All posts by Drunken Chef

BLENDER PANCAKE BATTER

or

WAFFLE BATTER

            I have explained how to make pancakes the easy way, with a premade mix. I have not told you as of yet how this can be expanded upon and made more difficult by making the batter from scratch.

            I was discussing the topic of pancakes shortly after my first cooking lesson post on how to make PANCAKES with one of my co-workers Pete. Pete is a reader of The Magic of a Perfect Pairing and suggested a recipe I should try where he makes the batter from scratch. He even emailed me a copy of his recipe. Henceforth, this Sunday I am planning on making myself either the pancakes or waffles. Jennifer does not like either of those two items but perhaps my mother in-law would like some. Yay me, my mother in-law is staying with us for the summer. Sam will most likely be working at my sister in-laws shop in Northport and will miss out on one of his favorite breakfasts.  Perhaps I can freeze the leftovers for him.

            BLENDER PANCAKE WAFFLE BATTER

In 5QT capacity Oster blender

Using All-purpose flour

Method #1

2 eggs

1.5 cups milk

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 dash vanilla extract

up to 1 Tbsp shortening

dried active yeast 1/2 tsp

Whip everything in blender.

Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time hitting blender button each time to blend it in until the blender is almost full and the blender slows down to where it almost won’t blend anymore (almost to the top to about an inch from the top)

Let batter proof out until it starts to rise (15 min to 1 hour) and use.

Store leftovers in refrigerated loose cover container as it will still expand and could blow up all over the refrigerator. (Thanks Pete. That could be messy!)

Method #2

The doomsday, or backpacking the dry ingredients to camp recipe.

About 3 cups of water

1/4 heaping cup dried powdered eggs

1/2 cup of powdered milk

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

Up to 1 Tbsp. shortening

Dried active yeast 1/2 tsp

Whisk in bowl or shake vigorously in 2 quart or bigger container.

Then add flour 1/4 cup at a time, flour until it looks batter thick.

Use a small spatula here to help in getting some possible clumps mixed.

Let proof out until it starts to rise and use (warm water use could proof quickly, 10 min?)

For camping – mix and pack dry ingredients separately.

Method #3

Pete is replacing some of the milk with dry buttermilk, in recipe #1 or #2

Instructions: Refrigerate after opening. Bakers’ pro tip: First, mix the dry buttermilk blend with the other dry ingredients. Then add the appropriate amount of water when the recipe calls for liquid buttermilk. Use Saco cultured buttermilk blend whenever your recipe calls for liquid buttermilk or sour milk. Use the following conversion (all measurements are level):2/3 cup buttermilk = 2 1/2 tbsp Saco buttermilk blend + 2/3 cup water.1 cup buttermilk = 4 tbsp Saco buttermilk blend + 1 cup water.

Peter’s note:

Saco Buttermilk 12 oz is authentic buttermilk, unlike the liquid variety, which is merely cultured skimmed milk. That makes this ingredient a healthy addition to recipes. The product is free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat and gluten, making it a safe option to add to meals for those with specific dietary needs. This cultured buttermilk is also Kosher dairy certified and extra grade milk, which is the highest quality one can buy. It has only 80 calories per serving, with no trans-fat. It is also a good source of protein and calcium for the next baked or cooked recipe. Enjoy the real taste of this buttermilk.

I have deiced I would try method number one. I am not sure if I am making pancakes or waffles yet but I’m leaning towards waffles. That I will decide on Sunday. You can follow my adventure Sunday on my Instagram posts here: DRUNKENCHEF82 to see how this go as I make this recipe. For those of you who don’t do social media I will post my results Monday, if I’m not too hung over again to write.

Untill tommorow, be well, eat well and have fun cooking.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

MIMOSA COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:

2 Parts Sparkling Wine

1 Part Orange Juice

Garnish with a maraschino cherry (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

You can use many Sparkling wines for this beverage, but I don’t like ones that are too dry. I use a Sparkling wine from Sparkling Point winery Long Island

Start by filling a glass a a third of the way with orange juice. Then, add the Sparkling wine. The bubbly nature of the wine will mix the flavors together, so there is no need to stir it. Just serve it ice COLD! For a bit of flare, you can add a maraschino cherry.

