Split Pea Soup

I made this during the week. It was so good I had to share.


7 cups chicken broth (no salt)

One ham bone and 5 oz of diced smoked ham

yellow onion

1 large carrot

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper


Start by cutting off the ham bone from that spiral ham or smoked ham you made last night. I usually make at least one spiral ham a year. If i do now have a spiral ham you can cheat and use a good quality ham steak.

Dice the ham and set aside. Dice 1 small to medium size onion. add to a large pot with the oil and begin to simmer cook. Dice the carrot and add to onion. cook both until the onion is translucent. Add the ham and fry the ham in the oil with the onion and carrot for a few minutes. Now add 1 large clove of chopped garlic. cook on low one more minutes. Breath in the yummy aroma. Now add 5 cups of chicken stock. When I do not have homemade chicken stock I use 5 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon of better then bullion. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until the chicken stock begin to reduce by 1/2 to 1 cup (leaving for cups of broth. add 1 pound of split peas. cook until the split peas are soft and fall apart when the soup is stirred. About one hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dice ham and stuff simmering

NOTES: Serve with your favorite flavor croutons

Sunday was Blueberry Pie Day

Sunday I made one of my usual entrées of chicken-cutlets. The side dishes were baby zucchini in a butter sauce and a simple salad.

Dessert however was a little more special. I made homemade blueberry pies with a homemade piecrust in an individual serving size – 6 inch mini aluminum pie tin. The only problem was, neither of us could eat a whole one all by our self, so we both split the same one. I just had to put vanilla ice cream on top. Plus, it was still very warm. Making the ice cream get all melty and blend into the blueberry filling.

Click here for: Homemade Pie Crust

Click here for: Blueberry Pie

Click here for: Apple Pie

The Drunken Chef (Russ) I will post a picture of my lunch sandwich on Instagram:

Ma’s Apple Pie

One of my first childhood memories of cooking was this recipe. It was not actually taught to me by my mother, although I remember her in the kitchen, it was my sister who first taught me how to make this beloved apple pie. She loved this apple pie SO much she even ate it for breakfast and that was right after Thanksgiving! If you wanted your share, you had to be fairly quick and get your slices in before it was all gone. I think we made two or even three apple pies some years. Most of the time it was just two. Eventually as the years went on we took one of the pies to my oldest brothers house for Thanksgiving Dinner and kept the other one at home for the four of us to share. I remember my mother ever only having a single slice and that was only if it was a really good day.  Otherwise, she always seemed to be watching her weight. It always seemed to be my sister and I eating all the pie. Sometimes even before our other brother could get a single piece.

To this day, I can recall the fond memories of rolling out dough and peeling apples as a child while standing at the dining room table. Which was the ONLY time I ever saw the dark wood tabletop without a tablecloth on it. As a child I was probably standing on a chair.

My sister even made a game out of peeling apples. Whoever could peel an apple and make the longest continuous apple peel won! I think she may have even let me win sometimes, but I’m not sure because she never let me off that easy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I even still have the original recipe in my mother’s handwriting preserved in a zip lock bag. She has been gone for a while now but the recipe still lives on. Thank you mom.

Ma’s Apple Pie

Serves 8


(2) 9 inch deep dish Pyrex Pie Plates

Pastry brush

Vegetable Peeler AKA an apple peeler in my house

Pastry blender (optional)  

Pie Filling:


Peel and slice 5 lbs. of Macintosh apples and divide into two bowls. (Why? Because we did not have one bowl that was big enough to fit five pounds of apples) The large bowl was a 26 cup (now called vintage) Tupperware bowl. The small bowl was half that size.

Large bowl                           Small Bowl

½ cup                                     ¼         cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar                           ½         cup sugar

2 tbsp. lemon juice             1          tbsp. lemon juice

4 tbsp. flour                          2          tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. salt                             dash   tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon                   1          tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg                     ¼         tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. all spice                     dash   tsp. all spice

Add ingredients over the top of the apples. Mix together the apples and stuff, then cover the bowls with plastic wrap. Now make the crusts.

Homemade Pie Crust (makes enough for one pie)

There is no substitute for a good piecrust when making this recipe, so I suggest start by making the filling first and while it sits as you’re making your piecrust it will produce all the juice you need for your pies.


