Tag Archives: cooking

Grilled Skirt Steak

Grilled Skirt Steak

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Barbeque

INGREDIENTS

Skirt Steak

Marinade I (Teriyaki) or Marinade II (Rose & Bills)

DIRECTIONS

If your butcher has already pealed and cleaned the skirt steak for you then all you have to do is add it to the marinade of your choice. Let it marinate overnight. Turn the meat over every four hours except while sleeping. If they have not taken the time to remove the fat and silver skin off the meat, you will have to do it yourself. The silver skin will make it extremely chewy and unpleasant to eat.

After the meat has marinated. Preheat the grill. Add skirt steak onto the hot grill and cook on high with the lid open and grill for one minute. Turn down the grill to medium. Cook 1 more minute. Turn steaks 90 degrees. Cook one minute. Flip. Turn heat to high. Cook one minute. Turn down grill again. Turn meat 90 degrees. Turn grill to low and cook two more minutes or until your beer or meat is done. Thin skirt steak will be well done. Fatter pieces will be medium and pink. Let the steaks rest only long enough to serve with grilled potatoes and beer.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and enjoy Septemeberfest!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

The Friendship Bread Adventure

For all incentive purposes, it is essentially fall. In the fall people bake. So get your loaf pans ready. I am not a big baker, but I do bake.  I am a better chef then I am baker. To me, being a chef is the easier of the two. I have a lot of respect for other chefs and even more respect for bakers.

All this leads me to my story about friendship bread. For those of you who have never had it, it is addicting, not only to make, but also to eat! I received my first zip lock bag with friendship bread starter about twenty years ago. I have always talked about cooking with my fellow coworkers so it was only natural that one of them would ask if I was interested in baking a loaf of this stuff that I had never heard of. They may not have even asked me. They may have just thrust it upon me like a quest to find the Holy Grail or a Golden Fleece.

I accepted the challenge with the vigor of a young man (back then) and followed the directions as they were passed along to me. Then I proceeded to pass a bit of this goo called “starter” and the recipe to the next few unsuspecting coworkers while eating four loves of this stuff I made myself. It was indeed and amazing experience. However I did NOT save any starter when I when done and without the starter I could not make any more of these scrum-dilly-umtious loaves. It took several years before I saw this recipe come around again. By now, I had very much missed the cake like substance I had once had in the fall while drinking my coffee. This time I received the starter goo in a different building and I was a little older and a little wiser, but the recipe looked and tasted exactly the same. It was like the miracle of the friendship bread calling too me.

I learned my lesson from the first time of giving away all of the starter. I gave out the recipe and starters but always made sure to keep one batch of starter and copy of the recipe for myself. I kept making theses loaves of deliciousness every ten days and passing on the recipe to many, many, many more unsuspecting people as would take the stuff and make it. This included not only my sister, but all her coworkers as well! As I heard a group of people talking about this cake in the coffee room I thought; what have I done?! It was like and bad science fiction movie now that kept growing (like The Blob staring Steve Macqueen). Months of baking went by and just after Christmas Day I could eat no more Friendship Bread or I would spontaneously combust. Covering the walls in cinnamon. That or I would have to start buying stretchy pants. Mind you all this baking started BEFORE Thanksgiving. I finally decided to freeze my starter in the hope that in the fall it would still be good. Somehow I doubted freezing this starter would work.

In the New Year, I researched a few different recipes on Friendship Bread starter and found one that seemed like is would work best. I tested it out and gave more starters away for opinions the very next fall. My original frozen starter never came back to life, but the new recipe for a Friendship Bread starter (below) worked! It even freezes okay according to one of my coworkers.

It has been at least two years now since my last endeavor into this Friendship Bread baking frenzy, so now is a good time as any to start it again. It takes time for the started to get to be a good enough quality, taste wise, for me to giveaway so I discard my first extra batches myself and give away the stuff starting with the second batch. You guys can always let me know what you do in the comments section below.

Today, I am staring my first batch of “starter” to ultimately make two loves of Friendship Bread. I dare you to follow along with me these next few upcoming weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to see if it is a disaster or a delicious hit this year. I double dare you to join me in making said “starter” listed below and getting even more people involved in this wonderful tradition in your neck of the woods!

