Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ham And Cheese Casserole

Ham and cheese is the perfect pairing. You might say the two are a match made in heaven. From a ham and cheese sandwich to a ham and cheese omelet to a ham and cheese pizza, this combination is a love affair that knows no bounds. But let me pitch another entree featuring this deliciuous duo: ham and cheese casserole. The …


Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp Paella

Rice is one of the fastest-growing staples in the world. You can find it in dishes from many cultures, particularly those from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where it is a main food. Rice also is growing in popularity in the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America, and many in the U.S. likewise have embraced it. There are several …


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

If you are looking for something quick and easy to make for supper, the combination of shrimp and rice wouldn’t be a bad choice. Neither of them takes long to cook and they really compliment each. The following recipe contains just a handful of ingredients and can be made in less than a half hour, if you are using white …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Slow Cooker Curried Chicken With Wild Rice And Mushrooms

Curry and paprika are an interesting combination in the preparation of food and are often used together in many Indian and Caribbean dishes such as chicken curry and jerk chicken. We do a fare amount of cooking with chicken and other types of poultry. Our freezers generally have an ample supply of Hutterite chickens as well as a turkey or …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ham, Bean And Potato Soup

An Easter Sunday ham dinner is a tradition in many families. And a day-after-Easter ham bean soup is probably on the menu for just as many families, maybe more, especially in these days when our usual large gatherings are whittled down due to social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The spiral ham that Therese and I prepared Sunday is going …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Thick and Beefy Goulash

There’s nothing more comforting in times of uncertainty than a good meat-and-potato meal. Or a pasta dish with ground beef or Italian sausage. And if you can throw in some good vegetables, all the better. Just about everyone has a family favorite when it comes to this type of food. For some people, it’s a main dish, for others a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Vegetable Soup

If you asked any kid growing up in the 1950s and ’60s for just one food item that their mom always had stocked in the cupboard, one answer probably would stand out: Campbell’s Vegetable Soup. And there are a couple of good reasons for that. One, it’s kid-friendly. And two, if you’re feeling ill or just need to whip together a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Beans, Ham And Rice

Beans and rice dishes are a staple in many cuisines around the world but no more so than in Latin American countries, where they are commonly eaten as everyday lunch. If you are looking for something that is easy to make and is nutritious, the beans-and-rice combo is perfect. Both beans and rice are a source of protein, iron and fiber. …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken And Potatoes With Tomato Sauce

Potatoes and tomatoes. Many people might think that’s an unlikely pairing — you could probably count me in that group unless you were referring to french fries and ketchup — but there are some days when you just want to try something new. So when I came across the following recipe, even though my food radar didn’t exactly light up, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Scalloped Potatoes And Ham

Leftover ham lends itself to many uses. The simplest is a good old ham sandwich, perhaps made a few hours after the meat was featured as the main course on Easter Sunday. Or maybe fried ham and eggs or a ham and cheese omelet. And, of course, there is bean or split pea soup, depending on your preference. The entree …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Eggplant-Mushroom Pasta Sauce

A person couldn’t do much better than a good homemade tomato sauce during times of health crises when eating at home may be one’s only option. Cooked tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. And when put in a sauce with other vegetables such as nutritient-rich …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Stew

Exactly what constitutes a good stew? The vast majority of people will say theirs usually consists of some tender meat, usually beef, hearty vegetables (potatoes and carrots) and a delicious, thick sauce. But beyond this, there many options when it comes to stew. Some cooks like to lighten things up a bit and substitute chicken or turkey (I like pheasant). And …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Stovetop Chicken

Comforting, affordable, versatile. Those are three attributes of chicken breast that make it a great go-to meat for many people. Plus, there’s something about golden-brown chicken breasts that make them hard to resist. A new favorite of mine is preparing the breasts on the stovetop. And more often than not, I like to substitute pheasant for chicken, a perk of …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Boiled Dinner

