Category Archives: Recipe

PAN SEARED STEAK

Happy Friday! Last night for dinner was pan seared steak.

These are two fresh, not frozen, New York Strip steaks. Each one is two inches thick. As you can see it barley fits in my largest pan with out over crowding.

I began by seasoning one side of the steak with salt from a McCormick salt grinder then some freshly ground black pepper. Next, I sprinkled on a good amount of onion power and then a good amount of garlic powder. I let sit as I heated up the pan with olive oil on medium low.

When the pan was good and hot maybe five minutes later or so the olive oil just began shimmer. I carefully placed the steaks in the pan seasoning side down and so they were not touching. I then proceeded to season the other side (now facing up) the same way. Salt first, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

As the steak would now be sizzling in the hot pan on medium low for ten minutes I opened a beer. Carefully watching but not touching or moving the meat. THIS is where and when that beautiful crust is made. I drank my beer and waited patiently.

I turned the meat over and as you can see above there is that wonderful brownness on the steak. My patience was rewarded. Now I let the other side cook the same way.

In the meantime I added tater tots to the air fryer and made a simple salad of Romaine lettuce and diced cucumber. Jennifer wanted a vegetable and this was going to be it.

After ten more minutes I needed a second beer and I also had to flip the steak again. This time I turned the heat to low. I pressed the center of the steak lightly with my finger and it gave way easily. This meant it was still rare. Jennifer hates raw meat so I set the timer for five more minutes and cooked the steak on low as I sipped my beer.

After five minutes of beer drinking I flipped the steak once again and gave the tater tots a shake in the air fryer so they didn’t all stick together. This would be the last turn or flip of the steak. I posted a picture of the meat cooking on INSTAGAM and answered a few text messages. Another five minutes were soon up and my second beer was half empty.

I have been cooking this steak now for what seemed like it was forever (it was 30 minutes so far) I poked at it again. Perfect push back meant the steak was now medium rare. It was time to let the steak rest on the cutting board before slicing it. As you saw at the very top of the page it was cooked nicely and stayed juicy having let it rest for just five minutes off the heat before slicing and serving.

I served it and the salad with blue cheese dressing. The air fried potato tots were separate and on the side (not shown).

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

This is a nice side dish and starch for a big potatoes and meat meal. I love potatoes. That must be that bit of Irish in me.

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds of Russet Potatoes

2 to 4 tablespoons Butter

2 table spoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Paprika

1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Onion powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into wedges. In a 9 X 13 metal baking pan, add potatoes. Pour oil over top. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix until potatoes are coated. Add butter.

Place in oven with meat during the last half hour of cooking time. In fifteen minutes, stir potatoes. Add more oil and butter if necessary. Remove potatoes when they begin to brown.  While meat is resting, finish browning potatoes under broiler if needed.

NOTES: This is one of those recipes I asked my Aunt Betty for when my mother and I used to visit her. She used to make these with a leg of Lamb and use some of the lamb drippings in the potatoes……yummy.

FISH and CHIPS

How to make fish taste yummy for the kid in all of us.

So this is the famous fish and chips I make OUTSIDE. To me, fresh fish is what Summer and Fall are all about. I make this outside mostly because my wife can’t stand the smell of all that fried food in the house. Plus, you’re not heating up the house on a warm summer night. To cook this outside, I use the side burner on the barbeque, but the oil takes a while to get to temperature. I also use a cast iron pot so the temperature of the oil does not drop too quickly. Sometimes the fish takes a bit longer to cook, but it’s all worth it in the end.

INGREDIENTS:

3 quarts to 1 gallon peanut oil or canola

1½ pounds 1-inch-thick cod fillet cut into about eight 3-ounce pieces  

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 

1¾ cups water

¾ cup cornstarch 

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground white pepper 

1 tsp salt 

2 tsp baking powder

2 yolks

1/2   a bottle of flat Guinness beer (6 ounces), cold

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, sugar, cornstarch, pepper, salt, and baking powder in large mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl beat egg yolks. Add water and beer to yokes and whisk. Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet whisking until smooth.

Heat half a pot of peanut oil to 375 degrees. Preferably using a cast iron pot or good electric deep fryer.