I am attaching the “starter” recipe below. Then in the next 10 days, I will provide you with the actual recipe to make the loaves of Friendship Bread itself. They call it friendship “bread” but it is really a cake. A yummy, cinnamony cake that is like heaven with coffee. Trust me! When it comes to coffee I do not #&%$ around. This is good shit. So lets go bake!   

The Drunken (blabbering) Chef (Russ)

You can follow me and this whole process on INSTAGRAM here:

Friendship Bread “Starter” Recipe

        Makes 4 to 5 starters

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Plastic spoons

Glass Bowls

One box heavy duty Gallon Zip Lock type Bags

INGREDIENTS

1 package of active dry yeast

¼ cup of warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)

3 cups all-purpose flour (divided)

3 cups whole milk (divided and at room temperature)

3 cups granulated sugar (divided)

DIRECTIONS

(Do Not Use Any Metal mixing spoons, measuring spoon or bowls)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the water. It is very important the water be the correct temperature. Use an instant read thermometer for this (see Gadgets article). Hot water will kill your yeast and cold water will take forever to bubble. Yeast is a live organism that omits carbon dioxide and that is why it bubbles. Let the yeast stand in the water for 10 minutes. In a large 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic bowl, combined 1 cup AP flour, 1-cup sugar and mix well or it will all clump up when the water is added. Slowly stir in 1-cup milk and then the yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.

Consider this day 1 of a 10-day cycle. Leave loosely covered in a warm place in your kitchen until day 2. Just not on top of the radiator or stove! That’s a bit too warm.

On day 2, stir and transfer starter into a zip lock bag. On days 3, 4 and 5 squeeze the zip top bag several times or stir with a plastic or wooden spoon. Let some carbon dioxide escape from the bag when necessary. I have had one burst open because I forgot to let the air out and it was all over my counter and very messy.

Day 6; stir in 1-cup of AP flour, 1-cup granulated sugar and 1-cup of room temperature milk.

Days 7 thru 9; stir or squeeze the bag.

Day 10; stir in 1-cup AP four, 1-cup sugar, and 1-cup milk. Stir well. Remove 1-cup of batter to 4 to 5 zip lock bags.

NOW it’s DAY 1 again. You can give one cup (zip lock bag) to each of your friends along with a copy of the recipe found here: “Amish Friendship Bread”.

Begin the process all over again. I think by the second or third batch is when the batter is the tasting its best.  

NOTES: Serve with coffee and add chopped walnuts or cholate chips for an extra twist.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Hummus in the House

Last night I made some home made humus. Just because I needed a snack and just because I could. I had all the ingredients including the once hard to find Tahini.

Home Made Hummus

        Serves 4

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Food Processor

Chef’s Knife

Cutting Board

INGREDIENTS

1 can chick peas

¼ cup Tahini

4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 4 tablespoons water

1-tablespoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic peeled and chopped

1-teaspoon ground cumin

¼ tsp Onion powder

¼ tsp salt

Paprika

DIRECTIONS

Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Add into you food processor. I have a small one that holds exactly one can of chickpeas. Larger food processors may require you to double this recipe.  Add the clove of chopped garlic, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of water 1-tablespoon lemon juice,1-teaspoon ground cumin, pinch of onion powder, pinch of salt. Blend well on high. Slowly add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil while blending. Add 2 more tablespoons of water if the humus is not smooth enough.

Move to a glass bowl. Top with parsley, a sprinkle of paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

NOTES: Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks and pita bread.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Steak and Lobster Tails or Surf and Turf)

This has been a long and delightful weekend, for the most part. The down side is Jennifer is still in pain. We did have company come over on Saturday night.  I proceeded to make a repeat of the Valentines dinner I made back in February. At Jenifer’s suggestion, we purchased lobster tails to go with the steak I was already planning on preparing. After I cooked the tails, I was disappointed in their size at $30.00 a pound. They were tiny after they were cooked. Maybe two bites. Next time I will go somewhere other than Costco to buy them. In February, they was much bigger and a better deal. Live and learn.

