All posts by Drunken Chef

Southern Fried Buffalo Wings

        Southern Fried Buffalo Wings sounds crazy doesn’t it? Its like I could not make up my mind on whether to make fried chicken or buffalo wings. Yet the truth is that right after Saint Patricks’ day I had some leftover  buttermilk. I had no idea what to do with it until I decided to make a small batch of buffalo wings for myself. I soaked the wings in some buttermilk that I added Franks Red Hot Sauce to and after coating them in flour and spices, I fried those bad boys up and coated them with sauce! Turns out, they were delicious.

        I told my nephew about my new recipe and promised him I would make another batch soon. Well, last night was soon enough and I cooked up a fresh batch of wings for him and my sister-in-law. These wings are extra crispy and I covered them in my famous buffalo style wing sauce. I served them with lots of carrot sticks, celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the side. I also made Jennifer a batch of boneless wings using my boneless wing recipe and we all ate some of those too!

        Here is the Boneless Buffalo Wings that I have already published here boneless-buffalo-wings. See below for the Southern Fried Recipe. The chicken is free-range chicken that I purchased from @ImperfectFoods along with the carrots and the celery.

Sothern Fried Chicken (wings version)

Serves  4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

Coating:

2 pounds of chicken wings

          (Three packages from Imperfect Foods)

3 cups of flour

½ cup of cornstarch

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp salt

½ tsp. white pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion power

Marinade:

2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup hot sauce

Sides:

1-pound carrots

1 bunch of celery

1 package Maries Blue Cheese dressing

On quart of peanut, canola or vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

The night before you are to fry up the wings, place them into a zip lock bag. Add the buttermilk and hot sauce in the bag with the wings. Close the bag and squeeze thus mixing and coating all the wings evenly. Place the wings with their “marinade” in the meat draw of you regenerator and let marinate over night.

The next day, begin by peeling the carrots and cutting into “sticks” or thin strips.  Next wash and cut up the celery into strips. Place the carrots and celery in a bowl of ice water and place the bowl in the refrigerator. This will insure your celery and carrots are nice a crunchy later when the chicken is done.

I a clean zip top bag add the 3 cups of flour, ½ cup of cornstarch, 2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. white pepper, ½ tsp. garlic powder and ½ tsp. onion power. Close the bag and shake well combining all the ingredients.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and drop 3 to 4 wings into the bag with the flour mixture. Close and shake the flour bag well to coat the wings. Repeat the last step repeatedly until all the wings are in the flour. Once all the wings are in the flour, close the bag and let stand while the coating adheres to the chicken.  

Now fill your cast iron pan half way with your preferred frying oil. Heat the oil to 350 to 375 degrees.

Place 6 to 7 wings in the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until a light golden brown. Remove to a sheet pan lined with paper towels or brown paper bag.

Wait until the oil returns to 350 degrees and add you second batch to the hot oil.

Repeat the last two steps until all the chicken is fried once. Then you can begin to make the sauce. Next, fry the chicken a second time just as before but this time they will be a deep rich brown and extra crunchy. Place the chicken in a large stainless steel bowl and coat with the sauce.

Serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks, blue cheese dressing and lots of cold beer.

The Drunken Chef Russ

NOTES: I own a large and extra deep cast iron pan given to me by a coworker and follower. I love this pan and use it often. For me, aside from a professional deep fryer, this is the perfect vessel for frying chicken.

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022

Roast Beef (eye-round)

Roast Beef (eye-round)

Roast Beef has always been a family favorite as well as the leftovers which include hot roast beef with noodles and gravy, hot open roast beef sandwiches, hot roast beef on garlic bread with mozzarella cheese and gravy, or cold on a roll with a little mustard and cold slaw.  So always make a larger roast beef then you need for dinner so theirs enough to go around.

            I prefer to buy and eye round over the top sirloin as it has less fat and waste when compared to that or a rump roast. 

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 pound boneless eye round

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Olive oil to coat meat

DIRECTIONS:

Cover the meat with a light coating of olive oil.

Season meat with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic.

Sear meat buy placing in a 450-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 350- degrees and cook according to weight and desired doneness; I use a digital thermometer.

NOTES:

Serving suggestions: Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, frozen peas, fresh string beans, or Twice baked potatoes and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce.

