Category Archives: Blog Post

THE LAST WEEKEND IN JULY

Happy Tuesday Morning. I should get you caught up on the goings on at the Drunken Chef’s house. There was a lot going on here this weekend. The hard part is trying to remember it. Maybe I need one of those memory supplements. What are they called? I think they need a more memorable commercial.

Friday, I remember working and getting out of work. Let me look at my phone, maybe the pictures will help me remember. Ahhh yes, Friday was clams on the grill and shrimp. Some of you may have seen the pictures on INSTAGRAM. I also made Old Fashioned Lemonade.

The clams were easy peasy. I watched as someone else cooked the clams standing up. I have always cooked them laying down. It was cool to watch them open this way (see below). She also made drawn butter with garlic to put on top. I made a batch of Ma’s Cocktail Sauce.

Grilled Shrimp is always fast and easy unless you have to peel, devein, and clean the shrimp. Someone had already done the cleaning, marinating, and skewering for me so all I had to do was grill them.

Then, I grilled a top round London broil (see below). I have been spoiled in the past by the exquisite London broil I was buying at Meat Farms and my local King Kullen grocery stores pre-pandemic. Now the meat seems to be tougher. I need to find a new store for my London broil purchases since Meat farms was sold to Lidl and King Kullen closed most of it stores. This was also an easy to grill protein.

Saturday we had company. More grilling as it was a nice day. I started with BBQ spareribs (Grilled). Then Jennifer asked if I would make dessert. So, I made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Then, I made cheeseburger sliders and buffalo wings on the grill. That’s a recipe I will post later this week. Maybe tomorrow, as I am not cooking tonight.

Until tomorrow, be well, be happy, and have a nice day.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

WINE COUNTRY

Bedell Cellars

36225 Main Road Cutchogue, NY 11935

(631) 734-7537

This past Sunday, I went out to the east end of Long Island to “wine country”. It is no Napa Valley, California by any means, but it’s close by and a fun day trip. The purpose for the trip was to pick up Scott’s wine order from the Bedell Winery. I was up for nice Sunday drive, a cold glass of wine, and a bite of cheese. We were also meeting another couple that lives out there.

Our first stop was Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue. This is where we would pick up Scott’s wine and meet Gary and Jenitha. We have all done the wine tour thing together before but have not seen each other since the Covid nightmares. I was looking forward to seeing them again. When we arrived, Scott ordered everything off the charcuterie menu and had it brought to the table, where we sat right on the edge of the patio looking out onto the fields of grapes. The view was breathtaking. 

From left to right Scott, Alison, Jennifer, Me, Gary, Jenitha

Scott ordered two bottles of white wine. One was the Bedell’s famous Viognier and the second was a lovely Pinot Gris. Just as the wine arrived, so did Gary and Jenitha. It had been well over a year since we had seen Gary and Jenitha, and as always, they looked amazing, all tan and fit. It felt a little like a family reunion with people from a faraway state, like Florida. Now there were six of us. We were all ready for a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon of sipping wine and munching on snacks. The first snack was a bag of this really cool heirloom popcorn called Pipcorn.

The Bedell charcuterie menu has a nice selection of cured meats including salamis and prosciutto that quickly came to our table. In addition, we now had cheese and crackers to go with it. They also have the smallest jars of fig jam I have ever seen. I’m laughing now to myself just thinking about it, as my last fig jam post was with grilled cheese, and that was only yesterday.

The weather was warm with a nice breeze keeping us cool. It could not have been better, unless I was on a boat and was being bobbed gently up and down by the waves splashing again the side of a boat. The breeze just added to the perfect day. We sat, talked, and drank wine while we snacked. Soon, the crowd started to arrive and so did an oyster company with fresh oysters on the half shell. Scott wasted no time in seeing if we wanted oysters next. Alison and I jumped at the chance for fresh oysters. Scott returned, announcing the oysters would soon be here. Then, he asked what wine we wanted next. We all agreed that the Viognier was the way to go.

