Memorial Day Tribute

The post I write today is in tribute to all the brave Men and Women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we as Americas and all the free nations of the world can celebrate such things as: Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want, and Freedom to Worship as depicted in Norman Rockwell’s four famous paintings.

Today is a solemn event so as we thank are veterans for their service, remember that today is about our soldiers who didn’t make it home. I hope everyone who reads this has a good a day, a fun day filled with family and friends, sunshine and laughter.

I hope that this country provides for you the opportunities you have dreamed of and strive to fulfill in your right to pursue happiness. You have the ability to choose hope for a better tomorrow and that this hope for a brighter future brings comfort for those who are grieving today.

I know only how much I appreciate all the sacrifices my own family members have made over the years to try and make our world a safer and better place to live with these four freedoms in mind.  It is my hope that one day we can all learn somehow to stop hurting each other and learn to get along in peace.

God bless and be well.

Thank you to you all,

-The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Introducing Our New Senior Copy Editor

Today, I would like to introduce and thank Julianna (AKA Jules) for joining the staff here at THE MAGIC OF A PERFECT PAIRING magazine. Julianna currently holds our new position of chief copy editor.

Julianna is far more than my new copy editor, she makes sure that all the stories in our little magazine read well, flow logically, and are grammatically correct, while also fixing all my incredibly bad spelling errors along the way.

She has a tough job as my copy editor in combating all my dangling modifiers, errant commas, and all other common grammatical mistakes. She is far more than just our magazine proofreader, she is a family friend and I hope she can come to visit my kitchen soon for some taste testing events.

She is very detail-oriented and skilled as a writer in her own right. I hope to be able to get some stories written by her for your reading pleasure. Her input will help to improve the quality, content and style of this magazine. I am now constantly on the lookout for more writers, reporters, and correspondents to join us here at THE MAGIC OF A PERFECT PAIRING so we can provide the best content possible to make your cooking and dining experiences even better!

Please join me if giving Jules a warm welcome and let’s encourage her to write an article or two herself!

Thank you for all your help, Julianna!

-The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Shrimp (Grilled) Marinated in Garlic and Lime

May 28, 2021

Here is a BONUS recipe I enjoyed last weekend. You may what to try it this weekend!


Cutting board

Paring knife

Chef knife (optional)

Shrimp Deveiner (optional) 


Two pounds of Raw Extra Jumbo Shrimp

1 lime

3 cloves garlic

1 or 2 Tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika


Clean and devein two pound of 16–20 size shrimp. Rinse toughly under cold water and place into a zip top bag.  Wash and cut lime in half around the middle, not stem to stern. Squeeze both halves, juicing it over the shrimp in the bag. Toss both halves in the bag now with the shrimp. Slice three cloves of garlic and add into the bag with shrimp and limes. Add 2 tbsp. hot sauce, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and 1 tsp. paprika. Close bag and turn over a few times, mixing ingredients together. Open the zip top bag smidge and squeeze all the air out of bag. Then reseal it and place in refrigerator to marinate one hour. Turn bag over after thirty minutes. Grill on a grilling mat or skew those suckers up so the shrimp don’t fall through the BBQ grate. It’s almost heartbreaking to lose a beautiful shrimp to the fire goddess, but sometimes sacrifices must be made.

SERVE with steak or on a spinach salad, or BOTH! Just remember, red wine for the steaks and a white wine for the Shrimp. The salad needs a dressing…Hmm  

Well, that’s all for now.


The Drunken Chef (Russ)

P.S., These shrimp will go great with beer too!

Lesson 10 – BBQ Chicken Wings and Legs

You now have hot dogs under your belt and if you’re really good, hamburgers too. Hamburgers should really be a whole how to lesson in themselves if you have never made them. Since every BSA Scout I ever taught how to cook knows how to make a hamburger correctly, you might as well learn too. Let’s see how the year goes and I will try to fit that in soon, before the summer really gets going.