The main meal was of course the steak. They were sirloin steaks and 2 inches thick. Because my mother in-law does not like seasoning on her steak I purchased her a separate small porterhouse steak. It was about an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half thick. The vegetable I served was creamed spinach. I cheated as it was not from scratch but frozen. The starch was small red and white potatoes. The plan was to microwave them for a bit and then throw them on the grill to finish cooking them and brown them a bit.

I started by washing and precooking the potatoes in the microwave. To accomplish this I placed the potatoes in a microwave safe glass bowl with a ½ inch of water at the bottom. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap so they wound steam and cut a ½ inch slit into the plastic so some of steam could escape. I microwaved them for about ten minutes, just until they got soft. I checked on them every 5 minutes to see how done they were. I then let them sit coved in the bowl while I barbequed the steaks. The potatoes would continue to soften in the still covered bowl.

I seasoned the sirloin steaks with onion powder, garlic powder, coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper. Then placed them on a hot grill. My mother in-laws likes her steak rare, so hers waited in the wings as it would cook faster then the ticker sirloin. I wanted ours to be medium rare and was a bit thicker so I started with the sirloin first. When it was ¾ of the way done I put on my mother in-laws. Mmmm yumm meat on the barbeque. I was so ready to eat. I ran into the house to get the potatoes. When I returned to the steaks the barbeque gas tank would run out of gas just as I opened the lid. No worries I thought. I have one more filled tank handy. I attached the second tank of gas and turned on the knob. Immediately I heard gas seeping out around the connector. I checked the connection and tried again. This time many curse words flew from my mouth. Thinking quickly I ran the potatoes back into the house and threw a cast-iron pan onto the stove and heated up. Lucky for me the sirloin steaks was almost done. I left them in the grill to keep warm and rest and threw my mother in-laws half-cooked steak into the now hot frying pan.

I switched gears now back to the potatoes. I put them back into the microwave but first added butter and seasoning before recovering them up. I microwave them only five more minutes so they were now done. Next, I began heating up the creamed spinach. I retrieved the sirloin from the grill and it was ready to slice having rested nicely in the less then warm grill. I plated my mother in-laws rare steak right from the pan to her plate. By the time the steaks all hit the table the spinach was ready and I served it right alongside the potatoes. The sirloin steak was served sliced and perfectly medium rare.

Scott of course bought two bottles of wine with them. The first bottle of wine was a white wine and he served that as I bought out the steamed lobster tails to the table. The white wine was a Chardonnay and was fabulous. I had made some drawn butter that I put in small bowls to go with the lobster tails. It was an excessive amount of butter for these tiny tails. The lobster was good tasting despite their small size and the wine was perfect. I guess size isn’t everything.

I called my mother in-law over to join us at the table when the steaks were served (she does not eat lobster). We all kept the extra butter from the tails in front of us and used it for the steak. That is when Scott opened the second bottle of wine. It was a red wine from Brian Arden, a Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley. I really need to go to California with them next year. It sounds like they have so much fun touring the wineries. The wine went perfectly with the steak. Even the potatoes turned out to be good but I was disappointed I could not grill them. They just look more appetizing with the little grill marks on them and it gives them a bigger depth of flavor. No matter, I will have to do it again. WHY? Because the lobber tails were not big enough sheeeesh….

I made a simple salad and had some terrific fresh tomatoes. There is nothing like a good steak and tomatoes. Except steak, tomatoes and red wine. The salad was just a bonus for the blue cheese dressing.

For dessert, we had cream filled lobster tails from one of my favorite local bakeries. There were leftover potatoes….hence why I had to do brunch…and make the home fries the next morning!

May the rest of your grilling season be a good one!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

HASH BROWNS vs HOME FRIES

Welcome back to school dear readers. I have been more than extremely busy with all kinds of back to school activities at my real job plus losing my two editors Sam (whom I helped move back to Boston for college) and Juliana (also a second year college student).

Alas, I am left here to fend for myself in trying to correct my own spelling errors. Forget about me trying to correct my own grammar. That. Is. Just. Not. Happening. Have I mentioned my dislike for the English language? I’m sure as many of you are writers you are offended by this statement but I ask you, who the hell invents a language where one word sounds the same and then is spelled so many different ways as to change its meaning? Except the Eskimo’s of course who have over 200 ways to say the word “SNOW”. That makes sense! Sorry, tangent, reeling it back in.