The oyster woman was at our table just as the next bottle of wine arrived and was placed in the ice bucket. She had more than oysters with her; Scott also ordered us the shrimp cocktail. The oysters were small and looked very appetizing. I was far too busy now chatting and eating to take pictures. UGH, please forgive me. Jennifer ALWAYS makes a face when I start taking pictures of my food. Then I feel bad taking too many photos. I feel like I am making everyone wait to eat while I snap shots of what is on the table. Almost as soon as the oyster woman left, I dug right in and had an oyster on the half shell with Alison. I used just a bit of the cocktail sauce on mine while she used some kind of mixture vinegar and shallots that came with the oysters on hers. The Oysters were off the CHAIN! Then, I had to have a shrimp after Gary said how good they were. They were cooked perfectly and the cocktail sauce was good as well. The cocktail sauce was spicy with just the right amount horseradish and tobasco. Yum. Although, I could ALWAYS use more horseradish in cocktail sauce. Alison thinks I’m nuts when I use that much horseradish. After the shrimp, and a sip of wine, it was back to a perfectly shucked oyster. This time, Alison convinced me to try the vinegar and shallot stuff on top. It was really good! It all went so well with the Pinot Gris wine. I totally recommend getting oysters at Bedell if they are there when you are. Bedell does not shuck the oysters themselves; it was a local outside company. I wish I got their name. Maybe I should call Bedell and ask. The oysters were that good!

Our next stop was the Jamesport Vineyard. We went here mostly for the food and the estate Riesling orange. They have a wood burning pizza oven and the handmade pizza looks like it would be amazing. However, we did not get pizza. We ordered warm olives and the Burrata over salad greens. The olives were very good and the Burrata was yummy! It went with the wine perfectly.

The last place, yes, we hit three vineyards, was The Sherwood House. We came here for something they call a white merlot. The wine’s full name was Oregon Road White Merlot and it had that salty taste, but other than that it was very good. The flavor profile changed when I had the potato chips with it.

Now, about the all these Long Island wines: Bedell and Raphael vineyards seem to be the only two wineries I have found so far that do not have the “Long Island Salty Taste” that I do not like. At Bedell, I particularly like the Viognier, and their other white wines and rosé are very good as well. I keep a few bottles on hand just in case company comes over. When it comes to that distinct Long Island taste that I do not like, at our last stop, a young man put it this way: “it is a salty taste, perhaps from us being so close to the ocean.” Yes, that makes sense now! Here, at our third location, we were eating the local potato chips and the wine was MUCH better!  

By now, Jen was in excruciating pain. She had been a real trooper not to complain, but it was time to get her home and put some ice on her back. Thank god there was none of the usual east end traffic heading back to New York City. We were home in record time, about an hour and a half, as Jennifer drove trying to avoid all the potholes and bumps on the Long Island Expressway.

Even though I drank way too much, I didn’t wake up with a headache and Jennifer managed to put up with my chatty drunkenness. A good time was had by all and I am looking forward to seeing Gary, Jenitha, Scott, and Ally soon for our next wine tasting adventure.

If you live in Manhattan or right here on Long Island, it is a nice limousine ride out here. The wine isn’t bad, but really come for the food, atmosphere, and the friendly people. Thank you EVERYONE for a super fun day!

Until tomorrow’s post, be well, drink well, and enjoy life!

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Sausages and Salads

Yes, I have been cooking. Making salads like I said I would. The last one just had on it a Vinaigrette Dressing. If you can get Olive Garden salad dressing near you, buy it.

Below is what I made for dinner. It is a Buffalo Burger with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a good blue cheese dressing. That’s Greek salad on the side.

Until tomorrow be well, be happy, and be healthy.

Follow me The Drunken Chef (Russ) on INSTAGRAM and look for my next live show.

TURKEY TENDERLOIN ON THE GRILL

Turkey tenderloin

Last night I cooked. I know, I know, I have not been cooking much lately. I think that will soon change. Next week I will be making a shit ton of salads. Lately EVRYONE seems to be dieting after the Covid 20 (people sat around gaining 20 pounds this year). So salads will be our featured meal next week for lunch at work. I get to experiment with recipes on my coworkers! Hee Ha ha!