It’s party time and backyard BBQ season is upon us. When I think party, I think of wings! Summer is a good time for BBQed wings or BBQed chicken legs. Both of these I think go great with my version of a honey barbeque buffalo sauce.

Prepare the chicken wings; chicken wings may have to be prepped before they can be cooked depending on where you get them. Sometimes the wings come whole and you have to separate the “drumett”, from the “winngett” and discard the wing tip. I do this by carefully working my chef knife between the joints of the chicken wing and cut through the cartilage separating them. Chicken wings can be a lot of work, but just as Mussels are difficult to clean, they are both well worth all the effort in the end.

Once prepped I toss my wings in a bit of oil and spices before grilling them.


Purdue Chicken wings cut into wing and drumetts

          (Frozen wings can be substituted for fresh)

1 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Half stick butter

¼ cup Sweet Baby Ray’s honey barbeque sauce

½ cup Marie’s Blue Cheese salad dressing

1 tablespoon Cholula Hot Sauce

Baby Carrots and Celery sticks



Onion powder

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper


Heat gas grill for 10 minutes or until charcoal coals are gray. In a large bowl, place wings and coat with oil. Sprinkle with spices and toss with oil until wings are evenly coated. Place on grill and cook until golden brown and crispy. While wings are on grill, keeping warm on low, make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add Frank’s red-hot sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque sauce, and Cholula to the melted butter and heat on low until warm.  Do not boil. Pour sauce over wings to cover and toss in a large bowl.

Serve with baby carrots, carrot sticks, celery sticks, Marie’s blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

NOTES: do not use oil with frozen wings. I like this method (bbq) of cooking the wings because the whole house does not smell like grease and fried food because it’s done on the barbeque.

You can replace the wings with chicken legs or thighs. They just take longer to cook!

Wings before the sauce


1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce

½ stick salted butter

2 – 4 tablespoons Sweet Bay Ray’s original BBQ sauce

1 tablespoon original Cholula hot sauce

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

In a small pot add: Frank’s red hot sauce, butter, BBQ sauce, Cholula sauce, and honey. Heat buffalo wing sauce until all the butter is melted and sauce just begins to simmer. Don’t over heat the sauce.

Serve with:  Marie’s blue cheese dressing, celery sticks and carrot sticks.

Match with: Sam Adams – Larger, Oktoberfest or Porch Rocker

Macaroni Salad


1 pound elbow macaroni
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
½ small red onion, minced
1 celery rib, chopped fine
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch white pepper


Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Stir 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta into the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain shake and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in the onion, celery, parsley, mustard, garlic powder, and pepper and let sit until the flavors are absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the mayonnaise and let sit until the salad is no longer watery, 5 to 10 minutes.

Potato Salad


Chef’s knife, Large Pot Measuring spoons, Vegetable peeler


5 lbs. of Potatoes (white skinned potatoes)
2 cup Mayonnaise
2 teaspoon cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (optional) 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (optional) 2 tablespoons finely chopped carrot (optional) 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) 1/2 teaspoon paprika
Parsley Garnish (chopped)
White pepper


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook peeled potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool overnight in refrigerator.

In a large bowl, mix together thinly sliced potatoes, mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, parsley, salt, and pepper. Chill in the fridge overnight. The next day taste and adjust seasoning (add mayo, salt, etc.).

NOTES my mother at times would only go to one deli to buy salads like potato, macaroni, and cold slaw then somewhere else for the cold cuts and then it was off to the bakery for the rolls and rye bread. I guess we are a picky bunch when it comes to food. P.S., Even the pickles came from a special pickle store!

Suggestions: heat 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, ½ cup sugar in a small sauce pan. Pour warm over potatoes and marinate overnight. Drain and make salad.

Use a waxy white skinned potato type as they tend to hold together better then russets.

