Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees in an extra-large heavy pot. I use a 7 quart Dutch oven or a large cast iron pot. Do not fill pot more than half way with oil.
Place fresh cut fries in large microwaveable bowl, toss with 1/4 cup oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until potatoes are partially translucent and pliable but still offer some resistance when pierced with tip of paring knife, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing them with rubber spatula halfway through cooking time. Carefully pull back plastic wrap from side farthest from you and drain potatoes into large mesh strainer set over sink. Rinse well under cold running water. Spread potatoes onto kitchen towels and pat dry. Let rest until room temperature, at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
SLOWLY lower fries into hot oil using a mesh spider or slotted metal spoon, and fry until potatoes turn light golden or just begin to brown at corners, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels to drain (now cook whatever entre you are making, like fried shrimp).
Turn heat to high and raise temperature of oil to 375 degrees.
Return fries into hot oil using a large metal slotted spoon or and fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to fresh paper bag or paper towels to drain. Season fries with salt to taste and serve immediately with ketchup.
Bring 2 cups of water in your 4 quart sauce pot to a boil with the steamer basket in place. Prepare beans by removing both ends and cutting in half or thirds. When the water is at a rapid boil add the beans. Cook until tender.
Green Beans (boiled)
1 pound string bean (green beans)
1 small onion
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
Bring 2 cups of water in your 4 quart sauce pot to a boil, add salt. Prepare beans by removing both ends and cutting in half or thirds. Peel one small whole onion. When the water is at a rapid boil add the beans and onion. Cook until tender.
Wash mushrooms under cold running water to remove dirt. Let drain. While the shrooms drain slice the onion. Cut small mushrooms in half and large mush into quarters.
Heat oil in a large All-Clad or similar steel pan. When hot, add onions. Fry over medium high heat until brown. Leaving the onions still for a minute or two without stirring. I think they tend to brown quicker that way. It also gives me a change to take a sip of wine.
Add the Mushrooms and stir. Cook for a two or three minutes stirring the same way.
Reduces heat and add butter and table spoon at a time until it is all incorporated.
March is a favorite month of mine. Many famous book, poetry and music all refer to March such the idiom; “In like a lion out like a lamb.” Which as many of you might know refers to the weather of March and how it is freezing in the first weeks and noticeably, “supposed to be”, warmer in the last. This however is not always true. I have seen snow in New York City just before Easter back in the seventies and again the eighties. Then there is the famous expression by some guy named Will; “beware the ides of March.” Which back then, March 15th was considered Roman tax day. I wonder why the United States chose April 15th?
I digress, March is a wonderful month filled with food. There is Saint Patrick’s Day, in which here in New York, we celebrate with and overabundance of corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes that is made in a very large pot. This is a recipe I will be making and sharing with you all now.
I always prepared this this meal on March 17th, regardless of it falling on a Friday during lent. As a matter of health, more so then anything else I choose to eat fish every Friday during lent. It give me a good excuse shall we say, “to make all these terribly stinky dishes that smell up my house all day.” Those are my wife’s words, she prefers me to cook fish OUTSIDE whenever possible. She would have me cook the corn beef outside if I could. Therefore, I should be posting a few fish dishes this month. Including but not limited to, fried flounder, stuffed flounder, fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, potato wrapped sea bass, and the ever-popular tuna salad, to name a few. After all, there are only like seven weeks until Easter and I am forced to stop cooking MOST fish recipes in the kitchen of my home.
Let get to the first recipe we discussed, Corned beer, I mean BEEF. (ugh a corny joke)
Saint Patty’s Day Corned Beef
Serves 4 to 6
1 Extra Large Stock Pot
2-3 thin cut corned beef brisket (I like the Freirich brand)
2-3 stalks celery
2 heads of cabbage
12 oz. Bottle Beer (Guinness Harp or Sam Adams October fest if you have it)
1 whole clove garlic (peeled)
6 – 8 pepper corns
1 tbsp. pickling spice or seasoning packet from corned beef
5 lbs. Red Bliss Potatoes or small white potatoes
Frozen corn on the cob
In an extra large stockpot, add corn beef with juice from package (and the spice packet). Add enough water to cover corned beef. Add one 12 oz. bottle of beer, preferably NOT dark, perhaps one you are serving with dinner (Sam Adams Oktoberfest I saved from the fall). Add carrots, celery, and onion that has been cut into large pieces. Add the whole clove of garlic. Cook on low 2 hours. After cooking the meat two hours you can now add potatoes and the cabbage. Turn heat to high. Return to a boil. Now lower heat and simmer one hour longer. Remove meat to cutting board to rest. Test meat for doneness to see if it is tender, meat should pull away will a fork. If it still too chewy cook it longer!