Back to last night. I made a turkey tenderloin. What was my inspiration? Heck, it was on sale. I just picked it up from the market on the way home and had no time to marinate it. Since I was planning on eating it last night it would just get seasoned. I went with a dry rub. AKA I seasoned it with salt, white pepper, garlic power, onion powder, sage, and paprika.

Then it was outside to the grill with a beer in my hand. I preheated the grill as I always do. Then I put the turkey on to cook. It was two pieces of turkey actually. The day before, I had purchased a turkey breast on the bone. It even had the skin on it still. That was BEFORE they put the tenderloin on sale. They didn’t even have the tenderloin out for sale yesterday. Oh well, I had both now and was cooking both the same way.

I began by browning them on the grill over low heat. 15 minutes on each side. Then I put them into a roasting pan with turkey gravy and basted them until they baked through (no pink). When they hit 155 degrees with a my instant read thermometer, I let them rest and they reached 160 degrees. DONE.

I then tried cooking something new as a side dish. Orzo cooked in chicken broth. I made some chicken stock using Better then Billon and added finely chopped onion and carrot. Sam hates celery so I left it out. I added parsley when the onions and carts were soft. Then I added the orzo. It was done in about 12 minutes. Cooking over low heat. I also grilled up some zucchini. My old stand by.

Before even trying it, Sam said I was evil for treating the orzo that way. I said if you can do better you’re welcome to do so, and so his recipe for orzo will be next. Jennifer and my mother in-law however liked my orzo. Jennifer loved the zucchini. She didn’t care for the turkey as much but she doesn’t like turkey in general, unless it’s on toast with lettuce and mayo. Good thing I have a whole turkey London broil to slice up for sandwiches today. Who knew?

Well, that’s all for last night’s BBQ adventure. I will type up “Official” recipes for the turkey and orzo and post them soon. For now, go relax, have a beer, a glass of wine, or one of those other drink recipes. There is more to come soon!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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THE WEEKEND

Tuesday, welcome back to the grind. The coffee is perking and the A/C is on. It is going to get hot today. This weekend started out as a washout. Saturday rained and I ordered a pizza and ate anti pasta salad.

Sunday, the weather was more cooperative. We went over our friends house for a barbeque and to keep their wonderful dogs company while the fireworks exploded around us in large numbers. They cooked way too much food as always, but I’m guilty of that myself. I think it’s better to have too much food for guests then not enough. They smoked seven full racks of ribs, a dozen sausages, and two whole chickens. I ate some ribs and a sausage and was full. No matter how bad I wanted the chicken, I had no room. What made it so good was the BBQ sauce Scott made for the ribs and chicken. He uses a whole bottle of St. Francis wine in the sauce and reduces it down with the pan drippings ,from the ribs or chicken. Plus what ever else he puts in it, yum.

Monday was shaping up to be even a nicer day and they invited us over again for the traditional burgers and dawgs. Plus, Scott made steak! I however brought with us one dozen oysters, a dozen clams and two pounds of jumbo cocktail shrimp. I also made large batch of cocktail sauce. Upon my arrival with said seafood, I proceeded to open the oysters for raw oysters on the half shell. Allison watched me open one and said: “Oh god! That’s too much work! I will just throw them on the grill for a minute until they are open.” I looked at her begrudgingly and she added: “Don’t worry, they will still be raw.” I agreed and she left me just two more oysters to open on my own.

Everything was amazing. The grilled oysters just needed to sit on ice a little longer to get cold but they were as good as raw oysters. Sam and I ate the three raw oysters I opened. They were paired with the Fume’ Blanc wine Allison opened from the Robert Mondavi Winery. Next, Scott served an amazing piece of hanger steak that was cooked to perfection. He marinated the shit out of so it melted in your mouth and was season perfectly. He need to put that in his regular BBQ rotation it was so good. The Steak was paired with a St. Francis Pinto Noir. Dessert consisted of two very tasty cakes Sam had purchased and a local farm stand and ice cream we picked up on the way there from Baskin Robbins. All in all, a great weekend.

