Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Barbecued Pheasant

Fall is perhaps my favorite season of the year. The reason for my fondness is that I get to combine three of my favorite pastimes — gardening, hunting and cooking. The past couple of months have been especially satisfying. I finished my gardening, which started last March when tomato, kale and pepper seeds were planted indoors; canned more than a …


Unheralded

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cabbage And Ring Bologna Bake

Some say that Plato was the one who came up with the well-known and often-used proverb that states necessity is the mother of invention. That’s a distinct possibility, but I’m not so sure it wasn’t an imaginative cook who coined that phrase. The reason I say that is that some of my favorite recipes are ones that were invented because …


CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Fresh Tomato Salsa

The summer of 2018 will be remembered by many gardeners as the year of the tomato. Despite a dry spell the last three weeks of August, it’s been a banner season for those ruby-red orbs of sweetness. My garden was no exception. I’ve been inundated with tomatoes since mid-July. It’s partly my own fault. After a 2017 in which my …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Vegetable And Sausage Skillet

Garden production can vary greatly from year to year. Just ask any gardener. One year, a person might have tremendous crop of a certain vegetable and a dismal one of another. And the next season, the tables can turn and abundance can become a smattering and a pittance a carload. Fortunately in our 2018 garden, we don’t have any vegetables …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Scallops Marinara

Lent is just around the corner, so that means meatless meals for some people. In a lot of cases, that means fish or seafood. Here’s a tasty dish that fits the bill from True North Seafood (truenorthseafood.com), which for six generations has been fishing the waters of the Bay of Fundy, located between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Marsala

Mushrooms are one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. For those who dislike mushrooms, it’s usually texture that puts people off more than the taste, while it’s those same qualities that attracts those on the other side of the aisle. One of the reasons I like mushrooms so much is that they often absorb the flavor of the …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Czechoslovakian Cabbage Soup

Cold weather and comfort food go together like bacon and eggs, peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to me to see a billboard ad this morning touting all the soup you can eat from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays at a local restaurant. After all, what’s more comforting when the temperatures are below …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi isn’t an entree most people would consider deer hunting camp fare. But they probably don’t know the Menard boys from Crookston, Minn., either. This past month, I made my fifth trip to Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge and to Tamarac Resort on Round Lake to join my cousins, Kim, Joe and Tom Menard — and Joe’s son, Matt — for …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Stew

A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering what to do with some leftover chicken, and with the temps in the teens, throwing together a stew came to mind. After all, stew has been known as a comfort food a long time. The following recipe is the result. I didn’t have to venture out to buy any of the ingredients, …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Sauerkraut, Sausage and Potatoes

For most people, it’s hard to draw any comparisons to eating sauerkraut right out of the crock. That’s because making homemade sauerkraut is one of the things from the past that not may people do anymore. You can’t count my septuagenarian friend, Darrel Koehler in that group. Darrel has been making sauerkraut for years, something he learned from his parents …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

Cabbage is a pretty popular vegetable among gardeners. It’s also one that knows no ethnic boundaries. For example, Germans and Koreans love fermented cabbage. In Germany, it’s called sauerkraut. In Korea, it’s kimchi. The Irish have a favorite dish, colcannon, which traditional dish of mashed potatoes mixed with boiled cabbage or kale and either bacon or ham. And Cabbage rolls are …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Not Your Mom’s Ratatouille

If you’re a gardener who grows a variety of vegetables, the classic Nicoise dish, ratatouille, should be right up your alley. The stewed vegetable entree consisting of eggplant, tomato, pepper, zucchini, onion and herbs has been has been a favorite in France for many, many years, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that ratatouille rose to the prominence it …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Broccoli Pasta Salad

Salads are for summertime — especially if you have a garden. There’s nothing like a bunch of fresh veggies from the garden — all tossed together in a bowl and seasoned with a homemade vinaigrette — to start off a meal. With a nice crop of lettuce and kale in our garden, we’ve been enjoying fresh salads for going on three months now. …

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

How often have you heard someone say about a particular food, “It’s an acquired taste”? If you cook with nutrition in mind or raise a diverse garden like me, I would bet it’s more often than not. That’s not an indictment of mine or your tastes, but if it is, I plead guilty. It’s more of an acknowledgment that we are on the right track …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Smoked Salmon Spread

