Tag Archives: Recipe

Baby Zucchini  

12 minutes  

Serves 2

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Medium Pan

INGREDIENTS

1-package of baby zucchini

1-tablespoon of olive oil

1-tablespoon butter

Garlic or garlic powder

Onion powder

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil and butter in a medium size pan. Add the zucchini. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder or use fresh if available. Cook on medium low to low heat. Turn a ¼ turn every few minutes (3). After 12 minutes test with a fork. They should just be tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Brown Basmati Rice   

 

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Small pot with lid

INGREDIENTS

2-cups chicken broth (I use Better then Bullion when I don’t have homemade)

1-cup brown basmati rice

2-tablespoons of butter

DIRECTIONS

Start by bring the chicken stick to a boil. Add the rice. Stir and cover. When the rice has returned to a boil, stir again and turn to low. Let rice simmer covered for 35 minutes. I check on it half way through and stir it to make sure all the chicken stock has not boiled away. I have not had to add more yet but I still do it. I turn off the heat the last five minutes and leave it covered to finish cooking without burning the bottom layer of rice. When done I stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter and serve.

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

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Chicken Gravy

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Large Frying Pan

INGREDIENTS

1-cup chicken broth (I use Better then Bullion when I don’t have homemade)

1-tablespoon flour

1-tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS

I usually start by added the butter to a pan I have already cooked the chicken in. Then I add the four. I find by cooking the flour in the butter you do not get a flour taste in your gravy. The flour cooked in butter is called a rue. It’s French.  Most sauces are French.  Now you slowly add your liquid (chicken stock) while whisking it into the butter and flour (rue). As soon as the gravy or “sauce” come to a simmer, the sauce is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Most of time when using any store brought chicken stock you don’t need to add any salt. Its already in there.

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

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Day 3 – The Friendship Bread Adventure

It is day thee of the friendship bread adventure. The Starter is doing well eating the sugar and flour and making carbon dioxide in the process. It just bubbling away. I transferred it to a zip lock bag and there is nothing to do but squeeze the bag now for a few more days. By the way, my wife thinks I’m nuts for starting this now.

Breakfast yesterday was easy. I toasted a bagel I got at 6am from the bagel place down the road. There are three bagel shops in this town but only one makes a decent New York City bagel. I had butter on mine and spread peanut butter on Jennifer’s. Lunch was nothing to speak of as I just picked up two roast beef sandwiches at the deli by work. I gave one to Jennifer and kept one for myself. I had plain potato chips, a Snapple iced tea and no pickle.

Dinner went well. It was the same meal as the night before, marinated skirt steak with all the trimmings. It was really good. This is best skirt steak I’ve had in a really long time, at home. For dessert, I wanted something different then ice cream. First, I wanted brownies, but alas I had no walnuts. I didn’t want brownies without nuts so I turned to the cake mixes. CUPCAKES! I thought. I searched for a can of chocolate icing next, being too lazy to make my own from scratch. That would be, as they say, a deal breaker. I found it-hidden among the cholates chips of all different sizes, shapes and flavors now. In addition to the frosting, there were all kids of nuts, everything expect walnuts. I held the last can of milk chocolate frosting in my hand and smiled widely; as I spotted the cupcake holders too. I went to work mixing up the batter with my electric mixer. Eggs, oil, water, yellow cake mix, ka-bam, batter! I poured the batter into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup to making filling the cupcake holders easier and faster. In no time, I had cupcakes in the oven. I did the dishes and turned on the dishwasher. Then just like that, they were done!

Now, have you ever waited for cupcakes to cool so you could frost them? It seems like they take for forever to cool! I waited and paced, like an expectant father in the waiting room. That does not happen anymore, now does it?! Nope, your ass, better be in that delivery room! (Tangent) Back.

The cupcakes were cool enough and I frosted them up. Hmmm. They needed something for a little pop, Nonpareils! I had a brand new unopened container of the little suckers and sprinkled some on top of the icing. Then I sent out some INSTAGRAM photos with the caption: “guess what I’m making?” I immediately received some responses. One of them was: Are you making cupcakes to bring into the office? Honestly, the cupcakes were for me, but, yes, I have them packed up and ready to go into the office this morning.

Well I’m off to work. If you’re just tuning in you can quickly catch up by reading about or better yet getting, the recipe for the starter here:

TH FRIENDSHIP BREAD ADVENTURE

So much to cook so little time.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

STEAK MARINADE II

Steak Marinade

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

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Tupperware Season-serve Marinating Container or equivalent $39.00  

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

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)

GRILLED POTATATOES

Grilled Potatoes

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Barbeque

INGREDIENTS

¼ -cup water

1 – Pound potatoes

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Butter

DIRECTIONS

Wash and put potatoes in microwave safe bowl. Add ¼ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 6-minute intervals. Tetsing with a knife or fork until just tender. Carefully remove the bowl from microwave using oven mitts. Then remove plastic. Caution: the escaping steam burns! Remove excess water from bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Grill quickly over medium heat until slightly brown or grill makes appear.

NOTES: Serve with butter, salt and pepper.

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

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

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)