Category Archives: How to Cook “American Style”

Chili Recipe

Let me begin by apologizing for being gone so long. Yes, I have been cooking. It just has not been anything new. I have not been sleeping well and have been rather tired. I even did take out once or three times. I will hopefully be cooking some new things this weekend. Let’s see how it goes.

I have been making my own chili for years. The recipe has only changed in instances where I am trying to accommodate other people’s tastes who are eating it with me. For example, I did not make hot and spicy chili for the cub scouts or my fellow coworkers. Those batches were milder. Now that a have made it this year it is finally time I can share it with you guys my loyal readers.

The recent batch that I made and heated up for lunch I could actually put green peppers in. When cooking at home I never use green peppers. Jennifer does not like them and more importantly she is allergic to raw peppers.

So now here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.



1 Big Ass Pot


4 lbs. chop meat (option: substitute 2 lbs. chop meat for ground turkey)

2 medium onions diced

1 small green pepper – seeded & diced (optional)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 16 oz. can tomato sauce

1 16 oz. can of water (option: Sam Adams Octoberfest Beer)

1 can red kidney beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 can cannellini beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 can black beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 box Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix

            If no chili mix is available double this:

2 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp. cumin 

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper and/or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce


Cook onions and green pepper in olive oil over medium low heat until translucent in a large heavy pot.  Add chop meat to pot and stir in onion. Cook chop meat until no longer pink and drain off most of the fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add Carroll Shelby’s Large Spice Packet, ¼ of the Small Cayenne Pepper (hot) spice packet, and some salt. Save the Masa packet to throw away at the end.  Add garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh ground pepper. Cover and let simmer on low stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Cook 30 minutes. If the chili is not to thin and watery then throw away the Masa packet and your chili is done. If the chili is too “soupy” then add the Masa in thirds to thicken (I’ve never had to use it) and cook 10 more minutes.

Serving suggestions: Serve hot chili in crock pots and cover with grated cheddar cheese. Melt cheese under broiler and then top with diced red onion and serve HOT! Also an excellent hot dog topping!


This is great as a hot dog topping (particularly without the green bell pepper) in winter or at a summer barbeque.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Ma’s Apple Pie

One of my first childhood memories of cooking was this recipe. It was not actually taught to me by my mother, although I remember her in the kitchen, it was my sister who first taught me how to make this beloved apple pie. She loved this apple pie SO much she even ate it for breakfast and that was right after Thanksgiving! If you wanted your share, you had to be fairly quick and get your slices in before it was all gone. I think we made two or even three apple pies some years. Most of the time it was just two. Eventually as the years went on we took one of the pies to my oldest brothers house for Thanksgiving Dinner and kept the other one at home for the four of us to share. I remember my mother ever only having a single slice and that was only if it was a really good day.  Otherwise, she always seemed to be watching her weight. It always seemed to be my sister and I eating all the pie. Sometimes even before our other brother could get a single piece.

To this day, I can recall the fond memories of rolling out dough and peeling apples as a child while standing at the dining room table. Which was the ONLY time I ever saw the dark wood tabletop without a tablecloth on it. As a child I was probably standing on a chair.

My sister even made a game out of peeling apples. Whoever could peel an apple and make the longest continuous apple peel won! I think she may have even let me win sometimes, but I’m not sure because she never let me off that easy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I even still have the original recipe in my mother’s handwriting preserved in a zip lock bag. She has been gone for a while now but the recipe still lives on. Thank you mom.

Ma’s Apple Pie

Serves 8


(2) 9 inch deep dish Pyrex Pie Plates

Pastry brush

Vegetable Peeler AKA an apple peeler in my house

Pastry blender (optional)  

Pie Filling:


Peel and slice 5 lbs. of Macintosh apples and divide into two bowls. (Why? Because we did not have one bowl that was big enough to fit five pounds of apples) The large bowl was a 26 cup (now called vintage) Tupperware bowl. The small bowl was half that size.

Large bowl                           Small Bowl

½ cup                                     ¼         cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar                           ½         cup sugar

2 tbsp. lemon juice             1          tbsp. lemon juice

4 tbsp. flour                          2          tbsp. flour

¼ tsp. salt                             dash   tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon                   1          tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg                     ¼         tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. all spice                     dash   tsp. all spice

Add ingredients over the top of the apples. Mix together the apples and stuff, then cover the bowls with plastic wrap. Now make the crusts.

