Tag Archives: Recipe


I did go into the city (NYC) to see the Van Gogh Experience. We hired a car to drive us back and forth which eliminated some stress. However, Jennifer is still in a lot of back pain and I was worried about the drive and all the walking around. The drive went okay and the driver was really good about trying to keep the ride as smooth as New York streets today will let you.

When we arrived, we were dropped off right at the door. That was perfect. We also walked right in. There was no long line to stand in and wait, which was also good. When we all got inside, Jenn managed to walk and stand around for a little while before the pain became too great. The nice people at the show quickly got her a chair to sit down. She sat for about an hour until we were all ready to leave and go to lunch. I had hoped there would be lots of restaurants close by, but unfortunately the South Street Seaport was a mile away.

When we left the Van Gogh Experience, we started for the South Street Seaport, but after watching Jennifer walk for only a short time, realized she would never make it all the way there. We turned up Rutgers Avenue and found ourselves in the area of China Town. “YUM”, I thought, but my hopes were soon dashed. None of the restaurants close by were open for dine in eating.

By the time we hit Canal Street, Jennifer could no longer walk and she sat down on a stoop in pain. I made the decision to car the driver and give up on lunch. Jennifer felt horrible not just because of her back now but before she was keeping everyone from having lunch in the city. I felt terrible too seeing her in so much pain and now upset over not be able to walk.

When we came home, she laid right down and took more pain medicine. We all went to Panera. I do enjoy their coffee at least. Maybe next time I go into the city I will have a better food adventure for you.

Now I will switch gears and tell you about lunch at work yesterday. I decided to make Caesar Salad with grilled chicken for my next meal.

First, we need to start by marinating some chicken. It was an early morning trip to the market to get what I needed. Luckily, I remembered two cutting boards and a zip top bag. One cutting board for chicken and one for salad. You will see what the zip top bag is for soon.



Vegetable peeler

chef’s knife

cutting board





The ingredients include chicken and a marinade. This time for fast and easy, I am using a premade Italian salad dressing. I will do this before my day starts at work and marinate them until lunch time. Then all I have to do is grill them quick, cut them up, and add them on top of the salad.


Trim and slice the chicken breast in half so they will cook evenly. I cut them length wise. I added them to the marinade in the zip top bag. Then into the fridge to marinate for 5 hours (over night work have been better) .

Grill the chicken on high, turning to keep from burning. Overcooked chicken is dry, so I carefully test with my instant read thermometer to make sure they aren’t overdone. Then, I bring them inside to rest. I now slice them into LARGE chunks. They are placed on top of the salad at the end.



The ingredients for for the salad are romaine Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, seasoned croutons, and Caesar Dressing. If you use a bottled salad dressing, I recommend Marie’s. It’s usually found in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. I like their Blue cheese dressing too.


Chop the lettuce and add to the bowl. Peel the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Next, dice cucumber as shown into bite size pieces. Add cucumber to the bowl as shown below. Dice the tomatoes and, yuppers you guessed it, add them to the bowl. Now add the dressing. For this size salad, I used a whole jar of Marie’s salad dressing (not enough time to make it from scratch today).

Plate ad top with grilled chicken

Enjoy the cool refreshing salad for lunch of dinner! Until next time, Eat well, be happy and stay healthy!


Welcome to Tuesday. Yesterday, I made a chopped salad for the crew at work.


Double bladed mezzaluna chopper


3 heads Romaine Lettuce

1 bag of baby spinach

2 cucumbers

1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1/2 can black olives

1/2 red onion

Salad dressing (ranch)


Coarsely chop romaine lettuce and add to bowl. Add baby spinach to bowl. Peel and slice two cucumbers and add to bowl. Add chickpeas and 1/2 can of black olives. Add 1/2 of chopped red onion to bowl. You can add the dressing now or wait and add it later.

Using the Mezzaluna chopper, chop the salad against the bottom and sides on the bowl. Turn the bowl and mix the salad together as you chop. Try and get the salad to be all the same small size pieces. They should about the size of a small fingernail. Do not over chop. Add diced chicken on top. Finish with a swirl of dressing on top.

Plate, dress, and enjoy….

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Welcome to the weekend. It’s Independence Day Weekend AKA 4th of July weekend here in the States. Everyone including me will be grilling. Last night, however, was not a grilling night. It was a cold, wet, and rainy night here in New York. So, I cooked indoors.

I made the last minute decision to make Fettuccine Alfredo. I had to stop at the local supermarket on my way home. It’s a new place and it’s expensive. Lucky for me, the quart of heavy cream was on sale. The rest was not. I didn’t buy much because of the high prices. I purchased two boxes of DeCecco fettuccine pasta. That is always more expensive, but it’s my new favorite dried pasta. I picked up a loaf of Italian bread and one head of garlic too. Butter I already had at home.

I went home and put up a pot of water to boil. The rest is in the recipe below. Enjoy, or like my Irish mother would say, “Mangiare”.

