Monday, January 26, 2009

marsala must mean delicious in french or italian

"want me to make you dinner tonight?"

"um, of course!" came the predictable response. hmm, too bad i didn't really have an idea in my brain about what to make. steak weaseled its way into my brain and hunger, but i knew i wanted to do something beyond grilling it.

dare i actually use a....cookbook?!

this is usually something i tend to avoid. flavors combined on the fly have been coming out pretty amazing lately. truth be told, i just wanted an idea. problem is, i have many italian cookbooks, some more complicated than others, and few good cookbooks that are more useful. something to remedy at book sales, for sure. but i digress.

the meals in 30 minutes cookbook had an idea that hit my craving right in the jaw. well, as with most recipes, i altered it because of strange ingredients. here's what i came up with.

8-10 cloves of garlic
beef stock
half cup of mushrooms (i used haitake, which i've never heard of before; but anything but white mushrooms would be fine)
one shallot, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
half cup of marsala cooking wine
half cup of cream
pinch of crushed rosemary

start off making the sauce by boiling the garlic cloves whole in a small amount of beef stock. just enough to cover them. it'll take about 10-20 minutes. keep an eye on it while you dice up the mushrooms and shallot. when the garlic is soft, drain off most of the liquid. on medium heat, add the marsala wine, butter, shallot, and mushrooms. cook them down until the ingredients are incorporated and the shallots are soft and clear. add the cream and rosemary. i tried to whip this up a little bit with a whisk and made a mess. i don't quite know how to thicken up cream sauces.

now, for the meat. the sauce's versatility works well with pork, beef, or chicken. i bet it'd even be pretty good with a grilled portabello mushroom! brush whatever you like with balsamic vinegar and season with pepper to taste. grill them. ladle the sauce on the meat when you plate them. i think that grilling the meats gives them all enough smokey flavor to not drown in the flavors of the sauce. really, you can do them however you want.


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