All posts by Drunken Chef

Day 6 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

We have hit day 6! Today we add 1-cup of milk, that I have sitting on the counter coming up to room temperature. 1-cup of flour and 1-cup of granulated sugar to the bag-o-batter. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and mix it up. Ba-bam day six is done!

As promised I did make chicken last night. I went to my favorite butcher (Mathew’s) yesterday. I grabbed a bag of their leanest boneless chicken breasts (10lbs). Once back in my kitchen (after mowing lawn) I cut two of these huge cutlets into six fairly thin cutlets. I then proceeded to coat them in mixture of flour, spices and breadcrumbs (mostly flour) before frying them in vegetable oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. No one said I was on a diet here. Remember everything in moderation. After they were all a nice golden brown. I made chicken gravy in the same pan I fried the chicken. You can find the recipe here: Chicken Gravy.

Once the gravy was ready, (I double the recipe by the way) then I added the six fried chicken cutlets to the pan and turned it on low. I covered it and let cook. Then I checked on my rice. Oh, I forgot, I started cooking by making Brown Basmati Rice.

Rice cooking, check. Chicken cooking, check. When there was fifteen minutes left or so left for the rice cook, I started the Baby Zucchini.

I have found only one place that carries these fresh baby zucchini and that place is Trader Joes. I like his stuff. When I can’t get over Mathews I use his chicken. He also has some really good frozen stuff in the way of snacks too. The website does not have half the stuff they carry but you can get an idea.

So that’s three recipes today. I wonder what the hell I will make tonight. Probably more chicken. Have I made chicken teriyaki yet? Hmm I will have to get some baby corn at the store today….

Have a good weekend.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Baby Zucchini  

12 minutes  

Serves 2

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Medium Pan

INGREDIENTS

1-package of baby zucchini

1-tablespoon of olive oil

1-tablespoon butter

Garlic or garlic powder

Onion powder

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil and butter in a medium size pan. Add the zucchini. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder or use fresh if available. Cook on medium low to low heat. Turn a ¼ turn every few minutes (3). After 12 minutes test with a fork. They should just be tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Brown Basmati Rice   

 

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Small pot with lid

INGREDIENTS

2-cups chicken broth (I use Better then Bullion when I don’t have homemade)

1-cup brown basmati rice

2-tablespoons of butter

DIRECTIONS

Start by bring the chicken stick to a boil. Add the rice. Stir and cover. When the rice has returned to a boil, stir again and turn to low. Let rice simmer covered for 35 minutes. I check on it half way through and stir it to make sure all the chicken stock has not boiled away. I have not had to add more yet but I still do it. I turn off the heat the last five minutes and leave it covered to finish cooking without burning the bottom layer of rice. When done I stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter and serve.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Chicken Gravy

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Large Frying Pan

INGREDIENTS

1-cup chicken broth (I use Better then Bullion when I don’t have homemade)

1-tablespoon flour

1-tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS

I usually start by added the butter to a pan I have already cooked the chicken in. Then I add the four. I find by cooking the flour in the butter you do not get a flour taste in your gravy. The flour cooked in butter is called a rue. It’s French.  Most sauces are French.  Now you slowly add your liquid (chicken stock) while whisking it into the butter and flour (rue). As soon as the gravy or “sauce” come to a simmer, the sauce is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Most of time when using any store brought chicken stock you don’t need to add any salt. Its already in there.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Day 5 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

Welcome to day 5. I made the coffee and gave my goo a squeeze. Now to anyone who has not read this magazine article/blog before that might sound a bit odd but the rest of you following along know that my goo is the friendship bread starter that has been percolating for five days now, along with my coffee. It’s doing well so far as it sits on my counter. It is still just 1-cup of flour, 1-cup of milk and 1-cup of sugar that I added some yeast too. It all started 5 days ago here with this recipe:

Friendship Bread Starter.

Last night was not all that exciting either, unless you like the homemade hamburgers that I have cooked many times before. I did not make anything new so I am slowly falling behind in writing about 291 recipes. I goal I set out to complete in a year but fear not good readers. I see a great many fall recipes on the horizon! Mourn not for yesterday because it has passed nor yearn for tomorrow and all its possibilities but live in the moment that is now and enjoy it. All that just means my coffee is ready!

Today we are on the cusp between the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It is still barbeque weather and beautiful barbeque weather it is as the temperatures drop to the perfect mid-seventies.   Now is the best time to get my fire pit going but first I have to split some wood. Splitting all the wood in the great big woodpile in my back yard has been a project I have been working on for two years. The pile of wood is from when I had the last thirty feet of my yard cleared out of brush and trees. Leaving only one tree behind. I mistake I now regret as there is a pool there that I did not count on and every day the leaves fall in it. Anyhow, I have to get rid of this wood pile before it starts attracting termites. I have to split it by hand because I do not own a gas powdered log splitter. I could use the exercise too I suppose but that is completely off the topic of food. It does seem like Jennifer and I have been eating nothing but beef and pasta for the past two weeks so today I am in the mood for either chicken or fish. Jennifer is not a big fish eater so that leaves chicken. The question then will be what chicken dish have I not made that Jennifer will eat. People say there are so few surprises in life. To that I say – Ha!