Cold Slaw


1 cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup Water
1 tbsp. Cider Vinegar
¼ cup Powdered Sugar
White pepper
1 tsp. Celery salt
1 head of shredded cabbage


Trim off outer leaves. Cut cabbage into quarters, but cut out the core of the cabbage. Shred on mandolin, or with a chef’s knife.

In an extra large Tupperware like bowl, add shredded cabbage and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until well blended. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight before serving. Cold slaw will keep for five days.

Serve with a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich or at BBQ’s

Baked Beans


Chef’s knife or Vegetable Chopper
Measuring Spoons
Liquid Measuring Cup
Wooden Spoon
2 quart casserole dish


4 slices bacon
1 onion, diced
2 (28 ounce) cans baked beans
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bacon and onions in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl combine beans, molasses, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, onions and crumbled bacon. Mix well and transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish.

Bake in preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 1 hour more.

Lesson 9 – Dawgs – Hot dogs with all the trimmings

Memorial Day Weekend and Hot Dogs go hand in hand. Here on Long Island, we call ’em: “Dawgs” and beer! Whether it’s root beer or the icy cold adult version, you need something to drink with a tasty dawg. There is nothing like a frosty cold one on a hot summer day!

I start with making either Sabrett brand or Nathan’s hot dogs. I often buy them in May at Costco. It’s only the beginning of the summer season and we go through so many over the course of the next two months. I don’t want to run out, so it’s the club size package for me! I freeze them so I always have a good supply for last minute BBQs with family, friends, or neighbors. Franks, weenies, Red Hots, or dawgs, whatever you call them they all cook quickly on a hot grill. Therefore, it’s best if we prepare all the side dishes first.

Potato, macaroni and cold slaw always take the longest and are more labor intensive than baked beans from a can. You can make these all on the same day (like Memorial Day at 6:00am), but they taste better if they sit overnight and you let the flavors blend. You can make these salads up to five days in advance.  I start cooking Thursday for MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.

There are other easy sides too, like sauerkraut. You can make this at home, but I buy the fresh stuff that comes in a bag in the meat department for this big weekend, like the Board’s Head brand. The canned stuff is horrible if it’s overcooked right from the can. You cannot uncook something that is overdone, yuck. There isn’t anything you need to do to good sauerkraut aside from heat it up when using it for hot dogs. We can do that in a pot on the side burner of the BBQ.

Oops. That might be where my stockpot is full of corn on the cob. Nope, Memorial Day weekend is too early for that. We will save that recipe for the Fourth of July. Please remind me, if I forget.

Next, we have Baked Beans. That can go one of two ways. You can serve them directly from a can by just heating them up in a pot on the stove (I use my Coleman stove for this), or you can make them yourself in the oven.

Let’s say it’s a party…I NEED a party as things open up now after COVID! I have set up the Coleman stove to keep the sauerkraut and the baked beans hot.

We could however make the beans from scratch and have them in a chafing dish. Okay, chafing dish it is. See the Baked Beans recipe. After you’re done making the beans, let’s look at the Spicy Onions recipe and we can keep that on the burner next to the sauerkraut.

We will need Condiments like: spicy brown and mild yellow mustard, ketchup, and relish.

Chili would be good, but ONLY after Labor Day (no more white blouses to be ruined are worn after Labor Day.) Sometimes I wait until later in September or early fall (Octoberish) to make chili. When the weather turns colder and you need to keep the Dawg hot, it works best when it’s cool out. For now, we have beans, for the kid in all of us!

Oh! Yes! We need pickles and maybe potato chips too!

Now, it’s time to fire up the grill! The gas barbeque vs. charcoal BBQ is always a dilemma. There is nothing better than a burger or a steak over charcoal but what about a hot dawg? Well, it depends what else is on the gas grill at the moment. I always start my hot dogs on charcoal and keep them warm on the gas grill in the beginning of parties. Once the charcoal is gone or the kids are toasting marshmallows, I move everything to the gas grill. I may have a batch of chicken wings or chicken legs on the grill early on. In that case, I keep the burgers and the dawgs on the charcoal grill.