Smoked foods such as fish and meat make great appetizers. And when you do the smoking yourself, they seem even better. Recently, I smoked some salmon that was given to me by my brother-in-law, Dean Lutz, in my Masterbuilt electric smoker, which I purchased at Cabela’s about eight years ago. Over the years, I’ve smoked venison, pheasant, grouse and ducks as …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Most cooks have a handful of go-to recipes — the ones that you know will be a hit with whomever you are serving. I don’t have to think too hard to come up with mine, which include a couple of main courses, a sandwich, an appetizer and a dessert. My baked pheasant with wild rice dressing probably tops the list, followed closely by my …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Strawberry Pie

What’s the most popular pie in America? It just depends on whose survey you’re viewing and where it’s being conducted. But in the majority of surveys, apple pie rules. The folks at NPR in 2012 named apple pie as the favorite of those they surveyed. And in a 2008 survey by Crisco and the American Pie Council, nearly one out of …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro is one of those herbs that doesn’t enjoy the popularity of others such as basil and dill, but for those who like Mexican and Asian cuisine, it ranks right up there on the likability scale. I’ve been hooked on cilantro ever since sampling some salsa several years ago that was made with the lacy green-leaves from the pungently flavored plant in …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Auntie Helen’s Barbecues

It’s high school graduation season, and a lot of families are scrambling to prepare for parties for their soon-to-be graduates. Food is always at the center of these celebrations, and there are two routes that you can take: catered from a restaurant, supermarket or culinary service or do-it-yourself. We recently hosted our grandson Rakeem’s party, which was held early because of weekend …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp And Broccoli Pasta Medley Makes A Great Red Meat Substitute

There’s no doubt that Americans are in love with red meat. Ever since the early times of the United States, red meat has been one of the top five foods consumed by Americans. But the love affair between Americans and red meat has hit a roadblock in recent years. Several studies have pointed out that a diet high in red meat …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Ham and Bean Soup

People who routinely bake a ham for a holiday meal usually don’t have any questions when it comes to leftovers. Ham or ham and cheese sandwiches are near the top of my list as well as a macaroni salad, the kind that might be served after a funeral. I also just like to nibble on a piece of ham as a …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Pineapple-Glazed Ham

Many people have fond memories of Easter Sunday dinners. Baked ham usually was the centerpiece of these feasts. If your mom or grandma fixed ham like mine, the meat was scored and studded with cloves, rubbed with brown sugar and sometimes a little mustard and finally baked until the whole house smelled heavenly. Over the years, I’ve made our Easter …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Caribbean Fish Stew

Anyone who has a I taste for the spicy, tangy and aromatic probably is a fan of Caribbean cuisine, a fusion of the foods of many cultures. The main dishes of the region typically are a mixture of vegetables such as peppers — bells and scotch bonnet to name two — tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, onions and garlic, various meats that …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Not-Quite Vegan Chili

Americans eat a lot of meat, more than any other place in the world. That’s a fact. If you were like me, meat was usually on the supper table at least four or five days a week. Perhaps living in a rural area of the country, where meat prices were lower, had something to do with that. Regardless of the reason, …

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 — Country Goulash Skillet

Goulash has a long history, dating back to the ninth century in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary. Today, gulyás is one of Hungary’s national dishes. Without getting into too many specifics about the original version — the dish might be a little too much for those with a weak stomach — old-fashioned goulash featured meat that was cooked and dried (pemmican), stored in what we would consider …

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 — Leftover Lamb Hash

Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, eating leftovers was a given for most blue-collar families, and roast beef hash was one of the dishes that many people point to as a go-to meal. As kids, my mom often would fix Dad, my brothers and I hash a day or two after having a Sunday roast beef dinner. To me, it …

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 — Lentil Soup With Italian Sausage

Anyone who is familiar with farming and has hunted in northwestern North Dakota knows about lentils. Williams and Divide counties are among the top producers of the legumes in the country. I’ve been chasing pheasants in the area for years but yet have never done much cooking with lentils, which are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. (Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Three-Bean Chili

There’s been an argument simmering over the years about whether chili should contain beans. To make a long story short, it depends on who you ask. In Texas, there’s a saying, “If you know beans about chili, it’s that there’s no beans in chili.” In other parts of the country, particularly in the North, beans are a staple. And, of …

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 — Party Mix

No holiday celebration would be complete without finger food. And one that you might find on a lot of snack tables is the traditional party mix made with Wheat, Corn and Rice Chex cereals, mixed nuts, Cheerios and other crunchy goodies. We always had a good supply of party mix when I was growing up. Mom used to make a couple …

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 …