rice nicely.

Chicken and Rice
1 3- to 4-pound chicken, meat removed from bone and cut into pieces
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon seasoning salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup red cooking wine
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 can chicken stock or broth
In a large heavy skillet, preheat the shortening and butter on medium-high heat. In a bowl, add the flour with the garlic powder and onion powder, seasoning salt and pepper. Roll the pheasant pieces into the seasoned flour and place slowly in the hot pan. Fry until light golden brown.
Lightly spray a slow cooker crock with vegetable oil and set the heat to low, and add the browned pheasant pieces. In the heavy skillet that the pheasant was browned in, add the garlic, mushrooms, black olives, wine, onions, sugar, and broth. Heat until it starts to bubble and cook for a few minutes. Pour this sauce over the pheasant in the slow cooker.
Cook for 6 to 8 hours. If you wish, you may bake this in the oven on 325 degrees for 1½ hours.
Serve over cooked rice.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pan-Seared Red Snapper

Many of the healthiest diets that are being touted these days include fish. And there is good reason. Several kinds of fish and seafood contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to human health.

But why are they essential?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health and the Mayo Clinic, among others, omega-3 fats are special because they have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

To that end, the American Heart Association and other agencies recommend eating a variety of fish at least twice a week, and red snapper is an excellent choice for a healthy diet. While it is not as high in omega-3 fatty acids as others such as salmon, it is a good source.

Here’s a recipe we tried recently that I like for a couple of reasons: It takes little time to prepare and is awful tasty.

And that’s on top of being good for you!

Pan-Seared Red Snapper
2 4-ounce red snapper fillets red snapper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Rinse snapper under cold water, and pat dry. In a shallow bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, mustard, honey, green onions, and ginger.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip snapper fillets in marinade to coat both sides. Place in skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Pour remaining marinade into skillet. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with vegetables.