Grease Pie Plate Using shortening (Crisco) and a paper towel


3 cups sifted flour

1 1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup shortening

8 to 10 tablespoons water with ice


In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Cut in shorting using a pastry cutter of knife and fork making small pebble like pieces of shoring covered in flour. Using a wooden spoon and your hands,  mix in the ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together to form a ball without crumbling apart.

Divide dough into two and shape into balls then thick disks.

Flour your work surface. Place one disk the center of you flour and using a floured rolling pin work from the center out to form the piecrust. Turn and flip the crust to keep it from sticking to your counters surface. Keep rolling out dough until it is just slightly larger than your pie pan by about one inch.  Repeat with second dough ball.

Fold dough in half and place bottom crust in pie dish. Gently press in pie pan. Using a small knife, trim off any excess dough. Fill pie plate with apple mixture. Before putting on the top crust, dot apple mix with small amounts of cold butter. Coat rim with water using you finger. Place on top crust. Press together the crusts at the edge using the tines of a fork to keep the crusts from separating as the pie bakes. Now using a pastry brush, brush on a thin/small amount of milk. This will help the crust get a nice golden brown.

Bake in preheated oven 375° or 400° for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are soft when poke with a skewer. Oven temps vary so you may need to turn up or down your oven so that the crust is brown and the apples are done at the same time. Timing in life is everything and it is with baking.

Enjoy and I hope all your holidays are happy and healthy.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Blueberry Pie(s) Recipe

Make the pie crust recipe found by clicking here: Homemade Pie Crust


Two to three pints of fresh blueberries

1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 water

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)


Start by making a pie crust or use store bought. Grease a 9 inch pie pan or use individual pie tins as seen below. Lay the pie crust in pan by gently folding it in half and siding it over the top, then unfolding it. Gently press into place. If it breaks you can repair it by wetting your finger with water and “gluing” the pieces together.

To make the filling. In a medium sauce pan add the sugar, corn starch, butter and water. heat over medium high heat until the sugar mixture just begins to thicken. Add two pints of blueberries. Continue to stir gently, trying not to break up all the blueberries. Keep cooking until the mixture no longer thickens any further. Pour cooked blueberries into pie shell. Top off with the remaining pint of blueberries. Moisten the bottom crust using your index finger and water around the rim of the pie plate.

Place second crust on top. Using a fork press crusts together where they meet on the pie dish (around the edge). Cut a 1 inch slit in the top to let out steam.

Brush the top crust with milk to make for a browner crust.

Bake for 30 minutes until done in a 425 degree oven.

Notes: Allow pie to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream and homemade whip cream. You can also warm up cold pie a few seconds in the microwave. Caution the filling can become extremely hot, so do not over heat the pie in the microwave.

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

This recipe can be used for the majority dessert pie crusts and shells and makes 2 Flaky Pie Crusts (top and bottom).


3 cups sifted flour

1 1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup shortening (Crisco)

8 to 10 tablespoons water with ice


In a large bowl add sifted flour and 1 and 1/8 teaspoons salt. Using a pastry cutter or knife and fork cut shorting into flour. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook. Cut shorning in until you have pea sized piesece or flour around shortnigh. Using a wooden spoon, mix in ice cold water one tablespoon at a timeuntil all the flour is incorperated and doung is a little sticky.

Separate dough into two balls of dough . Using a floured rolling pin. Roll out dough on floured counter top or table. Always starting in the center and rolling outward until the circle of dough is slightly larger then the pie dish. 10 to 11 inches depending on how deep you pie dish is. You can always trim off the extra.

Fill with your favorite filling or bake in a 425 degree oven for until golden brown for chocolate cream pie (recipe coming soon).

Filet of Flounder pouched in white wine

Last night I made fish. Which is something I rarely get to do. Jennifer rarely eats fish. I had some frozen flounder filets in my freezer that needed to be cooked because I was tired of moving them around to get to other stuff.

I started by using my Pyrex loaf pan for this. To that, I added ½ cup of wine and ½ cup of water. Then I added 4 flounder filets and 4 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. I added a pinch of black pepper. Next time I will use white pepper because, I dont like to see the black specks. I then put it in a hot oven (400 degrees). The tricky part was waiting for it to start cooking. Again, next time I will heat the pouching liquid up bringing to a simmer first in a saucepot then pour it over the fish and then place it in the oven. 

I made Basmati rice while I was waiting and drank some of the wine. I should have used a Chardonnay wine but had none on hand so I substituted Pinot Grigio. I don’t think I could tell in the end but someone else might.