On a side note. I am off from work today and it is going to rain. Therefore, I will have to find something indoors to keep myself busy. Like returning bottles and cans the recycling machines. I am living the dream people! Housework, yard work and bottle returns. It’s a good thing I didn’t dream big about being a celebrity chef or famous author or I would be sorely disappointed. I am just happy cooking for my family, friends and coworkers. Besides, I do not have the good looks of Chef Boyardee or the writing skills of Dr. Seuss or Charles Schulz so here I am in suburbia writing a blog and making Friendship Bread.  Take that Warren Buffet!

Until tomorrow, may your Thursday be pleasant, your food be delicious and your beer be awe-inspiring!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Day 4 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

Welcome to day 4. My morning routine now consists of me squeezing my friendship starter bag and its doing nicely. The starter is all foamy and smells yeasty. Is that a good thing? Perhaps.

Last night I made baked manicotti for dinner. It’s not what you think. I didn’t make it from scratch. I got home late so I stopped at Pats market in East Islip on the way home. They have lots of good premade stuff. I grabbed a thing of her marinara sauce for $6.00. pfft. When you have a case of lazy ass, you might not care about the price of stuff. I knew I was making the manicotti as it was in my freezer at home already but then I saw Pat’s meatballs and thought that would be a nice addition.  I looked at the price and choked. It was $9.00 for six meatballs. SIX! That is $1.50 a ball! F@$k that I thought! But, if I ever need money I know I could sell bigger and better meatballs for $1.50 off a food truck somewhere! That’s right, she has some ball I thought, but mine are bigger!

Anyway, needless to say, I didn’t get them. I picked up some mozzarella cheese as I was currently out. After what I said in a previous post about only getting the Polly-O brand I didn’t follow my own advice. I was probably still dazed by the price of a cold meatball for a buck and a half. Holy shit the American dollar isn’t worth much in terms of meatballs people! Make your own and become rich!

The mozzarella I got was from the brand, Kraft. It is not terrible but I like what I like and what I like is Polly-O.

I also made garlic bread because I had half a loaf of Italian bread frozen from last time. Lastly, I made fresh spinach to go with it. I think spinach goes well with the ricotta cheese in the manicotti. After all, I do use chopped spinach in my vegetable lasagna.

Long story short, there is nothing to making frozen anything. Just heat it up either in the microwave or oven. So of course, I used both. I began by placing the manicotti in a Pyrex baking dish and adding the $6.00 dollar sauce on top. ($6 + $9 = $15) $15 for sauce and six meatballs, without pasta! I might have to start charging more at work for lunch when I make it…LOL. Back to dinner. I covered the manicotti with the sauce and heated it up in the microwave for ten minutes. Then I covered it with the mozzarella cheese and baked it for another 20 minutes.  I like my food HOT.

While the Manicotti was cooking, I made Sautéed Spinach. Click here for the recipe for: the Fresh Sautéed Spinach recipe.

So much to cook, so little time.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

If you knew to this whole Friendship bread thing. You can follow me and this whole process on INSTAGRAM here:

Fresh Spinach in Butter and Garlic

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Large Frying Pan

INGREDIENTS

1 bag of spinach, preferably baby spinach

1-tablespoon olive oil

2-tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Add oil and butter to the pan and heat it up. Add the garlic and cook for up a minute, but don’t let the garlic brown or burn (the garlic will get bitter).  Add the spinach to the pan a hand full at a time and toss until it’s all cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Day 3 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

It is day thee of the friendship bread adventure. The Starter is doing well eating the sugar and flour and making carbon dioxide in the process. It just bubbling away. I transferred it to a zip lock bag and there is nothing to do but squeeze the bag now for a few more days. By the way, my wife thinks I’m nuts for starting this now.

Breakfast yesterday was easy. I toasted a bagel I got at 6am from the bagel place down the road. There are three bagel shops in this town but only one makes a decent New York City bagel. I had butter on mine and spread peanut butter on Jennifer’s. Lunch was nothing to speak of as I just picked up two roast beef sandwiches at the deli by work. I gave one to Jennifer and kept one for myself. I had plain potato chips, a Snapple iced tea and no pickle.

Dinner went well. It was the same meal as the night before, marinated skirt steak with all the trimmings. It was really good. This is best skirt steak I’ve had in a really long time, at home. For dessert, I wanted something different then ice cream. First, I wanted brownies, but alas I had no walnuts. I didn’t want brownies without nuts so I turned to the cake mixes. CUPCAKES! I thought. I searched for a can of chocolate icing next, being too lazy to make my own from scratch. That would be, as they say, a deal breaker. I found it-hidden among the cholates chips of all different sizes, shapes and flavors now. In addition to the frosting, there were all kids of nuts, everything expect walnuts. I held the last can of milk chocolate frosting in my hand and smiled widely; as I spotted the cupcake holders too. I went to work mixing up the batter with my electric mixer. Eggs, oil, water, yellow cake mix, ka-bam, batter! I poured the batter into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup to making filling the cupcake holders easier and faster. In no time, I had cupcakes in the oven. I did the dishes and turned on the dishwasher. Then just like that, they were done!