Enjoy.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

BELLINI COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS:

2 Parts Sparkling Wine

1 Part Peach Nectar

Splash of maraschino cherry juice (optional)

Garnish with a maraschino cherry and/or peach slice (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

The Bellini is an classic Italian cocktail so it is best made with what else? Prosecco, because of its peach, melon, and pear flavors. You can use other Sparkling wines, but trust me when I say the drink will never be as good as being in Italy Hee Haa-Haa!

Start by filling a glass a quarter of the way with peach nectar and a few drops of cherry juice. Then add the Sparkling wine. The bubbly nature of the wine will mix the flavors together so do not stir it. Just serve it ice COLD! For a bit of flare, you can add a maraschino cherry or slice of fresh ripe sweet peach.

Enjoy.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

DEVILED EGGS

Now that you have made hard boiled eggs way back in Lesson Two: HARD BOILED EGGS, you’re ready for DEVILED EGGS. This is a classic and simple appetizer from the 50’s that I think with the addition of the Cholula Hot Sauce has a bit of a zing that elevates it up to the twenty first century.

INGREDIENTS:

6 Hard Boiled Jumbo Eggs

3 Tablespoons Mayo

1 teaspoon Mustard 

1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot or Cholula Hot Sauce

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Paprika for garnish

Pitch of white pepper

Whostersire Sauce in pace of vinegar (optional)

Relish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, and pepper, and mix well using a fork until creamy. Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. To get fancy: use a large star tip and a pastry bag to pipe the yolk mixture back into each egg, filling yolk holes completely. Dust tops with paprika. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Note: For a real fare, add fresh chopped chives or scallion to the top before refrigerating. 

SHRIMP COCKTAIL

Shrimp cocktail is a family holiday treat or for special occasions. 

COOKING UTENSILS NEEDED

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds of extra-large or jumbo shrimp peeled and de-veined

2 tbsp. Lemon juice

Dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:

Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to a boil.  Add lemon juice and salt.  Cook for 3 minutes. Drain shrimp and pat dry with white paper towels.

Serving suggestion: Mom’s Famous Cocktail Sauce.

NOTES: I leave this up to my sister to make every holiday and she does a marvelous job!!

THE WEDNESDAY WINE OF THE WEEK W(R)ECOMENDATION

I did not cook last night. I had Buffalo Wild Wings. It was OK. It was ready late…I guess they were busy and I guess they FORGOT to put the onion rings in the bag along with the knives and forks I asked for but no matter. Even though this is not a review of Buffalo Wild Wings, the wings on bones were soggy…eww. When the chicken skin is like rubber, I say yuck. The boneless wings were just okay. There were also French fries and Mozzarella sticks that lacked taste. Then, there was something called cheese curds that my friends and Jennifer seemed to enjoy. I just didn’t have enough room for all this food, but that’s not what I’ve come here today to talk about today. I came to discuss the wine of the week.

The “Wine of the Week” is a new feature I am testing out for The Perfect Pairing Magazine. I will be attempting to write an article about one of my favorite wines and what it pairs with it well. Let’s see how it goes.

My first selection of course should be the wine we had last night. You say: “BUT you had Buffalo Wings last night. Please. Chef. Tell me you had beer with those!” Then I reply “Sorry. No. Although, a nice cold frosty beer would have complimented those wings nicely. Instead, Scott chose a sparkling wine to pair with the wings. “Sparkling wine” is Champagne but since the wine did not come from Champagne, France, the wine industry will not call it “Champagne”. So, Sparkling wine it is, or was.

One of my favorite sparkling wines is the one below from Sparkling Point Winery here on Long Island, New York. Now, although it says that it is a brute to me, it does not taste very dry. It went very well with my mild style buffalo wings made of rubber on the outside. I needed SOMETHING to wash those puppies down, and this fit the bill perfectly last night.

A Local Long Island Sparkling

I have also had this wine for BREAKFAST too, well BRUNCH (brunch link here and there) BRUNCH II. Yes, as Mimosas and Bellini’s (add drink links). This wine and the one below pair nicely with appetizers too, such as: Shrimp Cocktail, Grilled Sausage, Deviled Eggs, Oysters or Clams on the half shell, and of course, Caviar daaaarlinggg. Caviar, when it’s served as an appetizer with all the trimmings is amazing, especially if you like that it takes you an hour to eat nothingness fun stuff. I like it, but have only had once at a restaurant on the north fork of Long Island and then of course once at Scott and Ally’s house for her birthday.

