All posts by Drunken Chef

Chicken Salad Sandwich

1 Recipe for Chicken Salad

2 slices of white bread

2 slices of beefsteak tomato

Iceberg lettuce

salt and pepper to taste.


Toast bread. Add mayo to bread. Place 1/2 pound of chicken salad on toast. Top with tomato, lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste Add second slice of bread. Slice in half corner to corner. Serve with a dill pickle, potato chips and iced tea.

Copyright © Drunken Chef Enterprises LTD, All Rights Reserved 2022

Chicken Salad

I made chicken matzo ball soup recently and used only the dark meat in that so I had the breasts left and used them in this recipe.


2 chicken breasts diced

½ cup mayonnaise

2 celery stalks diced

1 carrot chopped or grated

Pinch onion powder

Pinch white pepper

Pinch salt


Dice cooked chicken breast. I like it diced fine. Dice Celery fine. You can dice your carrots as I have done above but I prefer to grate the carrot instead as I find the carrot too crunchy other wise.

Place the chicken in a bowl with celery, carrot, mayo, and spices. Mix well. Serve on saltines or on a sadwich.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate leftovers.

Shepherd’s Pie


1 pound ground beef

2 cups beef stock

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch chunks

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 large onion, diced

4 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and chopped (optional)

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

½ cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Madeira or ruby port (optional)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce instead of salt

¼ tea ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut and rinse the starch of potatoes. Place potatoes in medium saucepan; add water to just cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft and tip of paring knife inserted into potato meets no resistance, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Return saucepan to low heat and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture on potatoes has evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Add 4 TBLS butter and milk to potatoes. Mash potatoes well with potato masher. Stir in cheddar cheese. Season with white pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots and cover. Cook carrots stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Add onion, mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just starting to soften. Add the beef and break it up into smaller chunks as it browns.

Once the beef is brown, add 2 tablespoon flour, tomato paste or ketchup. Add Madeira if desired, cooking and scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add broth, Worcestershire, soy and bring to a simmer, scraping up any remaining browned bits. Add peas. Return to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until beef is cooked and peas are heated through about 5 to 10 minutes while continuing to stir occasionally. Don’t over break up meat.

If gravy has not thickened, stir cornstarch into about 2 tablespoons of water together in a small Pyrex bowl. SLOWLY stir cornstarch into filling a small amount at a time mixed and continue to simmer for 30 seconds until the correct thickness appears. Add add 2 TBLS butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Move meat filling into four crock pots.

Place mashed potatoes in large zipper-lock bag and snip off 1 corner to create 1-inch opening. Pipe potatoes in even layer over the filling in the crock pots, making sure to cover entire surface. Mound potatoes up with back of spoon, then use tines of fork to make ridges over surface. Place crock pots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown.

Caution crock pots will be hot.

Move crock pots to small plates and serve hot!


© Drunken Chef Enterprises LTD 2022

Sunday Restaurant Review

“The Chowder Bar”

The Chowder Bar

123 Maple Avenue

Bay Shore, NY

        Yesterday, here in New York was a cold and damp rainy day. When I suggested to my wife the idea of clam chowder she jumped at the opportunity as she too felt the chill in the air. She asked if I was planning of going to the Chowder Bar for a delicious bowl of their yummy soup. Indeed I was.

        I started going to this quaint little seafood restaurant located next to the Fire Island Ferry in Bay Shore way back in the 80’s. It was shortly after I asked for the recommendation of one of my bread delivery vendors. He recommended this restaurant even though he knew it would be a bit of a drive for me.

        The drive was well worth it as both my mother, who has since passed many years ago, and I loved everything we ate that day. I do have fond memories of that day spent with her. I have been going there ever since. Luckily, I have even moved a considerable distance closer so I could go more often. They do not have a large menu nor is it a “bougie” fancy pants restaurant. No, not at all, as a matter of fact, it is laid back and relaxing place. Almost like a small dinner. The inside still has its original counter where you can sit and watch the chef preparing your meal though the small service window.   After all this time it continues to have a really good selection of hot soups and after long cold day on the beach or traveling on a boat, their soup sure helps to warm you right up.

        By now, three decades later, I have eaten every fried item on the menu, several times. Even after all this time, I am never disappointed with their food. Their consistency in the making of the food has remained the same throughout all this time, which is more then I can say about most things and most places in life.

        On this most recent visit, I ordered a quart of New England Clam Chowder and the fried shrimp basket. It was, of course cooked to perfection and it is always just how I remember it on that very first trip way back in the 80’s. When I mentioned to my son, who is currently up in Boston, that I had gone to the Chowder Bar and ordered the clam chowder, he said his favorite soup there is the seafood bisque. He even tried to convince me I made a mistake and that should have ordered the soup that he likes. Both are very good. I have also had the Manhattan clam chowed many, many times and it too is delicious too.  

        Any trip there always takes me back to when I first took my mother. Soon after, when I was dating my wife we went there on a date. To this day, I continue to recommend this cozy eating establishment to friends and family.  

        So if you ever in the neighborhood of Bay Shore on Long Island NY stop by for a bowl of soup and maybe the fried flounder boat. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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

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



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


2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup hot sauce


1-pound carrots

1 bunch of celery

1 package Maries Blue Cheese dressing

On quart of peanut, canola or vegetable oil


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. 


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


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.


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.


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)


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.



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)


¼ cup Olive oil

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar

1 Clove of Garlic (minced)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. Onion powder

Salt & pepper


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!


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


 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.


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.