Now, have you ever waited for cupcakes to cool so you could frost them? It seems like they take for forever to cool! I waited and paced, like an expectant father in the waiting room. That does not happen anymore, now does it?! Nope, your ass, better be in that delivery room! (Tangent) Back.

The cupcakes were cool enough and I frosted them up. Hmmm. They needed something for a little pop, Nonpareils! I had a brand new unopened container of the little suckers and sprinkled some on top of the icing. Then I sent out some INSTAGRAM photos with the caption: “guess what I’m making?” I immediately received some responses. One of them was: Are you making cupcakes to bring into the office? Honestly, the cupcakes were for me, but, yes, I have them packed up and ready to go into the office this morning.

Well I’m off to work. If you’re just tuning in you can quickly catch up by reading about or better yet getting, the recipe for the starter here:

TH FRIENDSHIP BREAD ADVENTURE

So much to cook so little time.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Day 2 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

It is day two of the friendship bread adventure. As you see by one of the pictures above, the starter is doing nicely. I had some issues at first. My directions say to proof the yeast for ten minutes until it because bubbly. Well ten minutes came and went and there was no bubbles. Sooo I added a pinch of sugar to the batter/mix and waited another ten minutes. Still nothing. Now I was thinking did I get bad yeast? I checked the date on the package. It said it was good until 2022. What was I to do? Should I throw it out and start over? Nope, I decided to heat some water in the microwave in a second bowl. I put the yeast bowl on top of the hot water bowl so it acted like a double boiler. I kept checking the temp of the yeast. It started at 87 degrees and then started rising. As the temperature rose those little yeast bastards finally got to work and were making Co2. Soon after the temperature hit 97 degrees Fahrenheit, I had frothy yeast at last. We are talking 30 minutes here, not ten, just so you know.  I started following the recipe again. I mixed the flour and sugar together and then added my room temperature milk. I mixed it well and added all my yeast and water (with a pinch of sugar). I a finale mix so it was well blended. Then covered it with plastic wrap and poked a hole to let out Co2.

I checked on the starter an hour later and it was slowly bubbling. Nice. I decide now was a god time to make dinner. The day before I marinated some skirt steaks (posted on INSTAGRAM). I purchased them at Mathew’s Meat Market. Go there people, it is worth it. You will NOT be disappointed! Maybe I should not tell everyone. It seems when I do tell people about a good place a few months later I am waiting in line. Well, I want them to stay in business so…go.

Back to the marinade, I almost forgot. While I was there I, purchased other things besides the skirt steaks. I bought sea scallops that is was intending to make with a beet cuscus when I though company was coming over. Unfortunately, they could not make it, so the sea scallops will get put on the back burner to use a cooking metaphor.

On with the steak. I took out some of that skirt steak from the refrigerator to let it come up to room temperature while I prepared the potatoes. I was determined to get little white potatoes on the grill damit. So ounce again I steamed the potatoes in the microwave. OH YES! This time I purchase propane from that beer distributor I told you about, the Brightwaters Beverage Center. I also got beer. SURPRISE!

I had gone shopping at Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace on Deer Park Avenue too. There I picked up some string beans as a vegetable along with radishes and fresh figs for Jennifer. The figs were not for dinner.

I trimmed the string beans and put them in a pot to steam while I put the potatoes and meat on the grill. 

I served the potatoes and skirt steak with the string beans, garden tomatoes (purchased at Mathews) and radishes. We need to make radish rosettes tonight.

Click the links for the following recipes:

Steak Marinade II: inspired by my friends Rose and Bill

Steamed string beans

Grilled Potatoes

Skirt Steak

I will be making the sea scallops on a bed of beet cuscus soon I hope. Along with the deserts I had planned, an apple tart with vanilla ice cream.

So much to cook so little time.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

STEAK MARINADE II

Steak Marinade

        Makes 1 cup (enough for two large steaks or 5 pounds of skirt steak)

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Tupperware Season-serve Marinating Container or equivalent $39.00  

INGREDIENTS

½-cup Worcestershire Sauce

¼-cup Soy sauce

¼-cup olive oil

4 or 5 cloves of garlic

1 small onion diced

1-tablespoon course Dijon mustard

½-teaspoon ground ginger

¼-teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients onto a bowl, deep 9 by 13 inch baking dish or if you like me you have a special marinating container. You can easily find these on Amazon. Mine is Tupperware but other brands work well too I suppose.  Mix everything together well with a whisk and then add your steak. Turn the meat over every four hours or so. Marinate beef at least overnight or up to 3 days.

Serve with beer or an old vines red zinfandel wine.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)