The Firehouse Foodie

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Provided by Frank E. Vaerewijck, FF/EMT, Engineer & Fire House Chef

Marsala Wine Reduction

“I called for an Ambulance and the Fire Truck showed up, I didn’t call for a Fire Truck.” Well, you had an emergency, and you did the right thing by calling 911, that in turn put a pre-set chain of events into motion. After that call for help is received and the information is taken, the dispatcher qualifies your emergency based on training and a set of rules called protocols. With the help of modern technology, this determines the appropriate station, equipment and personnel for the response. Since Ambulances typically only have two or three people assigned to them during a shift, a Fire Engine, and/or Ladder Truck may be dispatched as well to help with the needs at the scene. The Engine and Ladder typically have three or four personnel, but can have up to six personnel assigned to them on any given shift.

The old adage, it’s better to have ’em and not need ’em, than need ’em and not have ’em comes into play with most calls. You would be surprised how many calls we respond to that seem like it will be just a walk in the park and all heck breaks loose without notice. Believe me those few extra sets of hands or experience may make the difference between life and death. We are here to serve the community and great pride is taken in that service but we are not fictitious super heroes and even the strongest or smartest amongst our ranks need help every once in a while.

Steak, chicken and pork are great proteins that are wonderful by themselves but every once in a while they can use some help as well. What goes well with steak or chicken? How about a satisfying Marsala Wine Reduction? Since you are using a cooking wine, the slight alcoholic content cooks out. It’s great for home or the station and “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home.”

Marsala Wine Reduction

8 ounces fresh Portabella mushrooms, sliced or quartered.
1/2 c sliced green onions
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T Pesto
3/4 c Marsala Cooking Wine
1 c reduced sodium beef broth
1 T cornstarch
2 T Dijon Mustard
1/4 c fresh cut Italian parsley
1/4 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, cook the Portabella Mushrooms and sliced green onions in hot olive oil over a medium-heat about 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add pesto. Cook 1 minute more, remove from skillet from heat; carefully add Marsala Wine. Return to heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for about 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring
occasionally. In a small bowl whisk together broth, cornstarch, Dijon Mustard, salt and pepper; add to skillet with Italian Parsley or garnish wish with Italian Parsley when it’s done cooking. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Serve atop steak, chicken or pork, and enjoy. This recipe makes about 2
cups and only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish.


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