Homemade Pie Crust (makes enough for one pie)

There is no substitute for a good piecrust when making this recipe, so I suggest start by making the filling first and while it sits as you’re making your piecrust it will produce all the juice you need for your pies.


Grease Pie Plate Using shortening (Crisco) and a paper towel


3 cups sifted flour

1 1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup shortening

8 to 10 tablespoons water with ice


In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Cut in shorting using a pastry cutter of knife and fork making small pebble like pieces of shoring covered in flour. Using a wooden spoon and your hands,  mix in the ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together to form a ball without crumbling apart.

Divide dough into two and shape into balls then thick disks.

Flour your work surface. Place one disk the center of you flour and using a floured rolling pin work from the center out to form the piecrust. Turn and flip the crust to keep it from sticking to your counters surface. Keep rolling out dough until it is just slightly larger than your pie pan by about one inch.  Repeat with second dough ball.

Fold dough in half and place bottom crust in pie dish. Gently press in pie pan. Using a small knife, trim off any excess dough. Fill pie plate with apple mixture. Before putting on the top crust, dot apple mix with small amounts of cold butter. Coat rim with water using you finger. Place on top crust. Press together the crusts at the edge using the tines of a fork to keep the crusts from separating as the pie bakes. Now using a pastry brush, brush on a thin/small amount of milk. This will help the crust get a nice golden brown.

Bake in preheated oven 375° or 400° for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until apples are soft when poke with a skewer. Oven temps vary so you may need to turn up or down your oven so that the crust is brown and the apples are done at the same time. Timing in life is everything and it is with baking.

Enjoy and I hope all your holidays are happy and healthy.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

My Return from Boston

Some of you may be wondering where I have been for the past 4 days. Well, I took a trip up to Boston (from Long Island). I love this city and now is one of the best times of year to go. However, I didn’t know the Boston Marathon was going to be going on. It turned out to be okay as it was only one day and it didn’t get in our way at all of having fun.

I will not bore you with all the details of the trip but I have to say I did have some pretty good food while I was there. The first location was a breakfast place we stopped at on our way to Salem. Salem is so cool in October. I will have to go back again but when it is a little less crowded. Before we got to Salem we stopped at a place called North Avenue Diner in Wakefield Massachusetts. There I asked our waitress what she recommended I eat. She said that the eggs benedict is her favorite. It just also happened to be the weekend special and since it was Saturday, it was perfect timing. It was like Karma.

The coffee came out first. This too was gooood so I asked what brand it was. As it turned out it was called, Boston coffee, who knew. I should have gotten some to bring home. Then, out came the eggs benedict and the eggs were pouched perfectly. This was so good. I could tell the chef was proud of his hollandaise sauce as he told me how he makes it from scratch. The diner has several different varieties of eggs benedict but I went with the traditional Canadian bacon. Sam had the corned beef hash and he loved every bite of it. Whereas Jennifer, just had eggs over medium with bacon and toast. It was all so very good and I would so like to go back there come December maybe.

The next restaurant stop was a chain that I had never been too before, this was a place called Restaurant 99. We ordered the typical chain type food. Not as exciting as being at the diner but it would do. I had sirloin steak tips and chicken. It was okay and Jennifer had French onion soup. Also good. Sam enjoyed his meal as well but for the life of me I can’t remember what he had. The service was good and the place was nice looking and clean. I like a nice clean restaurant. This restaurant was a nice surprise from the usual chain restaurant experiences that often make me feel ill after leaving.

Now I’m back in New York (hence the fire above last night) and I’m headed back to work today. We took the Port Jefferson ferry back and forth, which was great! I highly recommend it. Do not forget to try the coffee while you’re on board.  

Last night, after dinner, I made Jennifer and myself, two personal apple crisps (pictured below).  I will post this recipe as soon as I can. Tonight, I will be cooking something. I just do not know what yet.

After three days is Boston, Jennifer is in some major back pain. Its been the long car ride and walking around that has done her in. Not to mention, it has been a few weeks since she had any pain injections in her lower back.  She had a doctor appointment scheduled yesterday we came back too and another one scheduled for Thursday. She will be getting five more shots along her spine to ease the pain then. At least it helps her get some sleep for a couple of weeks. I am hoping for a long lasting solution to come fourth soon.  

