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My Firehouse Kitchen: A Father’s Day Special

Chef Joseph Bonanno | Firehouse Cuisine | Chef Joe
Chef Joe Bonanno is back just in time for Father’s Day with a delectable way to turn an ugly looking fish into a meal fit for a king (or for dad).
Welcome back to My Firehouse Kitchen with another terrific summer grilling recipe.
For those of us who are lucky to have our fathers still with us, Father’s Day is a time to show our appreciation. What better way than to prepare them a fantastic recipe!
A lot of fathers love to fish and maybe in our youth it was one of the things that they did with us that evokes many fond memories. Out there, on a lake, river, bay or ocean, there’s a lot of time to reflect and also talk about “life.”  It’s the same way in a kitchen, you  talk about things while chopping and slicing that there no time for at other times of the busy day.
It was that way for sure in my firehouse kitchen back in New York City. Other than saving lives and the action and adventure of running into burning buildings, those comical and sometimes deep conversations over meal preparation are some of my fondest memories. Then to put out a great meal, sit down family style and eat was a blessed event indeed. As an old timer once said to me, “Those were the days…..and the nights weren’t bad either!”
This recipe is a great one, although seemingly difficult, it’s not. Take the time to assemble the ingredients one by one and get it done. Make it for your father, or, if he’s no longer with you, in his memory and for a favorite uncle, aunt, grandparent, friend or neighbor.
Until next time (July 4) I’m takin’ up, be blessed, Joe.
Grilled Monkfish in White Wine & Herb Marinade with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
Serves 4-6
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary or 1  1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
Grated zest of 1 whole lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4   7 ounce Monkfish fillets or other firm flesh fish even lobster tail
Red Bell  Pepper Sauce
3 medium red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped(can use ones pre roasted out of jar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients except  the oil. Gradually whisk in the oil. Use immediately, combining the fish and marinade in a zippered plastic bag, refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.
To make the bell pepper sauce, puree the peppers, lemon and garlic in a food processor. With the processor running, slowly add the oil. Season with salt. Pour into bowl and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve, up to 2 hours or refrigerate up to a day.
Lightly oil the cooking grate. Drain fish well but do not scrape off herbs. Place fish directly over the coals or burner and cover. Grill, turning occasionally  until browned on all sides, about six minutes.
Transfer the fish to  the outside of grill off the direct heat. Cook until fish is opaque in when flaked in center, about six more minutes.
Cut each fillet crosswise into thick slices.  Stir the basil into the sauce and spread the red bell pepper sauce onto the plate. Transfer fish slices onto plated sauce and serve immediately.
About Chef Joe
Joe Bonanno is known to most as America’s Greatest Firehouse Chef, but we know him as Chef Joe. Chef Joe became interested in cooking while preparing meals for his fellow firefighters at the New York City Fire Department.
During his 21-plus years as a New York City firefighter, Chef Joe became certified as a nutritionist and fitness trainer with the American Council on Exercise, the International Sports Medicine Association, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and New York University. He used his skills in the kitchen to develop a collection of “healthy” meals for the firefighters he worked with. After leaving the fire service, Chef Joe graduated with honors from the Culinary Academy of Long Island (NY) and completed internships at two of Long Island’s finest restaurants, Goccia D’Oro (northern Italian cuisine) and the Argyle (Continental Cuisine). Chef Joe is a culinary instructor at A La Carte Culinary in Lynbrook, NY.
The recipes he developed during his firefighting days were later published in his cookbook, The Healthy Firehouse Cookbook: Low-Fat Recipes from America’s Firefighters. He has published two more books since then, The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook, which features 150 recipes cooked on the grill, and a children’s book, Monutza, the Firefighting Elephant.
For more about Chef Joe, go to his website

Father’s Day | Joe Bonanno | Firehouse Chef | Chef Joe | Recipes | Foodies | TB Reporter

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My Firehouse Kitchen: A Father's Day Special
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My Firehouse Kitchen: A Father's Day Special
Chef Joe Bonanno is back just in time for Father's Day with a delectable recipe that will turn an ugly looking fish into a meal fit for a king (or for dad).
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TB Reporter
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