Here I am reminiscing about the breakfast I made on Sunday. Yes I have been cooking. Sunday was Brunch Day at my house. This came about because Saturday was steak and lobster tails (Valentine’s day dinner repeated). We I made too many potatoes (seen here) for dinner so I said I guess I will just have to make home fries for breakfast. Then Jennifer said why don’t you all come over for breakfast? Soooo by the time I was done cooking breakfast turn into a small brunch. I know this is a long way to get here but here it is. So what the difference between hash browns and home fries?

Home fries are chucks of potatoes that are then fried. Whereas, hash browns are a grated potatoes that are fried. Home fires take much longer to prepare for because you need to cook the potatoes and let them cool FIRST before cutting them up and frying them. You could start with raw potatoes but it takes way too long to cook and then the morning is over and you’re starving and they are not as good as they are in the diner.

The diner is where I had my first home fries. I think. It could have been a coffee shop. The coffee shop is the place I remember the best. It was right next to a grocery store I used to work in. You could sit at the counter and watch the owner cook your meal. He was open for breakfast and lunch. It was there I learned the secret of cooking the potatoes first to make the hash browns.

This brings me to the potatoes I made from the night before. That is what Is use to make my last batch of hash browns. I have even used the ones I make on Saint Patrick’s Day or the baked potatoes from the night before on camping trips to make hash browns. I had a Cub Scout father that would wake up even earlier then me to start cooking breakfast. He is a great hash brown maker!

Hash browns are good too and you don’t have to plan ahead to make them. Just peel and grate some potatoes and your off and running. Mix in some flour and eggs and you have Latkes…Whoa. I had better slow down. The Irish in me is beginning to show with all this talk about potatoes. I do love hash browns served with eggs and bacon.

Home Fries

        Serves 8

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Pan

Chef’s Knife

Cutting Board

INGREDIENTS

3 – 4 Potatoes

2 to 4 TBL Vegetable oil

Paprika, onion powder salt and pepper

Onion (diced)

Red or green peeper (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Boil/cook potatoes the night before and store in the refrigerator.

The next morning peel and cut up the potatoes into large bite size pieces. Season the potatoes with paprika, salt and pepper

Heat a pan and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil to the pan. When hot add the potatoes. Cook on high until they just start to get brown. Add any diced onion or bell peppers now, if you like. Continue to cook until the outside of the potatoes just get a bit crispy but don’t burn them.

NOTES: Serve with eggs any style and maybe bacon. If you did make bacon. Save the bacon grease and cook the potatoes in that!

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery shopping in the 21st century has not evolved into anything less time consuming since the Supermarket was first invented by Michael J. Cullen in 1930 in Jamaica Queens, New York. I started working for King Kullen supermarkets as a teenager and continued through my twenties. I watched as these family-owned stores grew in the eighties into mega-markets. This is the same time when big hair, big clothes, and big cars were the all the rage, as was the way the supermarkets were going. They now were turning into these huge mega-stores that included bakeries, seafood departments, floral shops along with the usual deli and meat departments all under one roof.

It’s true what they say: “bigger isn’t always better”. Parachute pants AKA “Hammer pants” are a fine example of this. King Kullen did add a bakery department inside their stores in the nineteen-eighties but it could not replace the wonderful Italian Bakery around the corner from my childhood home. The bakery was called Everbest bakery. If I remember their slogan correctly, it was “everything tastes better with butter” or was it “everything is baked with butter” or something like that. All I know is it was good and there were all kinds of the best tasting baked goods. These bakeries, even here in New York, are hard to find now but I seek them out for their excellent selection of fresh baked goods.