Enjoy your day and enjoy your own lunch and keep an eye out for my apple crisp recipe!

The Drunken Chef (Russ) 


Riced Potato

Special Implements:










Cook 3 pounds of peeled potatoes until tender.

Cool to room temp.

Use ricer and rice potatoes. The cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day mix potatoes with the, corn starch, eggs, salt and pepper.

Using your hands. Form into roughly 2 inch balls. Place one ball in simmering chicken stock using a slotted spoon. If the first ball falls apart add more cornstarch. Make the rest of the potato stuff into balls and simmer in stock for 20 minutes. Turn off stock and let cool in stock for ten minutes, serve hot .

Red Cabbage, Sauerbraten and Potato Dumpling

The Drunken Chef (Russ)



5 pound Pot Roast

2 lagre onoins

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablesppon salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tablesppon brown suagr

1 head of garlic

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

10 ginger snaps very finely crushed in a zip top bag for the gravy


In a large zip lock bag, add the vinegar, water, whole garlic cloves, brown sugar, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Chop two large onions and add that to the bag. Add the meat, squeeze out most of the air and close it tight. Place the meat in the refrigerator. Marinate the meat for a least 5 days.

On the fifth day, place the meat in a Dutch oven. Then pour in the marinade over the top. Bake at 325 for 6 hours.

Gravy: Crush the gram crackers in a zip lock bag. I use a meat tenderizer, but a small pan works well too. On stove, stir the crushed gram crackers into the cooked marinate and meat juices. Heat the gravy up on medium high heat until the gravy simmers and thickens. the gravy should coat the back of a spoon. If necessary add more crunched cookies one at a time until the sauce it the perfect consistency .

Insta-Pot directions: Add the meat and marinate to insta-pot. Turn on to the stew setting. Set the time for two hours. Let it cool on the “Stay warm” setting one hour.

When you can open the lid without having to let out any steam remove the meat and make the gravy right in the insta-pot. I add the crushed cookies and stirred them in. Then turn on the pot to sauté and stir until it simmers. Done. Unplug and Serve.

Serve with red cabbage, potato dumplings and beer!

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup   

Serves 6 – 8


Large Pot


4 cups chicken broth (no sodium/salt)

4 cups tomato sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Large onion, chopped

2 large stalks chopped celery

2 large carrots, diced

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

1 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can green beans

2 cups baby spinach, rinsed

3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil

2 – 4 tsp Chicken Bouillon instead of salt (depending on taste)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup seashell pasta or Ditalini (the little round tubes)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1 tablespoon olive oil


In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery and carrots, sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, Italian Spice mix, chicken bouillon and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. For best results refrigerate overnight then reheat the portions needed.  

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and soup is at a simmer (reheated if the next day) place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Drizzle on olive oil and serve with bread.

NOTES: Don’t forget the Salad and/or Saltine Crackers

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

Good morning. I think this is still the morning. Its dark out so who knows. I made coffee and I flipped over my meat for the sauerbraten. So it a good start to the day.

Last night I stopped on the way home for bread. I came home with my loaf of bread and heated up meats balls and spaghetti. I ate and watched Jeopardy. Then I added 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of milk to my friendship bread starter. It still lives. Then I flipped over my meat for the sauerbraten and went to bed. Side note: I didn’t win the lottery of $700 Million dollars. It was someone in California. As the French say: say la vie.

On a positive note, yesterday’s lunch was Chicken Matzo Ball Soup. I cheated and used my insta-pot again. I also used 2 boxes of no salt chicken stock that was on sale for $1.99 each. To this, I added 3 whole chicken breasts (with the bone). To the stock, I added 1 Carrot diced, 1 Celery Stalk diced and 1 tsp Chicken bouillon (instead of salt). I turned on the pot and set it to broth. This is high pressure and 25 minutes of cooking time. I let it cool down for 30 minutes before opening it up. While is cooling I mixed up package of Matzo ball mix. The package is nothing more than matzo meal and baking soda ,but its all premeasured and packaged so I don’t have to worry about the matzo meal going stale. To that, I added ¼-cup vegetable oil and two eggs. Let it sit in the regenerator for the rest of the time (20 minutes) then added golf ball size pieces of dough to the soup along with a cup of fine noodles. I turned on the Sauté setting until the soup simmered. Then I hit cancel. I put on the lid to the the insta-pot and pressed the “keep warm” button. I let those balls cook like that for 35 minutes.   