When the meat is done cover and let rest. It needs it. Turn the heat up to high on potatoes and cabbage to boil and add the corn. Cook corn in the same hot water for the recommended time on package. When corn is ready it will also be “seasoned”, slice meat and serve with cabbage, potatoes, corn.
Serving suggestion: Serve with bakery fresh rye bread, whipped butter and a nice spicy brown mustard like Guldens.
NOTES I don’t remember ever eating corned beef with my mom until I was a teenager. I don’t think anyone else in my family liked it back then. Everyone except my sister who ate with her eggs for breakfast but let’s save that recipe and story for another time. See St. Patrick’s Day Menu or SPRING
NOTES: Remember corned beef shrinks when you cook it. Why? I don’t know! It just does, so buy extra, plus I have a few recipes for that leftover corned beef that you DON’T want to miss out on!
I made turkey burgers last night. The recipe is below. I do recommend these. I’m not saying make these just as a healthy alternative, or not because ground turnkey is cheaper then beef right now but because they taste DAM good! Enjoy.
The Drunken Chef
4 Brioche hamburger buns
1 package ground turkey
1 large whole egg
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Begin by heating a large pan over medium heat. Butter the inside of four hamburger buns. I prefer Brioche buns for this. Now place the buns in the HOT frying pan and cook. You are frying them like a grill cheese sandwich. This will make all the difference to the taste of your burger in the end.
Once your buns are toasted and removed to plates peel and slice an onion.
Fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat.
While the onions are cooking, mince 1 carrot, and 1 celery stalk. I use my Pampered Chef chopper for this.
Right after the onions have cooked (begin to brown) I return them to the cutting board and chop them up finely using a large chef’s knife.
Return then onion to the hot pan on medium heat. Add the carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat for two minutes. Adding more olive oil if necessary to keep them from sticking to pan.
Mince 1 clove of garilc. Add garlic to the onion mixture in pan and continue cooking one more minute.
In a medium size bowl. Place the ground turkey. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, salt and pepper to taste (but don’t taste it). Mix in the onion mixture a little bit at a time (1/8th ). Dumping all of the hot onion mixture, all at once, will cook your eggs and you will have scrambled eggs and raw turkey, ewe, you don’t want that.
Now that all the vegetables have been carefully mixed into you turkey, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan and heat it over medium heat until its hot again.
Form a meat ball and press into the pan forming a round patty using a fork or back of a spoon. Repeat with one or two more meatballs but do not over crowd your pan. The burgers will not brown but will steam. They will be good, but not perfect.
After frying burgers on one side without moving them (This is how the brown) for two to three minutes. Flip burgers over and continue to cook on the other side for two minutes. Adjust temperature under pan so the burgers cook through WITHOUT burning yet turning a nice brown like a burger should. Test the burgers with an instant read meat thermometer. They will be done at 160 degrees. They start getting dry after that.
Remove burgers to bottom bun and “dress up” you burger however you like. You can add more grilled onions (if you made extra) or lettuce, tomato and a slice of red onion or cold slaw, pickles or just ketchup or hot sauce. It all up to you. It’s your burger!
Server with a cold beer and French fries or waffle fries.
This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. How bazar and I can not believe I have not posted this yet.
9 inch pie shell top and bottom
1 package frozen or canned artichokes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or chopped garlic
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. package mozzarella cheese
salt, pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut artichokes in half, brown in a pan with a little olive oil, add garlic and set aside. Beat eggs in a large bowl and then add all other ingredients. Fold in artichokes hearts. Pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust and pinch together sides. Add slits to the top crust with a pairing knife and brush with milk. Bake at 350 for one hour.
Cut into wedges and serve warm. Makes and excellent first course or appetizer and pairs nicely with a wine wine like a Pinto Grigio.
NOTES: This is a favorite recipe for Thanksgiving and so portable to bring to someone’s house. So easy to make.
Now that you have your French onion soup recipe. Let’s use some of that for THIS recipe! I call it the French dip burger and it’s the perfect meal for watching a football game! For a large crowd watching the big game, check out my cheeseburger sliders recipe too!
The Drunken Chef (Russ)
French Dip Burger
Serves 3 to 4
Grill or Cast Iron Pan or frying pan
2 pounds of 80% lean ground beef
4 Brioche Bun’s (I found mine at COSCO)
2 Spanish Onions (sliced thin)
8 slices of provolone
4 tablespoon of butter
2 tables spoons of olive oil.