Thoroughly dry fish with paper towels. Using tongs, dip 1 piece fish in batter and let excess run off, shaking gently.

When oil reaches 375 degrees, increase heat to high and add battered fish to oil with tongs. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer fish to thick paper bag or paper towels to drain.

Serves 5

NOTES: Serve with tartar sauce and cocktail sauce and Fresh French Fries.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

TARTER SAUCE RECIPE

Here is the tarter sauce recipe for the fish and chips. This is also good with fried shrimp, fried flounder, or any fried fish. To me, this beats out ANY store bought jarred stuff hands down.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups mayo

3 tablespoon sweet relish

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

scant 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl put 1 1/2 cups mayo, 3 tablespoons sweet relish, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, a squeeze from a 1/4 wedge of lemon (careful of the seeds), and a dash of onion powder.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

GREEN GODDESS SALAD DRESSING

Ahhh yes, good morning. It’s been dreadfully dreary and raining the last few days here on Long Island. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling so tired, or maybe it’s that I am waking up at all hours of the night. I remember my mother complaining about such things, but never thought I would live long enough for this stuff to happen to me! Well, I’m awake and getting ready to go to work. BLAH. Thank the gods for coffee. Who invented this stuff anyhow? I should really look that up one of these days when I have nothing to do, which lately seems like it will be never. At least I have managed to keep cooking something every day.

Lunch yesterday was a salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and grilled chicken with Green Goddess Salad Dressing . I don’t know if I even took a picture of it, but the recipe is surprisingly simple. That is provided you have a blender, otherwise I imagine it would be very difficult. I should start to put together a small appliance list, huh? Okay, maybe tomorrow’s post could be that. Let get today’s recipe —

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Electric Blender

Wooden spoon

Chef’s Knife

Cutting Board

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of watercress (stems removed)

1 cup flat leaf parsley (stems removed)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing (Vignette)

1 tablespoon Tarragon

3 tablespoons chives

1 clove garlic chopped

3 small or 2 large anchovy filets packed in oil

Fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 3 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon of cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Wash and destem the parsley and the watercress then add to the blender. Remove the tarragon from its stems and place it on the watercress. Next, layer on the chives. Add the chopped garlic and the three anchovies. Add the mayo on top. Now, pour over all your liquids, like the lemon juice, canola oil, and salad dressing.

Cover the blender with its top and PULSE the blend until it starts to chop up the greens. You may need to stop and stir the dressing using a long wooden spoon. Make sure the blades have stopped before adding the spoon to stir. Continue pulsing and stirring until it begins to blend smoothly. Continue to blend on low for one to two minutes. Pour into a condiment bottle and serve. Makes about a cup and a half of salad dressing.

This is one of Sam’s favorite salad dressings. I think it’s perfect for the spring and summer when all these fresh herbs are in the local farm stands abundance! Does it make a good dip for carrots sticks and celery?

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and may everyone be kind to you.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

LINK to INSTAGRAM

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2021

CHARCOAL GRILLED STEAKS

This past weekend, I grilled up some New York Strip Steaks. I could eat this every weekend if I had my choice, but these days beef is expensive. Plus, this is time consuming when compared to just throwing them on the gas grill. I just love the taste the charcoal lends to the steak. This is one of those meals I love making for friends and will have to do it again SOON!

I start my charcoal using this type of charcoal chimney starter with no lighter fluid. to get it stated I use rolled up newspaper with a little olive oil on it.

Enjoy your barbeques and enjoy your friends!

The Drunken Chef

GOOD MORNING THURSDAY

The alarm went off too early this morning. No, seriously. It went off half hour earlier then normal. I thought I fixed that from a power outage we had days ago. Anyhow, I’m up and its dark out. That’s saying something in August when sunrise is at 6:00am. At least the coffee is on.

Is New York the only place we refer to a BIG sandwich as a hero? I think in Chicago they are called hoagies. There are “subs”, hence that fast food place “Subway”, and Grinders farther up in the North East. Here, where I live, the BIG three foot sandwich is popular during Super Bowl Sunday and parties for teenagers and college students! Here it’s called a three foot, four foot, or six foot hero.