My dad was a heckuva cook, and boiled dinner was one of his specialties. He generally made it in the winter, when a bowl of something warm was the perfect answer to the cold weather. I have many fond memories of big bowls of boiled dinner, served with dash of vinegar. It was a meal in itself and one that …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Venison Tips With Egg Noodles

Red meat cooked in a sauce has probably been popular since the earliest humans first tasted it — albeit in a much cruder form than we know today — thousands of years ago. Over centuries, this type of food has evolved into dishes such as beef Stroganoff, Salisbury steak and even the ubitquitous hamburger and gravy; the list goes on …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Arrabiata Sauce With Peppers And Mushrooms

Sometimes tomato sauces can get bogged down with too many flavors and laden with meat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spaghetti sauce that is spiced up with herbs such as basil, thyme and oregano as well as containing good Italian sausage seasoned with fennel. But there are times when I’m in the mood for pasta and just …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Hershey Dream Bars

As promised to one of my readers, here is my Mom’s recipe for Hershey Dream Bars, which I mentioned in an earlier blog, as well as a few other favorites, including Grandma Menard’s recipe for Rolled Butter Cookies. I hope you have time to make these before Christmas! Hershey Dream Bars 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup shortening (butter or …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Carrot Bars

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a good assortment of cookies, bars and the like. At least that’s the way it was in our house when I was growing up. My mom always made sure we had plenty of goodies around Christmas, which was very pleasing to her three growing boys and their dad. I have fond memories of her …

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

If there was ever a food that lends itself to leftovers, it is chicken. From casseroles to salads to enchiladas to pizza to sandwiches, the list goes on and on and on. Once every week or two, we roast a regular or smoked chicken, which we get from the Hutterites of the Forest River Colony, in a Dutch oven. This …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Or Pheasant Fricassee

The late, great American chef Julia Child, in her “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” described fricassee as “halfway between a sauté and a stew.” In a fricassee cut-up meat is first sautéed, then liquid is added and it is simmered to finish cooking. A stew includes liquid from the beginning. For me, someone who doesn’t think cooking is a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pheasant, Peppers and Onions

Skillet entrees have a lot of appeal. Not only do they cut back on the cleanup, they are also quick and easy. There are some foods that are just conducive to being cooked on the stovetop. Two of those are peppers and onions. Many a tasty dish starts off with that duo being sautéed in a little butter or olive …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Turkey Noodle Vegetable Soup

Leftovers are usually a given when you host Thanksgiving Day dinner, even if everyone eats too much. There is always some leftover stuffing, squash, scalloped corn and the like besides the star of your feast — the turkey. Even if you sit down for a slice or two of turkey on a bun(s) around suppertime, there often is plenty of …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pheasant Cordon Bleu

Most people have heard of chicken cordon bleu, but there’s a good chance that many of them have never tasted it. And that would be a shame. The origin of cordon bleu dishes is somewhat in dispute. Some say it has its roots in France (chicken). Still others credit the Swiss (schnitzel) and the Austrians (veal). Wherever they came from, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — German Potato Salad

I’ll have to admit, traditional potato salad the way Mom made it and Therese’s version are high on my list of favorite foods. But a good German potato salad is hard to beat. Therese made the following recipe, an update of one in her Better Homes and Garden cookbook. It was the perfect complement to a ring of cooked beef …

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

Skillet meals are a quick and easy way to cook fresh garden vegetables, especially tomatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage. Add a little meat to the mix, and you have a well-balanced dish that is full of vitamins, fiber and protein. The following recipe took only about a half an hour to prepare, which gave me plenty of time to work …

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 …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Orzo Soup With Pesto

Pesto is often associated with pasta. So it stands to reason that the basil-based sauce would be a nice fit for chicken noodle soup or the like. I recently came across the following recipe, which was adapted from one in “Better Homes and Gardens Quick Homemade: Fast, Fresh Meals in 30 Minutes” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). It’s not your mother’s …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp Pesto Linguine