When I finally tasted it, it seemed to have turned out perfect. Soft vegetables in a tasty and rich broth that complimented the light matzo balls and fine egg noodles. The true test is if Maryanne’s mother approves. Maryanne was going to bring some to her. This is comfort food at its best. The only thing missing was maybe a grilled cheese sandwich. Hmmm…maybe I can have any leftover soup with grilled sandwich today.

Well lets hope I can stay awake long enough to cook dinner tonight. Keep following along all week to see how this Sauerbraten thing turns out. Until tomorrow wishing you a happy and healthy hump day!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

The Sauerbraten Saga Begins

Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 5th 2021 and too early in the morning for me to be up but I am. I am still not sleeping well. I seem to wake up at 4:30am every day. Then I have to be up an hour later for work so I can’t fall back to sleep. Maybe when we turn the clocks back I will be able to fall back to sleep.  Enough about my problems. There is cooking to be done.

Last night I started the sauerbraten marinating. The beef (two small chuck pot roasts) is marinating in a vinery mixture of: 1 cup red wine vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, two onions, a tsp of black pepper and a whole head of garlic. I squeezed it all into a zip lock bag. (see picture above) This needs to marinate for five days so it will not be until Friday before we will see and taste the fruits of our efforts. I will also be making some side dishes. I will write more about that tomorrow. Rich, from my office, has requested applesauce to go with his. This seems to be a reasonable request so apple sauce for Richie it is.

I also made moms meatballs and sauce last night. I served them with spaghetti. Mine is the one that has parmesan cheese on it. It was yummy but I feel like I gained ten pounds. I miss my teenage metabolism. Lunch today will have to be low calorie soup and a salad.

That all for now good readers. Follow along this week and see how this Sauerbraten saga plays out. Until tomorrow wishing you a happy healthy Tuesday!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Beef Vegetable Soup

Good Morning. Its a chilly morning here on Long Island New York. Thursday for dinner, I made one of my favorite soups, Beef Vegetable Soup. Just like always, it seems this recipe takes me back to my childhood. I remember how large my mother would cut up the carrots and celery. The reason of course was my brother and I, but mostly me. I remember not always liking the carrots in the soup so I would eat around them. That’s when she just stopped putting them in my bowl. I guess making them a nice large size helped her to avoid them. That’s a mom for ya! Always trying to make their children happy!! Thankfully tastes change and today I love carrots in soup and use them ALL the time. You can’t have a mirepoix without carrots and mom knew that. Today the only thing I have changed over the years is now I add baby bok choy to the soup in the last ten minutes of cooking. I am excited to share this recipe with you all and hope you enjoy it.

Beef Vegetable Soup  

Serves 6 – 8


Large Pot


2 lbs. Beef Stew Meat (cut into large bite size pieces)

2 cups Celery (large cuts)

2 cup2 Onion (cut into 1 inch pieces)

2 cups Carrots (cut into 1 inch pieces)

4 medium Potatoes (peeled and cut into pieces)

8 cups of water

6-8 bouillon cubes (or 8 tsp of better then Bouillon)

¼ tsp pepper

 2 – 4 tablespoons of Olive oil

2 heads baby bok choy (optional)

1 package wide noodles (Optional)


In a large pot sauté beef in small batches in olive oil until is browned and there no juices in the bottom of the pot. Drain off excess fat and then add onion and celery. Sauté until onion are translucent.  Add back in all the beef. Add water, carrots and potatoes.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add baby bok choy if you like and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Serve Hot!

Serving suggestion:

Wide noodles; prepare wide noodles according to package directions and serve them in a separate bowl. Add a little olive oil or butter to keep the noodle from sticking together. This was your family members can then add as many or as few of the noodles as they like. Plus, when you refrigerate the leftover soup overnight. The noodles don’t get all soggy and absorb all that luscious beef broth.  

NOTES: Serve with crackers and butter.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Steak Marinade

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


Tupperware Season-serve Marinating Container or equivalent $39.00  


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


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)