When the fish was done I removed the pouching liquid to a pan and reduced it down so there was only about a ¼ cup left. I made a Hollandaise sauce next but instead of the lemon juice; I used the reduced pouching liquid.

I meted butter into the rice and placed it on the plate. On top of the rice, I placed the pouched fish filet. Then I poured the sauce over the top and served it with a glass of the pinot I used to cook the fish. I was too lazy to make a vegetable. Asparagus would have been my choice.

Until next time, enjoy your Sunday

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Sausage, Peppers and Onions (in red sauce)

YES! Thursday! So quick, catch up. The month of October has been October – “Feast”. I have been trying to make Oktoberfest type foods for lunch all month. Next up is Sausage, peppers and onions.  Now traditionally this dish is BEST when the sausage is grilled over charcoal and the green bell peppers and Spanish or yellow onions are sautéed in a pan with olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Since, I grilled sausages over the summer (with peppers and onions) I decided to go the red sauce route this time.

This is a dish that can be made all winter when the weather outside gets too cold to grill. This is also a fast and easy dish that is made in the oven, which helps heat the house up.

Once it is done, I am throwing it inn a pot and heating it up at work for the hungry masses (on Friday). I will also serve it with rice as a dish and offer Italian bread (garlic bread /w mozzarella cheese) to make a sandwich….

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

I will post a picture of my lunch sandwich on Instagram:

Sausage, Peppers and Onions (in red sauce)

Serves 6


9 x 13 Pyrex dish or metal baking dish


6 Sweet Italian Sausages

6 Hot Italian Sausages

1 large can of tomato sauce 

3 Onions halved and sliced

3 Green Peppers cut into large bite pieces or slices

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

½ tsp. Garlic powder

½ tsp. Crushed red pepper (optional)

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Coat the Sausages with olive oil in a Pyrex baking pan or for better results 1 inch deep metal baking pan. Place the pan in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan a flip sausage to brown the other side (10 minutes). The glass bakeware does not brown the sausage as nicely as the metal.
  2. Cover the sausage with onions and peppers.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper (preferably freshly ground). Return pan to oven and continue cooking for 10 to 15 more minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
  3. Pour tomato sauce over the top and cover lightly with aluminum foil to stop sauce from splattering all over your oven. Carful when doing this, the pan is hot! Lower heat to 350 and cook 15 to 30 more minutes until the onions and pepper are soft when poked with a fork.

Serve on Italian bread for a hero and for and an extra surprise melt mozzarella on top.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Lentil Soup (beef)

Good morning, Happy Wednesday. It is Wednesday, right? Last night I made Lentil soup for lunch today. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted pictures there.

I don’t know if you remember me telling you, but the first time I had this amazing soup was at my friends Frank’s house when I was in elementary school. His mother made it and offered me some as we ate lunch. I had never had lentil soup before (which she could not believe) but I am always willing to try new stuff, even way back then. Frank did not like this soup evidently and tried to get me not to eat it. Well long story short I have been eating it ever since. Thank you Mrs. Carola.

Below is my recipe, I’m afraid I never did get Mrs. Carola’s. This recipe is a beef lentil soup where you can omit the beef if it seems too redundant. I will also be making (in the very near future) a vegetable lentil soup for Jennifer’s class.  She has at least four other adults in her classroom as she works with children with special needs. So today is beef for everyone in my office and tonight, I will be making vegetable lentil soup for Jennifer to take to work. I will post that recipe as soon as I have a picture of it (Thursday).

Thursday’s lunch (for my office) will be Italian sausage, peppers and onions over rice so that will be made tonight as well.

Also coming soon – Red Lentil Soup

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

LENTIL SOUP (beef)  

Serves 6 – 8


Large Pot


1 pound stew meat cut into ½ inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic minced

¼ cup finely carrots

¼ cup finely chopped celery

4 cups beef broth (I use I box of Swanson’s beef broth)

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed

1/4 cup tomato sauce (or one heaping tablespoon of tomato paste)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Black Pepper to taste

Salt or 1 to 4 beef bouillon cubes (depending on taste)

1 tsp. Gravy Master (if you have it)

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (if you have it)


In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine the oil and onions and meat. Sauté until the meat is browed and onions are tender. Next add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the broth, carrots, celery and bring mixture to a boil. Add the lentils, sauce and seasoning. Add Gravy Master and/or the Worcestershire sauce only if you have it.  Return to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. I use beef bouillon cubes instead of salt for a richer flavor. Again The Gravy Master and Worcestershire sauce just make the soup taste richer.

