MTPR

Food Guys

Sunday 11:52 AM - 12:00 PM, Thursday 4:54 PM

From favorite seasonal recipes, to the roots of our food traditions, to the politics of food, the Food Guys illuminate the culinary world each Sunday, in this 10 minute program produced by Montana Public Radio.

The Food Guys have also been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

The theme song for "The Food Guys," is a Cole Porter song, "Sunday Morning Breakfast Time," played and sung by Porter himself.

The Food Guys Podcast
 

Ways to Connect

Recipe: Spicy Rhubarb-Strawberry Chutney with Chicken

Jun 24, 2016
Flickr user, Jo (CC-BY-2.0)

Chutneys are one of the glories of Indian cookery. They can take from minutes to hours of cooking time and they offer all sorts of tastes. Fruits of all kinds find their way into chutneys. Some can be made into preserves, like sweet tomato chutney, bottled and kept indefinitely. Others are thick sauces and are eaten fresh with meats, vegetables, or fish.

Need To Get Rid Of A Cabbage? Make Coleslaw

Jun 19, 2016
Takeaway (CC-BY-2.0)

Traditional meals across Europe feature some sort of long-lasting pickled cabbage salad; there's krautsalat in Germany, insalata capricciosa in Italy, kapusta provansal in Russia and Ukraine, and  veckosallad in Sweden.  Traditional American coleslaw features finely-sliced green or red cabbage, sliced carrots, whole milk, vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise and buttermilk. It's a staple of summer picnics and barbecues and can be made far in advance.

'The Alchemy Of Baking' Explained

Jun 12, 2016
P.D.

“You can cook a piece of chicken, but it will still be just a piece of chicken. I prefer the alchemy of baking.”

Flickr user, Stacy Spensley. (CC-BY-2.0)

"Everybody loves stuffed mushrooms," asserts Food Guy, Jon Jackson. Greg Patent has suggestions for stuffed mushrooms, made either as an appetizer or a main dish. First, look for mushrooms whose caps are 2-4 inches in diameter. Remove and chop up the stems; they'll be the basis for the filling.

'Leave The Pineapple, Take The Pizza'

May 29, 2016
Flickr user, Edsel Little (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys have a yen for pizza and pizza-making accessories: pizza stones, pizza peels, and the pièce de résistance: an outdoor portable wood-fired pizza oven. They're fans of baking Italian thin-crust, lightly-topped pizza outdoors in summer, when an oven, fired up to 750 degrees F, can cook an entire pizza in ninety seconds. (Or so claims Greg Patent.)

GMOs: The Food Guys Remain Skeptical

May 25, 2016
Flickr user, ElizaIO. (CC-BY-2.0)

Greg Patent and Jon Jackson don't trust the claims of agribusiness regarding the safety and importance of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. "The industry asserts it's like natural plant breeding. But anytime you insert genes from one species into another, you're disrupting the entire genetic structure of the organism. Putting a bacterial gene into a rat or a plant might have long-term effects on the physiology of the rat or the plant," says Greg Patent.

Spring Vegetables Have Sprung

May 15, 2016
H. Alexander Talbot (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Jon Jackson poses an observation and a question. "There's a certain period in the spring when you think, 'Is this a period of starvation?' Well, historically, it was. Everything is greening up, yet it's a period of scarcity for food, because plants aren't readily available. We have markets today, so we don't think about that so much. But if you're a cook, you're thinking, "What's coming on? It's springtime and I need something."

Hercules's Payoff: Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

May 2, 2016
Carmelo Domini (CC-BY-2.0)

Recently, "Food Guys" co-host Greg Patent attended an olive oil competition in Perugia, Italy. The Ercole Olivario is named for Hercules, several of whose mythic labors were aided by the wood of the olive tree.   What are the competition's judges looking for?  "A spiciness, a pungency, a grassiness - and a balance among these qualities."

Six-Pound Chickens, Dull Flavor, and 'Woody Breast'

Apr 12, 2016
P.D.

"Food Guys" Jon Jackson and Greg Patent recapitulate Kelsey Gee's March 2016 article from The Wall Street Journal: "Bigger Chickens Bring A Tough New Problem: 'Woody Breast.'"

