Unheralded

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 …


Unheralded

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 …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Almost Vegetarian Chili

There’s hardly anything better on a cold winter day than a bowl of chili and some freshly baked bread, and I’m not the only one who thinks that is a good idea. On Tuesday, perhaps our coldest day of the winter (-33 degrees) until today (-35), I made some chili and Therese baked some no-knead cheesy bread. After we finished …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mom’s Apple Bars

Mastering the art of baking is something that can take years to achieve — if ever. It’s become one of my goals in retirement. Cooking has always come easy for me, whether it’s making soups, casseroles or main-course entrees such as a Thanksgiving turkey or an Easter ham. But I never baked much until the past couple of years, despite having …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Anise Candy

Candy-making is one of those skills that not too many people possess. It’s not because the task is too difficult, rather it’s that a lot of people are afraid to give it a try or maybe have been unsuccessful once and don’t want to fail again. I was fortunate to come from a family (my mother’s side) that was into …

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

Beans and rice are a staple in the diets of many people across the world, particularly in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Nutritionally, they offer a dish that is high in protein, low in fat, rich in fiber and a good source of carbohydrates. They are also cheap and can be very tasty as well. This dynamic duo …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken In Paprika Sauce

Chicken is one of those foods that can be prepared any number of ways, and that is no exaggeration. If you do a Google search of chicken recipes, 907 million pop up immediately. Most of us are most familiar with chicken that is fried, baked or roasted. But more and more people are opting for skillet entrees that take less …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Making homemade sausage is a popular pastime, especially among hunters. For many people, it’s a family tradition to get together after the deer or elk hunting season to make sausage. In the old days, the grinding and stuffing was done manually. But these days, sausage-making is made easy with electric meat grinders and stuffers, kitchen scales, premixed seasonings and readily available casings. …

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 …

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. …