Supermarket bakeries are okay. However, they are not outstanding. After a short time, everything starts to tastes the same. The bread and rolls are not the same quality as the old-fashioned hard roll I ate when I was a child. The Italian bread in a supermarket bakery tastes exactly the same as its rolls. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase these items for what they are and I have a use for them but to me there is nothing that can compare to walking into a family-owned bakery and taking a deep breath. Buying top quality food was always a top priority for my mother. Places like A & G bakery in Deer Park or Dolci Momenti Bakery in Patchogue reminds me of a simpler time when you weren’t overwhelmed by the enormity of a huge building but instead you can focus on your senses and that fine aroma of cinnamon buns fresh from the oven. To me it is one of those aromas of childhood. Like the smell of pine on Christmas morning coming from the tree. Now, due to allergies and other various reasons I own an artificial Christmas tree and burn a pine scented candle for effect. It’s just not the same. Once again I digress.

The Supermarket has always had its meat department. Now here in the 21st century the family-owned meat markets/butcher are all gone too. My mother shopped at a place called Spot Light. I went with her occasionally when school was out. The cashier was the butcher’s wife and she would give me a penny from the register to get a gumball. Holy shit! Who does THAT anymore? Can you imagine the cashier at Kroger’s giving some kid a buck for a pack of gum out of her cash register? For one, the mother would have a cow and scream: “Don’t give my kid that sugary treat you bitch”! Then it would be a whole big thing…I digress yet again. Today, I still go to a butcher. This new place I found has that old time wonderful smell I remember as a child. It’s just missing the saw dust on the floor. This butcher shop is mainly a restaurant supply wholesaler, but they allow local customers to come in a buy there meat. The place is called Mathews and it even has my favorite number 10 size can (32 ounces) of Italian plum tomatoes for Spaghetti Sauce.  This shop does have some great beef and chicken, but it has a lot more. Frozen seafood and some Greek gyro meat. Not to mention fresh eggs and other restaurant quality items.  Best of all is friendly service. They treat everyone just like you are one of the family!

It is still important today to purchase only good quality food items for your family and yourself. Shopping is an art or it can be. Some people are good at buying clothes and dressing nice. I tend to spend my energy on buying more groceries and eating well then looking like I do. Just like clothes, name brand stuff is usually better than the store brand but not always. Somethings like cheese are unique to the brand. An example of this is mozzarella cheese. I have tried many brands over the years but I prefer getting Polly-O brand when it’s on sale. I even freeze what I don’t use right away because it is what like to use on my chicken parmesan and baked ravioli so it is always good for me to have extra on hand.

Produce too has always been in the supermarket. At least as long as I can remember. Some supermarkets have better produce then others, but no one can beat the local farm stand for freshness and taste, and you are also supporting your local economy by buying fresh from the farm. Besides that, I have read that eating local produce is healthier for you in terms of cutting down your allergies. As you eat more local produce and honey, the local pollen is absorbed by your body and this helps you to withstand those heavy pollen days when the local flowers and trees are in bloom. This is not a bad thing. This of course is not truly a medical definition but you get the point I hope. Local produce is good for you.

I do enjoy being able to buy vegetables out-of-season in supermarkets. I rarely buy fruit this way, as it is usually is tasteless, although once in a while it is nice to have grapes with cheese in the middle of winter. Buying produce locally while it is in season can’t be beat. To this day I still cannot buy a single peach from any place other than the farm stands on the east end of Long Island or I find them mealy and dry. While I’m all the way out there I might as well get a bottle of wine or maybe a case. This whole fresh fruit thing is why I make apple pies in the fall when the fresh apples are in abundance. Peach pie is perfect at the end of summer and blueberry pie is baked in spring…etc etc.

Another thing supermarkets sell is cold cuts from their deli counter. Most of the time these are mass produced pieces of cured meat and were terrible coming from supermarkets. Even back in the eighties, much to my surprise was the fact that my favorite cold cut company, BoarsHead, is not found on sale everywhere across the country. I distinctly remember my mother having to go to yet another store just to by the cold cuts in the Boarshead brand we all enjoyed. Even when my Aunt Betty and Uncle Harry moved to Florida in the seventies they ask us to bring down cold cuts and bread with us whenever we visited. We never had the money to visit Florida from New York often but when we could, my mother always packed as much stuff as far as bread and cold cuts as we could carry on the plane. At the time no supermarkets carried the Boarshead Brand and not every deli has this brand or sold it in sufficient quantity to keep it fresh so you had to pick and choose where you went to get it. The second item at these local deli’s were there “homemade” salads. Particularly the potato salad, cold slaw, and macaroni salad.  I am always looking for ways to improve my own recipe for these salads to match the taste and flavor of the ones I grew up on in my local deli. If memory serves me and it usually does when it comes to food. These salads were always found to be the best in large German-owned delicatessens two or three towns away from where we lived. Yes, I too went there to buy cold cuts as soon as I was old enough to drive. Even our pickles came from a specialty store because we were just so dam fussy. That place is no longer in business and we all miss that Sterns family store terribly.  Now I know where I get it from! Uggg! I’m crazy!