In winter, I stop BBQing and the hot dawgs move inside. Then, they are the New York City “dirty water dawgs” or fried in a pan as if Ben’s Deli or Nathan’s made them. These recipes should be posted in the fall (Novemberish), so check back then.

Before you go and invite all those guests, don’t forget to check out the BBQ wings recipe and Chicken legs recipes that I will post tomorrow.

Also try these side dishes: Cold Slaw, Potato Salad, and Macaroni Salad

Enjoy! Stay safe and have fun!

-The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Lesson 11 – Homemade Hamburgers

May 26, 2021

            When George Forman was asked what his favorite food was, he always replied, “Cheese Burgers”! He even said that after he was a millionaire and could eat anything or anywhere he wanted.  No wonder it was HIS name on the George Forman grill! I even owned one myself and used it when I lived in a small apartment with no real kitchen. It worked great too! Thank you Mr. Forman, for all those wonderful cheeseburgers back then.

            Today, I own a huge outdoor propane gas grill to make my hamburgers, plus a few other types of outdoor grills. However, cheeseburgers cooked on the charcoal grill are still the best of all, maybe even as much as George Forman grill. I love all kinds of homemade hamburgers.  Rarely (pun intended), I even eat them out at restaurants too. 

I think the best burgers are still the ones I make at home. Today, we will discuss how to make the recipe HOMEMADE HAMBURGERS.

Any BSA Scout that I have supervised cooking hamburgers still remembers some of my tips or tricks of cooking them just right (I hope!). When you are out in the middle of the woods with a big group of Scouts, always cook the hamburgers to 160ºF. I never ran the risk of anyone getting sick from an undercooked burger. The trick was NOT to overcook them. A hamburger that is too well done is inedible to me.  At home, I cook all my hamburgers to order. If you want your burger rare, then that is your business. If you order it rare, then rare you will get.  Rare by the way is warm and red in the middle. The hamburger reaches an internal temperature of 130ºF on an instant thermometer. I like my burger medium-rare myself, or 135º, medium is 145º, medium-well is 155º and well is 160º. Any meat will continue to cook for 10 minutes as it sits after pulling off the fire. If you are not directly handing someone a burger right off the grill to eat, always then UNDER cook it by 5 or 10 degrees and it will cook as it sits. Then, it will be done perfectly when they come up to get it and sit back down.  

The trick to me is timing and a meat thermometer. I own a wonderful instant read meat thermometer. (See the gadget list). Back in the woods with the Scouts, we would cook frozen hamburgers on a grill. I would tell the Scouts, “watch the top of the burger but don’t touch it. First, you will see it deforest. Still, don’t touch it. Then when you see the blood start to rise up to the surface, NOW you can flip it over! Cook it until the same thing happens on the other side. When you see the burger beading up, then add cheese. As soon as the cheese is melted, THEN move it to a bun. It usually took two or three young scouts all working together to keep the hamburger line moving along smoothly so everyone ate all at the same time and the food was hot. The hamburgers were never dried out or over cooked using this method and they were always all eaten. Even the adults actually enjoyed them!  

At home, I rarely use frozen burgers, unless it is one of my BIG office parties where there is SO much food that you don’t know what to eat next anyhow. This is when I buy the BIG 1/3 of a pound frozen hamburgers. I can actually get those cook to order at least. I buy mine from a local butcher who makes them fresh then freezes them.  

I remember with great fondness my twenties and camping in the woods. All those frozen hamburgers we ate during a four day long Memorial weekend. They were yummy. That was with thirty other twenty something’s with a lot of beer to wash those burgers down. Boy we went through a LOT of burgers, chicken, and beer that weekend!

Until tomorrow be happy, stay healthy and eat well!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Buffalo Burger with Blue Cheese
The hamburger Press helps makes even sized patties.