Fettuccine Alfredo


Heavy sauce pan

Small Whisk or fork

Measuring spoons

Measuring cup


1 package dry Fettuccine or Fresh Fettuccine Noodles

Alfredo Sauce

16 fluid ounces heavy whipping cream

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup grated Romano cheese

2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon minced garlic (optional)

Parsley (optional)


Cook fettuccine according to directions, but before adding pasta to the boiling water, start the sauce.

Sauce: Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and simmer one minute. Add heavy cream to the butter. While the cream is still cold but over medium low heat, mix in beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly with a small whisk. Now, add the pasta to the water. Once the sauce comes to a simmer (DO NOT BOIL), add grated Parmesan cheese and grated Romano cheese. Stir constantly until melted. Simmer over low heat for 1 to 3 minutes stirring continuously. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese, fresh black pepper, and Parsley if desired. Add milk or cream if sauce becomes too thick. pour over cooked pasta.

Add sauce to pasta and serve immediately, as sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serving Suggestions: add frozen artichoke hearts or asparagus tips to half the cream before adding egg yolk. Cook until artichokes/asparagus are tender, then add the rest of the cream and the egg yolk. For best results, use fresh pasta.

I served it with garlic bread rounds. They were buttered, garlic powdered and toasted on both sides.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)


Chicken Cordon Bleu


6 thin Chicken cutlets (3 whole cut in half)

6 slices Deli Ham

6 slices Swiss cheese

½ TO 1 cup Bread crumbs

2 Eggs (beaten)

2 tablespoons Butter

2 tablespoons flour

¼ cup frying oil peanut or veg

1 cup Chicken stock (for Chicken Gravy)

½ cup Flour (chicken coating)

1 teaspoon Paprika

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup heavy cream (if not using jarred gravy)


Pound chicken thin between two sheets of plastic wrap. Lay on top on slice of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese. Roll chicken and secure it with toothpicks if necessary. Dip in egg wash. Roll in flour that paprika has been added. Back to egg the wash and then into bread crumbs.

Flour and breadcrumbs

Fry in peanut or vegetable oil until golden brown. Place chicken in 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Cover with two jars of bottled chicken gravy unless making it from scratch (see below).

Hot oil
Frying chicken

While the chicken cooks in the oven, make the pan sauce. Melt butter in the same with the chicken over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and cook until tan. Whisk in chicken broth and cook until thick. Thin out with heavy cream. Pour warm sauce over chicken.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbling. The chicken should be at 160 degrees in the center when tested with an instant thermometer. Sever hot with extra sauce.



1 cup large pearl couscous

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (water and 2 teaspoon Better then Bouillon)

1 tsp pasley


Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add parsley. Add couscous. Cover and simmer on low for 8 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand covered for 4 minutes. Serve.



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:


Shallow medium size bowl or soup bowl

Large Baking dish



Paring knife


large frying pan



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


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

Lemon Chicken (Piccata &; Francese)

Lemon Chicken

Sam came home one day from my neighbor’s house talking about this marvelous chicken he ate there. When I saw her the next day, I asked what this wonderful chicken was that he loved so. She told me it was called Lemon Chicken and she served it over angel hair pasta. I had eaten this dish many times at weddings.

            This dish is one of the easiest to make especially if you have ever made chicken cutlets. The making of chicken cutlets is the hardest part.

            Below are the two recipes for Lemon Chicken. Try them both and let me know which one you like best.

Chicken Piccata


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup butter

2 cups Chicken Stock (1 box or 2 cans)

Capers (optional)


In a small bowl, beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl or dish, mix together the flour, garlic powder, and paprika. Dip the chicken in the egg/lemon mixture, then in the seasoned flour.

In a large skillet, melt butter/margarine and brown the coated chicken pieces.

Dissolve the bouillon in the boiling water, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour liquid into skillet. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, turning chicken pieces after 10 minutes until chicken is tender. Garnish as desired and serve.

NOTES I make this dish all the time because it’s so quick and easy. I serve it with Lipton’s rice and sauce or a package of saffron flavored rice or over Pasta.

Chicken Francese



3 Tbsp. butter

1 shallot minced or ¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 Tbsp. flour

2 cups Chicken Stock (1 box or 2 cans)

½ cup white wine

¼ lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 egg

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp. olive oil


In a small bowl, beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl or dish, mix together the flour, garlic powder, and paprika. Dip the chicken in the egg/lemon mixture, then in the seasoned flour.

In a large skillet, add olive oil and melt the butter. Brown the coated chicken pieces. When chicken is done, move to a plate.  

Meanwhile, in a small pot dissolve bouillon in the boiling water or heat store bought or homemade broth, and then add the remaining lemon juice and wine.

Make roué in skillet by melting 2 tablespoons butter in the pan and whisking in four. Add shallot or onion powder and continue cooking flour until a pale golden brown. Next, whisk liquid into the flour mixture in the skillet. Return chicken to sauce. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, turning chicken pieces after 10 minutes until chicken is tender. Garnish as desired and serve.

NOTE: The wine is what makes this “francese”, should be same as the one you serve. It should be a Pinot Grigio you cooked the chicken. Multiply by four for a full catering tray.


Until tomorrow, be well, be happy, and be healthy.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Lemon Chicken simmering in the pan.

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!


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.


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.