Fish to me is also a summer season food. I don’t know why, but I guess it stems from when I went fishing here on Long Island or out to dinner by the water. We used to have the best calms and scallops around until we polluted the water in the Great South Bay. Now I have to get stuff from as far away as Maine or Alaska. I don’t even fish much anymore but I used to love it. My taste and pallet for fish has increased too, especially with the addition of Sushi. Sushi is one of those things I don’t make myself and leave that to the experts. I do really try and make more fish, but no one will eat it. Partially during the spring I like eating fish grilled. The fall however is a good time to try and fry it. So I think I need to make more Fish and Chips or fried flounder or even fried shrimp. I buy this all at a local fish store in Amityville. Something about a fish store being right down by the water makes them seem more authentic and fresh even though everything arrives by truck these days.

I think since I started writing this article I have lost track, I cant remember the total number of stores my mother used to travel to, to buy our weekly groceries. Even our beverages were not purchased at the local supermarket, which was call Food Fair back then. For that stuff she travelled to a place called the Beverage Barn two towns away in an opposite direction from anything else just because it has the best prices on beer and soda. They even helped load up her car because she was in her late fifties early sixties buying multiple heavy cases of bottled beer.

I am looking forward now to the fall months if only for its abundance of apples and Oktoberfest Beer of course. So go shop. Eat as local as much as you can and buy those name brand things you love when they are on sale. Don’t limit yourself to only shopping at the super-mega market, rather take some extra time to patronize your local shops, you’ll be happy you did!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

STUFFED Baked Potatoes (ala Barbecue)

Happy Thursday. Yesterday, I had hot dogs with my famous spicy onions. That’s a recipe that already here (just click the link above) but here is a new one.

This recipe can be done on the barbeque or in the oven. So it is versatile and yumerific!

Stuffed Baked Potato Recipe

        Serves 8

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Microwave

Barbeque or Oven

Cutting Board

Vegetable brush

INGREDIENTS

8 extra-large Russet Potatoes

2 pounds Bacon

1 large head of broccoli

16 ounces sour cream

8 ounces butter

Fresh chives

Olive Oil

Coarse Salt

Cheese sauce (click here for recipe)

DIRECTIONS

I selected my russet potatoes at the local farm stand from the loose pile sold by the pound.  Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush under cold water. Coat the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle on coarse ground salt (McCormick salt grinder). Pierce the potatoes in several places with a fork. I think this step helps to prevent the potatoes from “popping open” while they are cooking in the microwave. Place oil covered and forked potatoes in a microwave safe bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Poke a hole or two in the plastic to let some steam to escape. Microwave these suckers for five to fifteen minutes on high or until the potatoes just begins to give to the touch a little. Check the potatoes after each five-minute interval of cooking for doneness. My six pounds of potatoes took the full fifteen minutes.  Be careful both the bowl and the potatoes are hot! Remove from the microwave using oven mitts. CAREFULLY remove plastic wrap. This whole microwave step speeds up the cooking time of the potatoes so they cook faster. After the microwave, you can transfer the potatoes to a four hundred degree oven for thirty minutes or very hot barbeque. Be careful not to burn the potatoes on the grill. I turned the burners off that were directly under my potatoes and finished cooking them just as if they were being “baked” in an oven.

