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Old 10-04-2006, 01:50 PM   #1
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Marsala Pan Sauce

Ok, I'm playing around with Marsala wines and pan sauces based on said wine (and the fond from sauteed meat). I picked up four bottles, two "sweet" and two "dry".

Today I was belting out some Veal Scaloppine Marsala w/Shrooms.

Right now the ratios I'm using are...

1-T Butter
2 Veal Scaloppine

1-T Minced Shallot
1/2-C Sliced Shrooms (Mixed)
1/2-C Marsala Wine
1-T Veal Demi-Glace
1-T Butter
1-t Minced Parsley
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

I'd appreciate some of the recipes others use for this classic dish!

Tomorrow I'm going to try some with the more common Chicken Scaloppine. I don't stock chicken demi-glace in my freezer, so I will have to make a quick batch in the morning with some brown chicken stock, a roux, and a sachet.

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Old 10-04-2006, 02:20 PM   #2
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Do you dust your veal in flour before you saute them? That's the only thing missing from your recipe that I would add, if you're not already doing it. For mushrooms, I like to use a mixture of cremini, oyster, and a little rehydrated dried porcini along with the rehydrating liquid. Gives a little more complexity to the sauce.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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You should not poison anyone with this sauce. You should only serve it to me - I will put myself in harm's way for the benefit of your experimtations.

I do a much more basic sauce in this recipe.

Nonetheless this dish is good. I never keep veal demi-glace around so it's plain ol' chicken broth for me :-(
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:52 PM   #4
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Ironchef - HA! Thats the exact mushroom blend I was using... Thats what my market had this morning along with the common white buttons. I bought the dried porcinis, but didn't get the chance to soak 'em, so I was using cremini & oyster. I'll definetly add in the filtered soaking liquid tomorrow too. How much of it do you usually add?

I'm usually not a fan of flouring my meat (except fish), but I gave it a shot in my first batch and last batch (allowing the flour to saturate itself and better-bond to the meat). The scaloppine are ultra-thin, so they were only in the pan for 45sec or so. I found that I preferred high heat and an uncoated strip of meat. Letting the flour hydrate itself was second best, but the quick flour and fry method produced a light crisp exterior that separated in the sauce when I returned the veal pieces to the sauces to quickly reheat.

I also found a huge difference between using a sweet Marsala and a dry Marsala (oddly both had 18% alcohol). The sweet Marsala became way to sweet when it was reduced, but the dry Marsala was perfect. Just enough sweetness once it reduced.

Oh, I did have to sneak an extra teaspoon of butter in when I added the shallots and mushrooms.

Does anyone use cream in their Marsala recipes? Thats one thing I didn't try today, and will have to give a go tomorrow with the Chicken Marsala.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:52 PM   #5
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I enjoyed your receipe with the veal scaloppine and also your marsala pan sauce.

Sounds yummy. I think you had a good idea about picking up two bottles of wine - one sweet and one dry.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:55 PM   #6
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Per serving, probably about 2 Tbsp. of the porcini liquid only as a little will go a long way as it's reducing with the marsala.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:08 PM   #7
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ironchef - Awesome! That will definetly be a go tomorrow.
-----
kitchenelf - Cool recipe! Given the other common Italian items, I never thought of giving it a quick shaving of parm-reg or pec-rom at the end. I'll have to give that a try tomorrow. Given the sweet, savory, and slightly acidic nature of the sauce, salty might make a great addition!
-----
What do you guys think about a side. I think pasta is the most common isn't it? I see alot of recipes and photos with long pasta like linguini/fettucini/capellini, but a really wide noodle (yet still thin) is what comes to my mind... perhaps a broad egg-noodle? Or possibly even some pasta rags.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:11 PM   #8
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I enjoy serving this with couscous. I think the sauce soaking into the couscous is just heaven.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:18 PM   #9
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Soft Polenta or Mashed Potatoes -- neither is "traditional,' but both are quite tasty, and good for sopping up the sauce!

With the right seasonings, even plain old button mushrooms are great in Veal Marsala.

I personally would save the cheese for another dish.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:50 PM   #10
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Hmmm... couscous sounds interesting - I'm visualizing it's texture with the shrooms and juicy meat. Polenta sounds good too!