Jon Jackson, who investigated Iowa chicken processing plants in the 1970s, recalls his amazement at the time when he learned that a chicken could grow to market size (3.5 pounds) in 90 days. "Now I'm reading that today's farmers can raise a 3.5 pound chicken in 35 days, using 8 pounds of feed."

Twinkies Never Hurt Them: Great Men Of Junk Food

Apr 4, 2016
Flickr user, Wackiestuff. (CC-BY-2.0)

What do Frederick and Louis Rueckheim, Frank W. Epperson, Walter E. Diemer, and James A. Dewar have in common? Each was a junk food genius. To these men we owe the invention of Cracker Jacks, Tootsie Rolls, Popsicles, Dubble Bubble gum, and Twinkies, respectively. "Food Guys" Jon Jackson and Greg Patent survey their favorite childhood treats via Manny Fernandez's 2010 New York Times article titled, "Let Us Now Praise the Great Men of Junk Food."

Flickr user, Brian Malmstrom (CC-BY-2.0)

According to Mark Twain, “A cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education”. 

"We know everything already about cauliflower and Brussels sprouts; we just steam them and maybe put some butter on them and we're done, right?" asks Jon Jackson of Greg Patent. Greg gamely takes the bait: "I used to only put cauliflower into soups, or cook Brussels sprouts with chestnuts at Thanksgiving. But I've discovered how well they both profit from browning."

Flickr user, xxxology. (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys dish up numbers on the smoke points of different cooking fats, guided by a 2010 article by Shilo Urban, "How To Cook With Oils: The Manifesto."

When should you worry about the smoke point of your favorite cooking oil? Mostly when you're frying, says Greg Patent. Once oil is hot enough to start smoking, its flavor and nutritional value break down, and carcinogens begin to form.

Chili: A Class Of Food All By Itself

Feb 5, 2016
Flickr user, JeffreyW (CC BY 2.0)

"Every chili turns out different," observes Jon Jackson, Food Guy and fan of both the hot pepper and the famous dish. Chili, that versatile outlet for creativity and leftovers, can go in a million directions - as long as it contains chilis, cumin, and an aromatic base.

Is The Food Industry Making People Fat?

Jan 29, 2016
Flickr user, Tiffany Terry (CC BY 2.0)

Jon Jackson and Greg Patent get through six of the ten items on blogger and historian Juan Cole's list, "Top Ten Ways Corporate Food is Making Us Fat and Threatening Our Food Supplies."

Remedy The Winter Grays And Blues With Winter Greens

Jan 22, 2016
Flickr user, Ruth Hartnup (CC-BY-2.0)

Kale, chard, collards, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, available in grocery stores in Montana all winter, can help bridge the season's yawning Vegetable Gap.

'The Food Guys' Talk Stews, Beer And Wine

Jan 17, 2016
Flickr user, Clemens v. Vogelsang. (CC-BY-2.0)

Recently, The Food Guys have discussed braising, stocks, and soups. This time, Jon Jackson and Greg Patent cover the waterfront of stews, the chunkier, more substantial versions of soups. Like soup, a stew recipe can be an open-ended exercise in creativity and imagination.

Who's Who In Winter Soups

Jan 10, 2016
A bill in the Montana Legislature would allow Montanans to sell food out of their own kitchens, either directly to customers, or for community social events, like weddings or potlucks.
Flickr user, JeffreyW (CC BY 2.0)

"When you hear the word "soup," you probably think of a nice hot tomato soup," says Food Guy, Jon Jackson. Or chicken soup, cream of mushroom, or beef barley; The Food Guys have no trouble name-dropping their favorite winter soups.

Stocks: Liquid Gold In Your Kitchen

Jan 3, 2016
Flickr user, Blue Lotus (CC BY 2.0)

"One of the staples of cooking is the stock," says Food Guy, Jon Jackson.  "You can buy high-quality organic, low-sodium or unsalted stocks and broths, but if you've got leftover bones or discarded vegetables, it's easy to combine them into a stock."