While the potatoes are “baking” it time to steam the broccoli. Wash the broccoli under cold water. Cut the stems away from the head of broccoli. Cut the head of the broccoli into bit size pieces. Place the broccoli florets into a microwave safe bowl. Add a ¼-cup of water to the bowl. Cover with a paper plate to keep steam in bowl or plastic wrap and cut slits in plastic to let some steam escape. When the potatoes are cooked, (thirty minutes have passed) begin cooking broccoli in the microwave high for six minutes.

Remove broccoli from the microwave using oven mitts. Carefully remove the plastic or take off the paper plate.

Carefully slice open each potato and place on a plate. Add one half tablespoon of butter to each half. Add the steaming hot broccoli then cover with shredded cheddar cheese. Add bacon, sour cream and chives to finish it.

Cheese sauce option: For true over indulgence, make a fancy ass cheese sauce, like the one shown on the potatoes above. Instead of grated cheese, cover the whole potato with cheese sauce at the end. Mmm. Yummy.

Serve this with your favorite wheat beer like Weihenstephan or a Blue Moon.

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

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

CHICKEN CUTLET PARMESAN

This week, I made chicken cutlet parmesan with pasta. This was Sam’s original request. I was working on the chicken parmesan, but then Jennifer came home and asked: “If you’re making us chicken cutlet parmesan, can your make extra for chicken parmesan heroes for my class?” “Sure,” I said. “Can you make a Meatball Parmesan hero too?” “Sure,” I said. “Can you make a salad?” “Sure,” I said. Then it was off to the market last night to buy everything but the bread for today. Good thing I’m on vacation huh.

I made us the chicken cutlet parmesan last night. I also made all the extra Chicken Cutlets last night. I posted the recipe for Chicken cutlets about a week ago. Funny how that worked out as you start with chicken cutlets. Here is the recipe for Chicken Parmesan:

COOKING UTENSILS

Shallow medium size bowl or soup bowl

Large Baking dish

Fork

Plate

Paring knife

tenderizer/mallet

large frying pan

spoon

INGREDIENTS:

4 – 6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts

2 cups Ma’s Spaghetti Sauce

16 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

½ cup flavored breadcrumbs

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°. Slice mozzarella cheese in ¼ thick slices using a paring knife or cheese cutter. Add sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish and place near stove. Slice thick chicken breasts in half.  Pound all chicken using meat tenderizer/mallet to ½ inch thick. Beat eggs in medium size bowl.  Heat large frying pan and oil over medium high heat. Dip one chicken beast at a time into egg mixture. Then, coat with breadcrumbs by pouring ½ a cup of breadcrumbs into a clean dish.  Place chicken onto on top of breadcrumbs and press firmly using fork. Flip chicken over and press chicken into breadcrumbs. Lightly shake off excess breadcrumbs. Place chicken breast in frying pan and cook until breadcrumbs brown on both sides. Remove chicken breast to baking dish with sauce and sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese. Cover chicken with sliced mozzarella cheese (Grated mozzarella can also be used), and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread, and/or Italian green beans.

See, this recipe is easy-peezy after making the cutlets! Chicken Parmesan is the recipe I made for Jennifer the night I proposed on our front porch. It is also her favorite. I think it Sam’s favorite too!

Here is how I made the party heroes:

Chicken Cutlet Parmesan (party sandwich)

Meatball Hero Parmesan (party sandwich)

Salad: Party Tray

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

Hot Dog Onions (spicy)

This is the first recipe leading up to Memorial Day Weekend here in the United States. Print it out and save it. I’m picturing a nice sized three ring binder full of recipes for the year by the time we are finished with this project next May here at the Magic of a Perfect Paring!

INGREDIENTS :

¼ cup Ketchup

2 Onions

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

2 tsp. crushed red pepper

While hot dogs are cooking, make the onions:

Add oil to a medium sized non-stick frying pan and place on medium heat. Cut onions into large bite size pieces and add to pan.  Cook onions until translucent. Add ketchup and crushed red pepper and heat through. Serve on top of hot dogs or hamburgers.

NOTES

Serve Hot Dogs with spicy onions, chili, cheese, sauerkraut, relish, mustard, and ketchup.

Rubin Dawg = 1000 island dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese melted on top.

Now Add Ketchup and a little Spicy Brown Mustard if you want.