Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Gumbo Soup

Okra isn’t a vegetable kids who grew up in northern Minnesota would hear much about in their formative years. In fact, many of them probably never had an inkling about the flowering plant in the mallow family. I can attest to that. My first exposure to the plant known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers or ochro was probably in the …


Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mama And Michael’s Meat Sauce

When it comes to meat sauces for pasta, just about everyone has their favorite. Spaghetti lovers generally prefer a sauce that contains ground beef and Italian sausage. Some people even like to add ribs to the mix. Ragu is also a popular choice, both the Bolognese (finely chopped ground beef, veal or pork) or Neapolitan (chunky beef or pork taken …


CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Noodle Hotdish

Most hotdishes or casseroles are perfect for those working folks who don’t have all day to prepare a meal — or those who are just looking for a something that is quick and tasty to put on the table for supper. As a retiree, I usually have a lot of free time, so it doesn’t matter if it takes an …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Once Around the Kitchen Vegetable Soup

Leftovers. Almost all families have them, and they can pose a dilemma — if you let them. But creative cooks know that their limitations are endless. Perhaps the best use I can think of for leftovers is a pot of soup. Consider that roast chicken or beef that you had for Sunday dinner. Either would be a great starter for soup. …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Dad’s Vegetable Beef Soup

Winter is the perfect time to make soup. I won’t argue with that, although soup during any season with fine with me. Vegetable soups, whether they are made with fresh, frozen or canned veggies, are among the most popular of soups. The reasons are myriad: They make a great appetizer or a main courses. They are relatively quick to make and …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Meatball Stew

There are a lot people who relish leftovers. But there probably are just as many who view them as a nuisance. You can count me among the former. I believe there are a lot of leftovers that are better the second day. Chili, for one, comes to mind. It’s also a food that can’t really be made in small batches, especially …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Creamy Chicken And Vegetables

Chicken ala king is one of those dishes that’s not only been a staple of many families over the years but also one that can be made with a variety of ingredients. As the name implies, chicken is the star of the creamy entree, which also features vegetables. But which ones complement the chicken can vary from recipe to recipe. Generally, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Spicy Beef And Cabbage

Have you ever eaten a dish that seems to be intoxicating? I’m sure we all can name a dessert or two that would fit into that category, especially if it contains alcohol. Perhaps a cake recipe with beer, an ice cream sundae topped with wine-soaked fruits, dessert cocktails, ice pops made with wine. And even ones without booze, such as Better Than …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — West African Peanut Soup

Homemade soups are awfully hard to beat. And when eating out, there’s something soothing about knowing that a restaurant’s soup is made from scratch. Maybe the reason is that you are a soup maker yourself or your mom or dad was accomplished at that, too. Both are true in my case. I usually make a pot of soup at least three …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Winter Borscht

Nothing takes the chill off a cold winter day than a big bowl of soup. That’s probably been true since early man started throwing meat and vegetables in a pot over an open fire pit. One soup that’s been around a long time is borscht, which is derived from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbrels …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Bean Soup with Pork Hocks

Anyone who has contemplated making bean soup for the first time and goes to the internet looking for a recipe will likely find one that suits his or her tastes. That’s because there’s hardly any limit to the number of bean soups that a cook can make. Perhaps the main reason is that beans come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and when you …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Slow Cooker Hunter’s Stew

Hunting season has arrived in the Northland. For many cooks, that means it’s time to start digging through their recipe boxes for some tasty wild game dishes. Over the years, I’ve listened to some of my readers complain about wild game recipes because they can’t “bear” the thought of eating magnificent Canada geese, which mate for life, or a Bambi, with whom they …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Lentil Soup With Sausage, Chard And Garlic

“Wouldn’t today be a great day for soup?” That isn’t what you’d expect to hear most cooks asking in the middle of July in the Upper Midwest. But those were my exact words to myself Wednesday, and I bet that’s exactly what a lot of other people have been querying the past couple of days with the cool, wet weather we’ve been experiencing. The …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Parmesan Pork Chops and Veggies

One-pot ― or one-pan ― meals are a boon to households where both parents work.  And this time of the year, when a lot of time and energy goes into baking holiday goodies, even those who are retired can find them a nice time-saver. They take very little time to put together, cooking time is minimal, and one-pot meals require a lot less …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Marinated Carrot Salad

Side dishes are just as important as the main course when it comes to holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving Day dinner. It’s always been that way in our family. From the time we used to go to my Grandma and Grandpa Menard’s in the 1950s and ’60s to our smaller get-togethers these days, side dishes have played a big role …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Carrot Cake

Two 5-gallon buckets of carrots. What’s a guy to do? Well, in my case, scrubbing and drying them is the No. 1 priority. After that, the fun begins. As you might have guessed, I recently dug the carrots from my garden. I waited until we had a good frost before harvesting them because the plants respond to the cold by turning starches into …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Hunter’s Hamburger Stew

Anyone who has enjoyed a day in the field in pursuit of ringneck pheasants knows how nice it is to return to hunting camp for a tasty home-cooked meal. I recently returned from my third trip to western North Dakota, where wily roosters did their best to outsmart me. Luckily, I was in pretty good company, so  a few birds …