One of the great joys of cooking is preparing food with fresh herbs and vegetables straight from the garden. Making pesto is one such experience that I relish. It’s also one that holds great appeal to Kim Holmes. Kim, longtime owner of Sanders 1907 in downtown Grand Forks who retired in 2017, told me making pesto was one of his …

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 — Cold Macaroni Salad

Picnic season is in full swing in the Midwest with the dog days of summer and its hot and sultry weather blanketing the area. And there’s nothing better to serve friends and family on those steamy days than a cold salad to go with what’s cooking on the barbecue grill. There are many good cold salad recipes floating around the internet …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie

The thought of homemade pie conjures up warm memories of good times past for many people who grew up on farms or in the small towns that dot a map of the Plains and Midwest. During the summer, I could usually count on finding a pie, often rhubarb, on the counter at our house or Grandma and Grandpa Menard’s almost every …

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 — Bell Pepper And Mushroom Marinara

Marinara sauce can be thick and chunky or smooth and silky. Either way suits me, but if I had my druthers, the former rather than the latter would be my preference. Hardly any two of my marinara sauces are the same. But assuredly, they all contain tomatoes, garlic, some fresh basil, onion and seasoning. And they can be used on anything from …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Beef Stroganoff With Green Beans And German Cabbage

Fusion cuisine, the combining of two or more culinary traditions, has become quite popular worldwide over the past couple of decades, particularly in culturally diverse and large metropolitan settings. Many believe it was started in the 1980s and ’90s, when the public was introduced to creations such as buffalo chicken spring rolls, grits with butter and soy sauce and sautéed foie …

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

Anybody who’s cooked with honey and garlic in tandem knows that combination can produce some pretty tasty results. Honey garlic chicken and honey garlic shrimp are just two popular recipes that come to mind. But there just might be another good reason to combine the two: Both have been linked to healthy eating. And when combined, honey and garlic become a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pumpkin Bread

It just doesn’t get much better than homemade bread. There’s nothing like it when it’s fresh out of the oven and topped with a dollop of butter or some peanut butter and jelly. In our house, I leave the “real” bread-making up to Therese. There’s no way I can top the bread — or the buns — she bakes. I’ve …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Red Beans, Sausage And Rice

Beans and rice are a popular combination. Add sausage and green bell pepper to the mix and you have a dish that many people, especially those from southern Louisiana, might say is a touch of heaven. For Cajuns and those of Creole descent, red beans and rice is classic comfort food that has been around for a couple of centuries. …

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

Dietary fiber is essential for healthy living. Found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, dietary fiber offers a variety of health benefits. They include relief from constipation; lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer; lowering cholesterol levels; and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Most healthy eating plans such as the U.S. Department of …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Rotelle With Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Most people think of a meat sauce when considering dishes such as spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli or Alfredo. A good sauce can make or break a pasta entree. But sauces without meat can be just as tasty and often are more heart-healthy. I’ll be the first to admit that a ground beef/Italian sausage tomato/marinara sauce is hard to beat when it comes …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Beans and legumes rank near the top of the list among the most nutritious vegetables. Most professional agree that they are a key food group for helping prevent disease and for optimizing health, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular and blood sugar problems, including Type 2 diabetes. That fact is borne out in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans developed by …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Great Northern Bean Stew

Good recipes can come from a variety of sources. Some people are fortunate enough to have ones that have been in their family for years. If you are really lucky, you might have you mom’s recipe box like I do. The internet is also a good source as are friends and newspapers. The publication that I worked at for more …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Baked Cod With Tomatoes and Olives

Lent is just around the corner, so that mean’s there will likely be a fish fry or two on tap in your neighborhood, not to mention Friday fish specials on many a restaurant menu. Walleye is the fish of choice at a lot of frys in my neck of the woods, although Alaskan pollock is a good substitute, especially if …

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 — City Chicken

Chicken is the most popular meat in the United States, more well-liked than beef or pork. That’s according to 2018 statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But why is it so? Versatility is probably the No. 1 reason. The U.S. is a very diverse country, so chicken’s mild taste and uniform texture is easily assimilated into many cuisines. But …