This is a great Sparkling with just the slightest hint of a pink blush

Thanks to Sparkling’s wonderful properties of going so well at breakfast and with appetizers or spicy foods like wings, I would start with a sparkling wine at your next dinner party. I do hope to have dinner party’s again myself soon! Until next time, be well, be happy and enjoy life!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

FATHER’S DAY MEAT FEAST

Sorry this post is late. I took Monday off. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are my pictures. You should have many of the recipes by now to make all these dishes shown above. I will add the corn recipe of course, but I am not allowed to divulge my families secret barbeque sauce recipe for chicken, sorry. You also need a smoking how to article.


Did I have wine with all that food? Yes, both white and red wine were served. The white wine was Beldell Vineyards Viognier with the wings, their rose went well with the legs. Then, there was a St Francis old vines red Zinfandel for the ribs and burgers. I love this red Zinfandel.

Be well & eat well

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

FATHER’S DAY

Today is Father’s Day here is the good old USA. In New York, it is going to be another “Pleasant Valley Sunday” just like the song by The Monkeys.  I do not know about the rest of the men in America but I will be outside with the smell of charcoal in the air. Just like the song says! I will be grilling and posting pictures on my Instagram account at DRUNKENCHEF82. Follow my entire day there.

            Unbelievably, the United States did not make this wonderful celebration of Fatherhood a national Holiday until President Nixon signed it into law in 1972 and people say we are so progressive. Pffft. It has been celebrated around the world dating back as far as, oh I don’t know, 1910 maybe?

            I love Holidays, Celebrations and Festivals or any excuse to drink and have a party. Hell, I would celebrate Leaf Ericson day for crying out loud if anyone would join me (Its October 9th)! Lets not rush the summer talking about October holidays…shall we. Today is a joyous occasion that we must celebrate with meat and potatoes or beer and whisky. In one day, it will be the summer solstice. That is a time to me for great sorrow, as it means from that day forward the day’s will be getting shorter.

Let celebrate today as the longest day it is! There is lots of time for barbequing, drinking and the smoking of fine cigars, if you so choose to do so. Does anyone even give out cigars for their child’s birth anymore? It’s probably not very Politically Correct (PC). Well. Excuse. Me. I do enjoy the occasional cigar with friends and glass of fine whiskey or shots of fireball. Hee-hee

            Whatever you do do today make it joyful, happy, and please have fun and stay healthy while doing it!

            Happy Daddy Day

            The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Tomato Mozzarella (Caprese) Salad

My choice to serve as an appetizer with the grilled steak is this very fresh tasting summer salad of tomato and mozzarella. I would pair it with a Pinot Grigio from Clos Du Bois.

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Basil

Roasted red peppers

Extra-virgin olive oil

Balsamic Glaze

Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS

Slice the tomatoes ¼ inch thick. Slice the fresh mozzarella to match the tomatoes. Cut roasted red peppers in one inch strips. Chiffonade* fresh basil leaves.  Layer tomato, then cheese, then pepper all around a large plate. Sprinkle top with Basil. Drizzle on olive oil and balsamic glaze. Season with Italian seasoning to taste. 

Chiffonade – To finely cut those strips of basil you see on top of the salad. It sounds frenchy…

CHARCOAL GRILLING and BEER DRINKING

HOW TO COOK: “American Style”:

Charcoal Grilling

Ever since I was a kid, the charcoal barbeque grill fascinated me. I remember the first time I cooked over charcoal too. It was probably the 4th of July in the 1970s. My first cooking gadget was a stick from my own backyard, probably even off my mother’s favorite bush, the purple lilac. I stripped off any leaves on the stick and stuck a marshmallow on the end. I believe it was my sister who first showed me how to properly toast a marshmallow without burning it. I did burn quite a few marshmallows in my day before learning how to get them a perfect golden brown (I never liked them burned). I find it ironic that my sister, who never even cooked more than an egg or bacon back then, was the one giving me one of my first barbeque cooking lessons. Yes, I believe toasting a marshmallow is cooking at its finest. Even as a youngster, I enjoyed the challenge of it. That Fourth of July, I ate as many marshmallows as I could stomach without getting sick, just so I could cook them. Even my brother and sister could only eat so many. Subsequently, I could not cook the entire bag or I would have. Thus, began my endeavors into grilling over charcoal for the rest of my life. I only hope that some of the BSA Scouts I have known acquired the very same marshmallow cooking techniques and that it helped inspire them to be great at grilling as an adult.