Ketchup to taste
Preheat your cast iron skillet or whatever frying pan you are using.
Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is sizzling, add you sliced Spanish onions. Cook until they just start turn brown.
In the meantime, while you onions are cooking, start forming the hamburger patties. I love using a hamburger press for this. You can find these on Amazon for under $15. Mine cost $9.99.
I lay a piece of plastic wrap inside the bottom half of the press. Add a large “meatball” and warp it LOOSELY in the plastic. I “Press” with the top piece of the Press to from a perfect hamburger. You looking to make your hamburgers all relatively the same size and weight so they cook evenly. After the burgers are made, it’s now easy to wrap them up tight and store the extras in the refrigerator or freezer because the plastic is already there!
Stir you onion and push them to the edge of your pan. With you pan on medium high heat. Butter your buns.
Then toast your buns like a slice of grilled cheese in the center of that pan.
Once you buns are all nice and toasty place one or two burgers into the center of your pan. Fry for about 5 minutes and flip. Stir you onions. Place 2 slices of provolone on top of the burgers and cook for 4 minutes.
Cover and cook one more minute or just until cheese is melted. Your burger should be medium rare depending on it’s thickness. Adjust your cooking time to desired doneness.
Move the cooked burgers from the pan to the bottom half of the bun, place onion on top. Serve open for guests to add condiments like salt, pepper or ketchup.
Sever with hot French Onion Soup in a 10 once ramekin or small Pyrex bowl to dip the burgers into.
The salt, pepper and Ketchup can be served on the side. (this burger does NOT require mustard, just sayin.)
French Onion Soup is a classic. When I was much younger, I frequented a restaurant that had a terrific French Onion Soup. I even remember going to this restaurant on a first date. I remember using the French Onion Soup almost as an excuse to ask her out.
“Do you like French Onion Soup?”
“Yes. I suppose.”
“Well, let me take you to this restaurant I know that makes an amazing French Onion Soup.”
“I don’t know. I don’t date guys I meet in bars.”
“I’m not asking you to marry me or anything. It just French Onion Soup.”
She agreed to go and try the soup and the rest they say is history. I married her 15 years later but that’s a story for another time.
I was talking originally about soup. A French Onion Soup that I just made recently…although I took a few short cuts…Shhhh. See the recipe below.
The Drunken Chef (Russ)
French Onion Soup
Serves 3 to 4
4 Spanish Onions (cut in half and sliced thin)
8 cups water (or no salt beef stock)
3 tbls. Olive oil
4 tbls. Butter
1 package of Lipton onion soup mix (no salt beef stock)
4 bouillon cubes (instead of salt)
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lee and Perrins)
½ tsp Soy Sauce (I use low Sodium)
½ tsp Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
4 slices of French bread
½ cup Gruyere cheese grated
½ cup Mozzarella
Over medium heat brown onions in olive oil and butter. Add water or beef stock. If you do not have beef stock on hand, add the onion soup mix. Add 4 bouillon cubes instead of salt. Add ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp soy sauce and about ½ to 1 tsp of gravy master for a deep rich color. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
Toast French bread slices under broiler.
Add bread to bowls as shown below. Add soup. Mix the two chcese together in a bowl then top off with ½ cup of mixed cheese. Place under broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
Serve hot with a red Bordeaux blend from Napa Valley.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the stems from the artichokes to leave a neat, flat base. Lay each artichoke on its side, and cut away the upper third with a sharp knife. With kitchen shears, remove the prickly leaf tips from each remaining leaf. Rub the cut sides and bottom with a lemon slice, squeezing lemon juice onto the cut areas and set aside.
Place the prepared artichokes, lemon slices, 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning and 2 bay leaves in the boiling water and simmer, partially covered, until the bottom is tender and can be pierced with a sharp knife and an outer leaf pulls out easily, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
To the onion pan and garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and stir in the 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Mix well and adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drain the artichokes upside down in a colander.
When the artichokes are cool enough to handle, press the leaves gently back so that the artichoke opens to reveal the inner choke and prickly leaves. Pull out the cone of undeveloped white leaves and gently scrape out the choke with a spoon so as not to damage the heart. Gently pull the leaves outward from the center until the leaves open slightly.
Fill the artichoke cavities with bread stuffing, and pack a little bit into the space between the leaves.
Place the artichokes in a baking dish and drizzle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Pour in water up to ½ inch high in the bottom of the dish and place in oven. Bake until the artichokes are golden brown and the breadcrumbs develop a nice crust, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with some grated Parmesan. Serve with additional lemon wedges.