After you remove your meat from the oven, let the meat rest 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Carving a roast beef can be made easier by the purchase and use of a deli slicer.  I prefer slicing my roast beef rather thin, thicker slices about ¼ inch work very nicely with good cuts of meat.

The Big Sandwich

This is a PARTY sandwich here in New York. When I first discovered this was when I worked in a deli as a teenager. I ate my first one at a friend’s eighteenth birthday party. Back then they came in two sizes. They were 3 feet long or 6 foot long hero’s and you could even order them ½ American & ½ Italian or all American or all Italian. They came with mayo, mustard and Italian salad dressing. Back then MOST people would order the salads like potato salad, macaroni salad and cold slaw on the side.

Now you can order theses sandwiches as small as one foot to eat for lunch. They also come much bigger and in all shapes and sizes, but no matter what the size and shape I still LOVE them.

I even make my own. At least ones up to 3 or 4 feet. The key to any good sandwich is the bread. I like a good crusty Italian bread that is wide enough hold two slices of salami next to each other and over lap by half.

I shred the lettuce and slice the tomato, onion and roasted red pepper first. I also prefer the Board Head brand cold cuts found hear in New York. This brand was started in NYC in 1905. All except for the Salami, for that I like the Di Lusso brand.

below is how to build your very own New York style sandwich.

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf of Italian bread, hoagie, or hero

1 pound of sliced deli ham or Hot Ham Capocollo (depending on bread size)

1 pound of sliced Pepperoni (depending on bread size)

1 pound of sliced Genoa Di Lusso salami (depending on bread size)

½ pound of sliced mild Provolone

½ head Lettuce (shredded)

 2 to 3 large Tomatoes (sliced)

Red onion (sliced thin) (optional)

Roasted red peppers (Sliced thin) (Optional)

DIRECTIONS

Using a serrated knife, slice the bread in half lengthwise. Begin with the bottom half of the bread by layering on the deli ham as seen in the picture above. Then add the pepperoni and lastly salami for the meats. Now add a layer of mild provolone cheese. Cover the cheese with a layer of shredded lettuce. Shredded lettuce is lettuce that has been cut into thin strips. Most delis use their meat slicer to “slice” the lettuce, tomatoes and onions very thin. Cover the lettuce with the slices of tomato. If you want to add onion and roasted red peppers on top of the tomato add it now. Here in New York catering orders leave these item off the BIG sandwich but they may serve them on the side. I guess not everyone likes onion on their sandwich as much as I do.

Lastly slice the BIG sandwich into 2 inch slices and serve. Long frilly toothpicks can help keep each slice together.  

Again, these big three foot heroes get served with Italian salad dressing, mustard, and mayonnaise on the side, so people can have a choice of the condiment they want to put on their slice of the sandwich. I used mayo on my American Hero but I use Italian dressing on my Italian hero.

NOTES: I have a peace of wood made of pine that is 1/2 inch thick and 3 feet long. I wrap the board in parchment paper to support the sandwich but you could easy use some heavy duty cardboard too.

Rotelle Pasta  Salad

Rotelle Pasta  Salad

I serve this at barbeques or with lunch in the summer or even just eat it as LUNCH!! I love this. I came up with this recipe, because it reminds me of a deli I used to go to in my twenties. This and their garden salad were their two best dishes that I ate all the time on lunch.

COOKING UTENSILS NEEDED

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. Rotelle Pasta Cooked, rinsed and chilled.

½ bunch of Broccoli Cut into bite size pieces

4 beefsteak tomatoes (homegrown and cut into large chunks)

1 cucumber (sliced)

Dressing

¼ cup Olive oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1 Clove of Garlic (minced)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. Onion powder

Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package but under cook the pasta by one minute. Rinse pasta under cold water to stop it from sticking together.  In a large bowl add pasta and cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator. In mean time make dressing by whisking together vinegar, garlic, onion powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Add olive oil slowly while whisking. Cut up broccoli, tomatoes and cucumber and add to the chilled pasta. Pour dressing over top and mix. Refrigerate overnight.

Sunday Restaurant Review

        This is not so a much a restaurant review as it is an article about a local Deli I frequent. The Deli is the Captree Gourmet Deli located at 426 Union Blvd, West Islip, NY. 11795. I have been going there for years to buy breakfast and lunch.

        I have been going to New York Deli’s since I was a young whippersnapper. I went with my mother and she was very particular about the cold cuts and the salads she purchased.  The last Deli I remember her shopping at was a huge place that was two towns away from where we lived. This Deli was where she would buy all her salads (macaroni, cold slaw and potato salad) and cold cuts.