            To grill burgers, hot dogs or even marshmallows, you don’t need some fancy barbeque grill either. I have used barbeques that were in my local park that sat there for years and were exposed to all of New York’s worst weather. They were simple barbeques made from a few cinder blocks and a rusted steel grate that we cleaned with a wire brush and covered with aluminum foil to cook on. The charcoal was always the classic Kingsford that needed lighter fluid to get it to start burning. I found that match-light (also made by Kingsford) had lighter fluid already in it, but to me seemed to make the food taste of lighter fluid.

To light the charcoal, you make a pile shaped like a volcano. Sprinkle lighter fluid on top and toss on a match. It will have a large fire flaring up and then slowly burn off. Then, wait until all the coals start to turn gray and then using tongs or a small hand shovel, spread the coals out to an even layer.

To the best of my knowledge, Scouts are not allowed to use lighter fluid so I learned in my BSA training class to use something called a charcoal chimney (see Gadget List). Even adults can learn valuable skills during camping trips (hint hint). Since there is no lighter fluid used, there is no lighter fluid taste coming off the charcoal. Thank you Scouting!

I use my charcoal chimney all the time now, particularly when Barbequing. What’s the difference between barbequing and grilling?  You grill a steak, which means you’re cooking over heat quickly and to just the right temperature before pulling it off, letting it rest and cutting it up. There are chefs who are just trained in the art of how to work the grill. I’m sure that Peter Lugar’s and Blackwell’s Steak House have experienced and well trained chefs to cook those expensive aged pieces of beef to perfection. To me, there is nothing better than a two-inch steak cooked over charcoal and served with a baked potato, creamed spinach, or fresh string beans.

Barbeque, however, is low slow cooking. It is impossible to get a rack of ribs to cook so they are edible in ten minutes. There are tips and tricks to grilling great ribs on a gas or charcoal grill, but those involve aluminum foil and allowing them to cook slowing away from the direct high heat. We will get to that at a later day this summer I’m sure. If however you want true southern ribs, pork shoulder (aka pulled pork) or beef brisket THAT’S “barbeque”, then you need a new gadget called a smoker. Smoking is a completely different lesson in itself and this lesson is about grilling.

To grill on your “barbeque”, you must wait until those coals are gray all the way around or you risk having “yucky taste imparted to your steak”. You just want the slightest hint of the charcoal yummyness imparted to the steak, hamburger, hot dogs, or whatever it is you are grilling. A gas grill will never give you this flavor, unlike those advertisements in the seventies would tell you they could. They said that the lava rocks they sold with the grill back then would “flare up and impart the same charcoal taste”. Nope, they lied. Now, barbeque manufactures do not sell those lava rocks anymore, and with good reason! It was ruining the natural beauty of places like Hawaii by taking them away for no reason, sheeesh. So, cook on charcoal.

This Father’s day, or July 4th , go buy yourself a fairly inexpensive charcoal grill and fire that bad boy up using your new charcoal chimney. Then, open an ice cold beer, light a cigar, and wait. Take your time. Relax and chill while you grill. After the steak is done, toast a marshmallow or two and make some s’mores. Don’t even think about letting the kids or your drunk friends toast a marshmallow on your expensive boujee designer gas grill. It was probably built into the stonewall that’s impossible to replace easily and you will have a sticky mess to clean when the hot burning marshmallow falls off the that fancy ass skewer and lands inside the grill! YUCK! On charcoal, you would just have to clean out the ashes when the kids are finished. No muss, no fuss, no problems!

  Go, have fun and grill your next steak or cheeseburger over charcoal, just like the Scouts do!

Welcome to SUMMER FUN! Enjoy the weather, the drinks and the food!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

NOTES: Whether you choose wine or beer with your steak, may you have a healthy and happy Father’s Day! Even if you’re not a dad yourself, I hope you had a father figure you can always look up to.