Recipe: Hazelnut Streusel Sweet Potato Pie

Dec 27, 2015
Flickr user, Liji Jinaraj (CC BY-2.0)

Hazelnut Streusel Sweet Potato Pie

Greg Patent writes:

Sweet potato pies were very popular with 19th century cooks. Here's one with a terrific hazelnut streusel topping that is a great contrast to the smooth, creamy filling. This is one of the pies I make for Thanksgiving. Make it anytime sweet potatoes are in season.

Pillsbury Bake-Off Prizewinner: Spicy Apple Twists

Dec 13, 2015

Spicy Apple Twists

This recipe won the Grand Prize and $25,000 for Dorothy De Vault in 1958, at the 10th Pillsbury Bake-Off, the same Bake-Off that included 19-year-old contestant, Greg Patent. It’s a simple recipe of pastry strips wound around apple wedges and baked.

Recipe: Apricot-Coconut Walnut Bars

Dec 6, 2015

In the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1958, 19-year-old Greg Patent was one of ten Junior contestants in the 10th Pillsbury Bake-Off. Greg's entry: a highly adapted version of that old standby, the oatmeal date cookie.

Flickr user, Laurel F (CC-BY-2.0)

If a can of salmon or tuna is applying for squatter's rights in your cupboard because of the "BORING" cartoon bubble hovering above it, Food Guys Jon Jackson and Greg Patent have some suggestions.

Recipe: Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Tart

Nov 22, 2015
Flickr user, EvinDC (CC BY 2.0)

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Tart

You’ll need to make this tart a day or two ahead. The pastry needs a stint in the refrigerator before being rolled out, chilled, and baked. The filling goes into the baked shell and is baked for almost an hour and cooled partially in the turned off oven. The tart needs at least 6 hours in the refrigerator to set up properly.

Braising: Easy, Hands-Off, And Nearly Foolproof

Nov 15, 2015
Flickr user, Russ. (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

From time to time, The Food Guys like to return to the basics of cooking. Braising is a technique of cooking tough cuts of meat like brisket. To become tenderized, the meat must reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees F, keeping the muscle fibers tender while melting collagen in the connective tissue.

The Fruit-Tree Of Knowledge: Apples

Nov 8, 2015
Flickr user, Anja J. (CC BY 2.0)

"And there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it." - Neil Gaiman

Every autumn, Food Guys Greg Patent and Jon Jackson extol the virtues of Malus domestica.

Flickr user, cookbookman17 (CC-BY-2.0)

After repeatedly dry results, Food Guy Jon Jackson will no longer buy center-cut pork chops. "You can run into a certain dryness and the thing begins to look like shoe leather turning up at the edges. How can you keep pork moist?"

The Sheep Thrills Of Ground Lamb

Oct 25, 2015
Flickr user, Alpha. (CC-BY-2.0)

When you buy a portion of a locally-raised lamb, you'll win applause from The Food Guys, who encourage meat-eaters to avoid eating animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations. Jon Jackson and Greg Patent think of ground lamb as "user-friendly," and they've got a list of easy-to-make dishes to back up the opinion.

1. Treat lamb like ground beef: brown it in a skillet with olive oil, onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, combine it with hot rice, and serve with chutney.

Presto, Pesto!

Oct 11, 2015
Flickr user, Yannic Meyer. (CC-BY-NC-2.0)


When we think of pesto, it's usually the classic basil pesto of Northern Italy, pesto alla genovese, served over pasta.

Two Steelhead Recipes

Oct 7, 2015
Flickr user, Spappy.joneS (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Steelhead are "one of the most sporting and greatest-tasting fish in the world," declares Food Guy and fisherman Jon Jackson. If you're not prepared to freeze while fighting a cart-wheeling wild steelhead in an Idaho river this fall, you can still buy farmed steelhead, which the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch places in its "best choice" category for responsibly-farmed fish. Steelhead are sold as whole sides. They're not always de-boned; be sure to ask.

The Perfect Tomato

Sep 30, 2015
Harry Klee

The Food Guys introduce the Garden Gem tomato in their discussion of "This Is the Perfect Tomato, But Supermarkets Refuse To Sell It" by Mark Schatzker (July 16, 2015, Slate online).

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