        When I was older and owned my owned house, I could never find salads as good as those salads I had as a kid. Therefore, I started my quest to make my own. Yet, even my own homemade salads were never as good as those salads that were made in those old German style deli’s i went to as a child. Until, recently when because of shear laziness I purchased potato salad at the Captree Deli. This salad was delicious as was the roast beef sandwich I had with it!  

        The next time I visited the Captree Deli for lunch it was to purchase all three of my favorite salads, potato, macaroni and cold slaw. All three tasted just like those delis’ of my childhood. I thought perhaps maybe it was wishful thinking so the next time I went to a friend’s house for a barbeque I would bring these salads for a second opinion.

        Sure enough, everyone at the barbeque loved these salads from Captree. Not only that but now every time I ask what I can bring to their barbeques, they request those salads! So much for making my own anymore!! At least for the time being.

        So if you are ever in the neighborhood of West Islip New York like those great men and woman who work at Good Samaritan Hospital stop buy and get lunch or breakfast at the Captree Deli you won’t be disappointed.   

The Drunken Chef Russ

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022

Meat Sauce (Bolognese)

This is a simple and common recipe. Sometimes you just need a big old plate of pasta and homemade sauce!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef

2 cans whole tomatoes (Red Pack)

1 plum tomato (imported)

2 or 3 small cans of tomato sauce (DeMonte)

1 8 oz. can of paste (Contadina)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 large onions (chopped)

¼ cup water

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. dry basil or a few leaves of fresh

½ tsp. sugar

¼ tsp. oregano

2 large bay leaves

¼ salt

¼ pepper

DIRECTIONS:

 Brown Meat in olive oil in a large pot and drain off excess oil.

 In blender chop one can of whole tomatoes and add this to the pot with the meat.  In a blender chop one can of one can imported plum tomatoes and add this to the pot. Add 3 cans of sauce and one can of paste. In a blender add the chopped onion and crushed garlic in water and pulse in the blender until finely chopped then add to pot of sauce.  Liquefy last can of whole tomatoes in the blender add to pot.  Add all seasonings.  Add about a ¼ cup of water to the blender and then add that to the pot. Cover and cook at least 1 hour.

NOTES:

Serve over pasta, like pappardelle or rigatoni. Add garlic bread and Italian Green Beans or a salad for a complete meal.

Also See Ma’s Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Parmesan. My mother also added a piece of pork for my sister and ALWAYS made meatballs and sausage with every batch of sauce she made.

IRISH SODA BREAD

        Seeing how today is Saint Patrick’s Day I thought I would share a recipe from a dear old friend for Irish Soda Bread. I will be making this if not tonight Saturday when I make my corned beef and cabbage that I posted earlier this month. I don’t normally like soda bread but this recipe is a sweeter version then I have EVER had before. If you’re not a fan of Irish Soda Bread suggest you try this one. If you are a fan I hope you will let me know how you like this version of it.   

Irish Soda Bread

Serves  5 to 7

INGREDIENTS:

4 Cups four

1 Cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½ stick butter

1-1/3 cups buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:

Grease 9 inch round pan.

Mix and knead all these ingredients and then add 1 cup raisins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

NOTES:

Serve with butter

Serve on Saint Patricks’ Day with corn beef

ENJOY!

The Drunken Chef

Wine Review – Schweiger Vineyards

        Friends of mine invited us (my wife and I) over for lobster bisque and wine. Being the good friends they are they opened the Estate Bottled Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay pictured above to go with our meal.

        We started with a simple salad of greens, cucumber and Italian salad dressing. I do like a good salad and this was perfect. After eating almost all of my salad, I took a sip of the Chardonnay. It was cold and delicious, a delight on my tongue. I am one of those people who believe that food does taste better when paired with the right wine. If this were not true, all the kings and queens of Europe would have never gone to such lengths to acquire so much wine. Then they would go on to eat and drink so much they would develop gout. I also believe wine tastes better when paired with the right food so how could they help themselves?!

        The next course was the lobster bisque (pictured above). The bisque was wonderfully rich and creamy with lots of lobster meat and the taste of butter throughout.  Truly an exceptional job of preparation. It was paired masterfully with the very same Chardonnay as the earlier salad course, as I’m sure was my hosts intent. It was this course with ever few spoonful’s, I would enjoy a nice sip of perfectly chilled wine. The wine and the bisque were both silky and enchanting. The wine had just enough acidity to cut through the rich buttery creaminess of the bisque so it would not be lost on the palate.  If I just had this course alone I’d have been a very happy camper. Yet, there was more to come.