The coffee is done and it’s time for work. I already posted my Anti Pasta recipe if you want to try it, you can find it in the recipe section. You already have the cocktail sauce and shrimp recipes too, so go cook and enjoy life! Maybe even have a little wine from Robert Mondavi. The 2018 Fume’ Blanc I had was very good!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

Welcome to Friday. I cooked last night. Feeling guilty about having been cooking the same thing over and over, I went with something new. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu. Is it American? Probably not, but I bet it’s popular in America to eat, unlike Escargot. So, I am including it in the list of recipes I’m posting here. Included on the plate above is Couscous, also not very American but yummy, and Asparagus. The pickled beets I did not pickle myself. Although, I may have been pickled myself with beer while cooking all this.

I started with the chicken dish since it would take the longest to cook.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with extra sauce

Next, I started the chicken broth for the Couscous. I always cook my couscous in chicken broth unless it is served with pan seared Sea Scallops. Then, I have an extra trick up my sleeve that Sam will be showing you soon, I hope.

Couscous in chicken broth

Now to work on the Asparagus. Spring is the best time to buy Asparagus here on the east coast because that’s when it is in season locally. Today, you can buy MOST fruits and vegetables year round. That wasn’t always the case. Even when I was a child, many things like watermelon were only available during the season they grew in locally. Even then, there wasn’t ANYTHING called seedless watermelon available. Now, you can buy almost anything, including some very exotic fruits and vegetables grown in other countries all year round.

I added the pickled beets for color and because it has been ages since I’ve had them. My favorites pickled beets come from Lancaster, PA. These were surprisingly very good and from my local supermarket. Chill them before you eat them.

You can look for all my recipes for this meal by just clicking on the links above. Have fun cooking and Bon Appetit. P.S., this dish is NOT French…just sayin.

Until we meet again in my kitchen, Be well, Be healthy, and Be happy!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

PAN ROASTED POTATOES – YUMMY

Thursday. July 1st. Have to go into work early so you have me for a quick article until the coffee is done. Let’s see how fast I can type today.

Last night, I was at a loss what to make. Sam said: “Dad, we have to start planning meals in advance. You have a blog to write and you need to cook new things.” Then, he suggested Swedish meatballs. We found them in the freezer under a bag of curly fries.

I ran to the store to get Heinz Anjou gravy and wide noodles. I also picked up a bag of small baby potatoes. When I returned from said store, Sam had the potatoes in the pan and was frying them up. He added the gravy next and brought that to a simmer. In another pot, he was making Lingonberry sauce. What’s in it I don’t know. Perhaps, he can give you that recipe in his next blog.

I put on a big pot of salted water to boil for the noodles, then started on the potatoes. I washed and put the potatoes in a Pyrex bowl with just a bit of water. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and poked a small hole in it with the tip of a knife. I microwaved those suckers for 6 minutes. I let them stand for four minutes as I melted two tablespoons butter in a pan and added two tablespoons of olive oil. As soon as the butter was melted, I added the potatoes. Then, I seasoned them with salt, white pepper, a pinch of garlic powder, and larger pinch of onion powder. I sautéed them on low waiting for the water to boil. I tossed the potatoes into the now hot pan. Then every now and again as they began to brown just slightly with little brown spots, I gave them a toss in the butter oil and herbs to coat them evenly. In the meantime, I added the noodles to the boiling water. I kept repeating the tossing of the potatoes until the noodles were cooked. Then, I turned off the potatoes and drained the noodles.

I served everything piping hot like the picture below.

Okay, the coffee is done time to run. see you tomorrow.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

The Kitchen Grimoire: Voodoo Jambalaya

For many years, just like my father, I have been writing a cookbook. My cookbook, however, was not designed with the average cook in mind. Instead of a standard American set of recipes with minor alterations, or my darling grandmother’s “Sunday Gravy”, I created recipes with slight variations, all to match one simply theme: Villainy. Now, perhaps I know what you’re thinking: Villainy? In cooking? Isn’t that just making a steak well-done? Perhaps you’re even thinking: Villainy in cooking just is an aesthetic and would probably taste horrible or gimmicky. 