So, here is the American Hero Recipe:

1 loaf of Italian bread, hoagie, or hero

1 pound of sliced roast beef (depending on bread size)

1 pound of sliced turkey breast (depending on bread size)

1 pound of ham (depending on bread size)

1/2 pound American cheese

Lettuce

Tomato

DIRECTIONS

Slice the bread lengthwise in half. Begin on the bottom half by layering on the roast beef. Then add the turkey and last the ham. Add a layer of American Cheese. Now, cover that with shredded lettuce. This is lettuce that is cut into thin strips. Most delis use their meat slicer to cut the lettuce and tomatoes. Cover the lettuce with the tomato. Place the top on and slice into 2 1/2 inch slices, unless you are making a single smaller sandwich as I did. Then, just cut it in half.

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 mine. I use Italian dressing on my Italian hero, but that is a recipe for another day. You can see one of the Italian big sandwiches I made for Jennifer and her class below.

Until next time. Be well, be happy, and have a great day!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

WELCOME TO AUGUST and CHEESEBURGER Sliders

August is not my favorite month, but is still summer so it has that going for it. What I don’t like about August is it is the last month of my favorite season, summer. However, since we’re at this point in the season, we should make the best of it with lots of BBQ’s, although Jennifer is in pain and not up for much company. I even have to cancel a much anticipated get-together for this weekend. I don’t feel well this morning myself. I think it’s just too much stress. I hope it gets better soon.

Cooking. Let’s see, I am still behind on my recipes. I still owe you a cheese burger slider recipe. Pfft. Its just a hamburger. We have made them before. Only I made them smaller because their was so much other stuff to eat and not enough people to eat it.

I started with 80% lean ground beef. I like this grind for this hamburger as it needs the extra fat to keep it juicy. I made little meatballs and pressed them flat. Then shaped them into squares. Why? They needed to be square because the buns, which were Kings Hawaiian Rolls, were square.

Next, I seasoned them with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper.

Surely by now you are are asking yourself, “how many damn photos of food can one man have?” The answer is simple: it’s a lot. I have been writing a cookbook now for twenty something years and I’m still not done. I can now sympathize with Tolstoy on writing a never ending book. At least he finished his. I don’t think I will be so lucky.

Now, it’s time to get those burgers on the grill.

Yes, I added cheese and closed the lid so it got all nice and melty. Then I added pickle slices and ketchup. They are thicker then they look so they are still juicy with just a hint of pink. No one wanted rare a hamburger this day. Except maybe my mother in-law….

So, let’s see what’s next? Oh YES! Next time is Grilled Buffalo Wings.

Until then, be well, be happy, and be safe.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

DOUGH

INGREDENTS

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks of butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 and 3/4 chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla. Then add the eggs. Next, add all the dry ingredients and mix in the chocolate chips.

I cut the cookies with a heart shape cookie cutter while warm and let the cookies cool. Once the cookies are cool, allow vanilla ice cream to soften slightly. Scoop ice cream onto one cookie, then top with another. Press gently together. Return ice cream sandwiches to freezer for one hour before serving.

BBQ PORK SPARE RIBS (GRILLED)

INGREDIENTS:

2 full racks of Pork Spare Ribs

2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray Bar-B-Q sauce

1 ½ tablespoon Paprika

1 ½ tablespoon Salt

1 tablespoon Onion powder

1 tablespoon Garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

Heat Barbecue on high for 15 minutes

Prepare the ribs by removing the silver skin on the rib side.  This is not easy, but there is a trick. I will try and make a video soon for you.

Season spare ribs on both sides with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and salt (dry rub).

Cook ribs until brown on both sides BUT NOT DONE!      

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Place the under-cooked ribs in baking dish and then put in the oven uncovered.

Cook 2 hours. Making sure the heat stays low….you may even turn it down as low as 225 degrees. It just takes longer, but they are well worth the wait.

After two hours, check for doneness. The meat should separate from the bone fairly easily. Drain most of the fat from the dish, but not down the sink drain; it will clog it. Cover ribs with Bar-B-Que sauce in the same pan, mixing in some of the fat and coating the ribs well. Then, return to oven for 20 minutes or heat on barbeque for BEST results.

NOTES: This recipe is the result of years of practice, but in the end it produces a consistently good batch of ribs and can be done in a large enough batch for a party.