        The last course was a shrimp dish over creamy brown rice. Once again, we stuck with the Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay and I for one was so grateful for such an excellent wine. I do not like Chardonnay’s that hit you over the head with taste of oak, like a two by four across the puss as if in in a bad action adventure movie. This wine has only the slightest hint of toasted oak flavor that pairs well with delicate foods thanks to its succulent fruity notes. I also particularly love that is has just the right amount of acid for a clean crisp taste that would go great with just about any seafood from baked clams to lobster tails with drawn butter.  If you have the opportunity to purchase this wine, I highly suggest getting a few bottles to have on hand to share with family and friends!

        Thank you Andrew Schweiger for producing such a magnificent wine to share with my wonderful family and friends, as well as, everlasting memories of a delightful dinner!  Of course unless I kill that brain cell with more alcohol.

        The Drunken Chef (Russ)

A Holiday Dinner – Prime Rib

Prime Rib is usually something I save and make for Christmas dinner.  However occasionally I make it during the year for friends and family. It just goes so well with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. I am partial to the cabernets from Caymus or St Francis.

        I suppose you could make this “standing rib roast” as it was called in the past for Easter or a leg of lamb. I usually make Shrimp parmesan for this particular spring holiday.  So perhaps I should make a big fat Prime Rib and open a magnum of wine to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. The point in time in which there is officially more daylight as it begins to win out over darkness.

        Here is to hoping that everyone has a happy and healthy Vernal Equinox on Sunday March 20th, 2022 at 11:30 am. I will be celebrating with a huge piece of beef and wine.

Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)

Serves Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS:

1 Extra Large pan*

INGREDIENTS:

Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people

1 small head Garlic peeled (for 7 ribs)

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

Olive

DIRECTIONS:

When you order your beef you can have your butcher separate the meet from the ribs and tie it back on. This makes slicing it easier later on.

At ~11:00am. (When eating at 4 or 5pm)

Pat dry the meat using paper towels. Place the meat in a large shallow pan. I use my largest broiler pan.

Mix together in a small bowl- crushed garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the roast using your hand to coat it evenly with garlic and oil. Sprinkle on salt, fresh ground pepper and onion powder on top the oil and garlic on top of mixture. You can even cut slits into the beef with a paring knife and insert slivers of garlic. I do this across the whole roast about 2 inches apart.

Let the beef stand out on a large plate for two hours, until it is at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 300°. (~1:00PM)

After the beef has sat for two hours stick in the thermometer probe and Cook in a 300° oven for 3 to 4 hours until meat thermometer reads 140° – Rare.  Remove the beef from the oven. Cover with tin foil and let rest/stand at least 20 minutes. Meat will continue to rise in temperature for another 5° to 10°.

After 20 minutes, carve one-inch thick slices and serve.

NOTES: Serve with Roasted Potatoes or French Fries, Fresh String Beans, Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions, and for a condiment try making some homemade Horseradish Sauce.

*The Whirlpool Broiler Pan can be found on Amazon for $30.

ENJOY!

The Drunken Chef

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022

Roasted Potatoes

This is a good side dish for any roast.

COOKING UTENSILS NEEDED

Peeler

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Metal baking dish (I can use the bottom half of a Whirlpool Broiler Pan)

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs. baking (russet) Potatoes

2 tbls Olive oil and 2 tbls butter (melted) or margarine

¼ Paprika

¼ Garlic powder

¼ Onion powder

¼ Salt

¼ White pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into wedges. In a 9 X 13 metal baking dish add potatoes, oil, butter, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Mix until potatoes are coated.

Place in oven with meat during half hour of cooking time. Remove potatoes when they begin to brown.  While meat is resting, finish browning potatoes under broiler if needed.

NOTES: This is one of those recipes I asked Aunt for when my mother and I used to visit her. She used to make this with a leg of Lamb and use some of the lamb drippings in the potatoes……it was so yummy.

I use a metal dish as I do not this the potatoes brown as nicely in a glass or Pyrex brand one.

Whirlpool Broiler Pan’s can be found on Amazon for $30.00

Holiday Dinner – Prime Rib

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022