Today I was focusing just on this, so I paired it with a hunk of fresh warm baguette and a small plate of frisee aux lardons. Nothing like sopping up sauce with bread!

So tomorrow I'm going to try three things...

1. A few shavings of parm-reg and pec-rom at the end.
2. Using 2 tablespoons of the porcini soaking liquid with the Marsala.
3. Trying 2 tablespoons of cream rather than the butter at the end.

I'll also be moving along to chicken from veal.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:04 PM   #11
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Nick, I sometimes add heavy cream to finish the sauce. My daughters and SO like it so much I have to make it that way regularly Though not all the time.

I always use dry marsala.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:12 PM   #12
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Thought about it some more. Grilled polenta wedges would probably kick-butt with this dish!
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:17 PM   #13
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Risotto Milanese.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:25 PM   #14
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Ahh yes. Is that the traditional pairing?

I was thinking about the couscous because of it's texture, but a soft creamy rice would probably be even better! I can taste the marsala sauce mixing with the risotto now...

I'm still thinking of a real thick wedge of polenta too, perhaps made with some parm-reg and a little liquid from the mushrooms for extra flavor, then grilled up.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:29 PM   #15
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I actually abandoned the CIA's recipe on this one. It relied heavily on demi-glace, and used 50% red wine/50% marsala which just seemed wrong. Perhaps this is to cut the end cost in a restaurant or something.

I ended up playing around with ratios until I came up with the one I posted. It tastes pretty good.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:39 PM   #16
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For me, I like pasta with my Marsala although I'm not picky and will eat whatever's given. You could try a smaller type pasta which would pick up a lot of the sauce because of the shape. Something like gemelli or orecchiette comes to mind.
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:10 PM   #17
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For some reason egg noodles just don't get it for me - maybe because I feel more "homey" about those i.e., chicken soup, beef stroganoff. I always serve with pasta, usually linguini - but now that other things have been mentioned what about:
  • light lemon risotto with chopped asparagus
  • papparadella (twist with a straight two-pronged fork (like a carving set fork), twist the pasta around and around then let the noodles slide off the fork into a nice mound on the plate, drizzle with more sauce and shaved Parm-Regg
  • Grilled polenta cakes
  • for a vegetable I usually roast or grill some asparagus, chop, and toss in with the pasta - but I may try the lemon risotta and asparagus next time I make this
    Grilled or deep fried garlic/cheese grit cakes would be good too

And to cut the cost in a restaurant just be sure, if using pasta, to coat with olive oil/butter for moistening instead of a bunch of reduced marsala - use only a light drizzle and the rest on the meat.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:08 PM   #18
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I like Chicken/Veal Marsala with or without the cream. I use
a dry Marsala and ususally have a pasta side. Polenta and
risotto sound great as sides. Next time I'll try one of them.
Thanks for your "research"!
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:04 AM   #19
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One of our favorite things is a creamy mushroom Marsala sauce over a soft polenta..I've used a mix of mushroom, and even just plain old buttons and the sauce is lovely each time. Putting this same sauce over chicken just adds something special to our sunday dinners.
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:44 AM   #20
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ironchef - Orecchiette looks interesting, I've actully never had that shape of pasta before.
-----
Picked up and broke down a chicken for some more experimentation today.

Oh, I see some people here do finish their marsala recipes with cream instead of butter... thats first on the list today after I whip up some chicken demiglace (defrosting some brown chicken stock right now).

For sides, I defintely like the ideas of...

1. Egg Noodles/Pasta Rags/Orecchiette
2. Grilled Polenta Cakes
3. Risotto (especially a wild mushroom risotto using stock from whatever type of meat is being prepared. Yes, I do believe a brown veal stock wild mushroom risotto would work great with Veal Marsala...)

Asparagus tips definetly sound good for texture and color. The mushrooms remind me of the forest though, so I bet some fiddlehead ferns would go excellent with this as well.

EDIT: Perhaps melt a bit of truffle butter with reduced marsala with the fiddleheads - just enough to lightly coat them with a flavorful sheen.

Oh, and use a couple seared/roasted veal chops instead of the scaloppine.

Well, off to cook.
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