While I happen to agree with you if you think that it is a crime against all things delicious to make a steak well-done, I hope to prove you wrong on the latter point. You see for as long as I can remember, I have always had a certain fondness and sympathy for the Disney villains. Between their cool color scheme and always having the best song in the movie, I began to incorporate them a bit more in day-to-day life. I won’t be boring you with those details, because while I could certainly use therapy (probably) this blog isn’t my therapist’s couch. One of the things I began to work on was a recipe book related to witchery, villainy, magic, and of course, tasting absolutely sinful. 

I called this digital tome of forbidden culinary rituals and hidden away confections, “The Kitchen Grimoire”. A grimoire is a book of spells and the like, because I hope that the flavors and recipes inside will bewitch your tongue. The first recipe I am choosing to share is one of my favorites and one which I make for myself as frequently as possible. It is my take on Jambalaya, but instead of using regular rice, I use a type of rice called Forbidden Rice. 

Forbidden rice itself is either black or purple in color, but the water, the sauce and anything that touches the rice is stained a deep purple. Despite the ominous name, it is actually one of the few things in my recipe book which can be substituted into almost any other dish with a similar counterpart to create a wicked effect. I’ve used this trick to make rice pilaf imitate the night sky and occasionally turn the usually pink flesh of shrimp to a creature of the deep, when cooked with the rice. 

Not only is the color a nice switch up, but rather than the nutty and earthly flavors of brown rice or the soft gentleness of basmati, Forbidden Rice has a floral taste to it, which may sound strange, but it can add a wonderful layer of complexity to dishes.

Setting aside the color of the rice in my dish, I have an actual dish and recipe to tell you about. The recipe I will be giving you today (as you may have guessed from the title of this article), is Voodoo Jambalaya. I decided that this is the right time for Jambalaya, as it is one of the few truly American foods. Seeing as the fourth of July is coming soon, I wanted to throw out another candidate for the ring. Burgers and hotdogs are great, but their origins lie elsewhere, and were already being consumed in the old world. Jambalaya is a mix of African, Spanish and French cooking styles, which was only achieved in America. 

So here’s my first recipe on the blog here and I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

⅔ Cup Sliced Andouille Sausage

⅔ Cup Cubed Chicken Breast

⅔ Cup Raw Peeled and Deveined Shrimp

9 oz. Tomato Paste

3 Bay Leaves (Dried)

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

2 tbsp Minced Garlic (Preferably Packed in Oil)

1 Medium White Onion (diced finely)

1 Small Red Bell Pepper (diced finely)

1 tbsp Onion Powder

2 Cups Forbidden Rice

Olive Oil (As needed)

Tabasco (To taste)

Parsley (To Garnish)

  1. Start by placing your garlic, onion and bell pepper in a large pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the large pot. Continuously stir the vegetables over medium heat (preferably with an oversized wooden spoon, for added realism start cackling which will add a certain air of madness to the whole process).
  2. Wait until the onions are transparent before removing the mixture from your pot and placing in a decent sized bowl on the side. Repeat this process for each of our meats (Sausage, Chicken and Shrimp) and place them all in the same bowl as the vegetables. 
  3. Take enough water to cover the bottom half inch of your pot with water and pour over high heat. Use the oversized wooden spoon to help scrape the bottom and relieve it of any tasty bits which may cling to the pot. 
  4. Once you’ve scraped the pot to your satisfaction, it is time to add the tomato paste, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and onion powder to this concoction. Add the tabasco if desired at this point. 
  5. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the contents of the bowl that you’ve set aside into our cauldron- er… pot. 
  7. Add four cups of water to your concoction as well as the purple rice and cover, stirring every five minutes. Only cover the mixture once the water begins to boil. Once covered it should be ready in about fifteen to twenty minutes. 
  8. Serve hot and garnish! Enjoy the favors which have combined under your masterful eye and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished!