NOTES This is Yummy (double or triple the recipe if you want leftovers and leave the amount of beef the same as I did to feed a big crowd)

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Cuban Black Bean Soup   

This is the deep rich color of the finished soup

As promised, I made Cuban Black Bean Soup for the first time ever.  

Everyone at work loved it! Therefore, I am posting the recipe not having to make any changes in what we ate and what you can now enjoy. I hope you do get to enjoy this rich tasting treat maybe with a Cuban sandwich.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Cuban Black Bean Soup   

Serves 6 – 8


Large Pot

Food Processor or blender


3 large green peppers

2 large red peppers

1 small yellow onion

1 large Spanish onion

1 head of garlic (10 cloves)

2 plum tomatoes (Diced)

16 ounces of black beans,

1 can of black beans

1 smoked ham hock

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon Better then Bouillon

¼ cup olive oil

4 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 jalapeño, stemmed and finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 bunch fresh Cilantro

1/ 2 bunch Italian parsley 

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar


1. Slice and dice the thick cut bacon. Fry in the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Cook, on medium as not to burn any of it, stirring occasionally. Cook just until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.

2. While the bacon slowly renders make a sofrito. Cut red and green peppers into 1 inch pieces. Dice one small yellow onion. Peel and chop all but 6 cloves of the garlic. Dice 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed). Dice the two tomatoes. You only have to chop the ingredients small enough sizes to fit into a food processor or blender. You don’t have to dice them finely, as you will be processing them. Focus more on removing the seeds from the peppers and any stems from the parsley and cilantro that might become grit in the finished sofrito. Place the chopped ingredients into a food processor or blender. You can process in this batches if your food processor isn’t big enough to accommodate everything at once. Pulse food processor until to resembles a thick pesto. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Once the bacon is brown and the safrito in made add olive oil to your pot. Add the remaining diced green and red pepper and Spanish onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

4. Smash and peel the remaining 4 cloves of the garlic cloves. Put the rest of green pepper and garlic into a large pot with the beans, ham hock, bay leaves and 1-tablespoon salt. Add 2 quarts of chicken stock (or water and Better the Bouillon)and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender, an hour or more.

When the beans are cooked, discard both bay leafs. Remove and set aside the ham hock and let it cool. open can of black beans, mash 1/2 of them into a paste and return all of then to the pot. Add the sofrito, then the sugar. Pull the meat from the ham hock, leaving behind any white sinew or gristle. Chop the ham into ½-inch or smaller pieces and return it to the bean pot (I just took mine out and discarded it).

4. Stir the beans well and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so, skimming any foam from the top. Taste for salt and serve with white rice.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Good morning. Coffee is on. Happy Saturday. I myself have a long “To Do” list this weekend along with a problem I am trying to resolve at work. So if I can I will be working on that. Not to mention I need to do some cooking and some baking! Here in New York it has been in the seventies. Lovely weather for a picnic and a bottle of wine. Terrible for baking and eating soup. It is so nice I might be forced outside to the barbeque grill somthing. Whatever I do you will here about. For instance, I had this great idea for “Oktoberfest Month” at work, so I made a loin of pork, plus Kielbasa with Sauerkraut cooked in a bit of apple juice. Do to the lack of time to cook pork it needed to be done in the Insta-pot. The loin of pork turned out amazing. Yum, but the kielbasa burst open and although it tasted okay was not very appetizing looking. So this recipe needs to be tweaked a bit but for going into the cookbook.

I am planning on making a big pot of soup Sunday for Monday’s lunch crowd at work. The spooking, the spicy, the famous Cuban Black Bean Soup. Tuesday, I want to do a Cuban Panini. So today I will be shopping and running around to other errands before hitting the grill and the beers later.

Sunday, I am also hopping to be cooking a birthday dinner for someone special if she does not already have plans. Jennifer will be texting her today to find out if she would like to come over and celebrate her birthday with us. I don’t even know what I making yet. I will have Jennifer ask what her favorite meal is and cook that.

That’s all for now. As usual, I will post what I cook and eat what can or is it drink what I can? Either way stay tuned for more “American Cookery” and drunken debauchery coming your way!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)