GRILLING WITH SAM

It’s Wednesday, so close to the weekend yet so far. Last night, I was in the middle of cooking grilled chicken, rice, and grilled zucchini when Sam interrupts me. He says: “Don’t you get bored making the same thing. I thought you were writing a food blog. You need to make new stuff.” At his suggestion, I dumped in a packet of taco seasoning mix to the chicken that had already marinated overnight in salad Italian dressing.

Sam got up from his video game and started cooking. He began by adding cilantro and lime to my Basmati rice that was cooking in chicken stock. I added butter to it. He chopped an onion and sautéed it in a small pot with olive oil. Then he opened and rinsed a can of black beans. He added that to the pot with the onions. He added parsley and cilantro to the beans next. He covered the beans and let them cook on low.

I went outside to grill the chicken and the zucchini. Meanwhile, Sam made some kind of white sauce using sour cream for the chicken . What was in it, I don’t know. I was outside when he prepared the sauce. I do know it was good and went nicely with the chicken, rice and beans. I don’t remember the zucchini much except grilling it and taking pictures.

Grilled “Taco” chicken

The Zucchini

We (Sam, Jen, my mother in-law and me) ate and we watched Jeopardy. Once my mother in-law left and Jennifer headed up to bed, I had dessert. Dessert for me was a chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk while watching The Community on Netflix. It’s a funny funny show. Sam gets a huge laugh out it! Then, I cleaned up and went to bed.

That’s all until tonight when I get to do it all again. So be well, eat tasty food, and stay happy!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

There has been NO COOKING

Good morning. I’m writing this as I wait for the coffee to perk. Its Monday, ugg. I have not cooked in days, or so it seems. I remember it like it was yesterday, because it was yesterday, and I went out to eat at Emilio’s in Commack. Saturday I managed to go out to eat at the Cheese Cake Factory but Jen didn’t really seem up to it. I killed too many brain cells this weekend drinking and do not remember what I ate on Friday. What day was it that I made Surf and Turf ?

The Cheesecake Factory we went to was in Bay Shore. I used to love going there and trying new things but I was always disappointed that the food did not taste as good as it sounded on the menu. It looked great when it came to the table but then tasted blah. Now, the food or menu no longer impresses me but everyone else I was with loved it. The place was packed so it must be good food. It was just me. It was not bad food, just not yummy I have to go back food. I had the Cuban Sandwich and it was very good but I was disappointed in the cheese cake. Can you imagine?! Jen didn’t like the cheese cake either but she is not feeling well.

Jennifer is still in pain with her back so she has not been eating much. She ordered her favorite salad at the Cheese Cake Factory. It was the Barbeque Ranch Chicken Salad without tomatoes. She does not like and is allergic to tomatoes. When it came out it looked great and she said she was going to eat the whole thing. That was surprising because its a huge salad. In the end she ate most of it and we took the rest home.

Sunday I had plans to go see the Mets play at City Field. It was a beautiful but hot day and even though they didn’t win it was a lot of fun. I ate lots of food including two hot dogs, chicken fingers, French fries, Cracker Jacks and drank beer. It was all yummy! Then I find out, on my way home, that I was supposed to be going out to eat at Emilio’s Restaurant in Commack! Yikes!

I love Emilio’s and I usually get a big meal there. I have already tried the mussels marinara with linguini and all the homemade pasta dishes. All their dishes are fantastic. Yesterday, I was way too full to eat much so I ordered a salad for my main course. We also ordered a chopped salad for the table. My sister in-law was there with my nephew and my mother in-law and Sam. I did not take part in any of the chopped salad they ordered but I have had it many times before and it is delicious. For dinner, I had the beet salad. This salad comes with mixed spring greens and chopped beets, shredded goat cheese and sugared pecans on top. The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette that is very good and served on the side. I ate only a quarter of it and then boxed the rest up to take home. Jen was in a lot of pain so she didn’t eat much either. She ordered a big plate of pasta Bolognese that came home with us too. My leftover salad from last night and the Cuban sandwich from the Factory is what’s for lunch today.

Speaking of lunch, I am off to work. Have a great day!