A Marsala Supper for the Last Ember Days of Autumn

Good Day. Welcome to the final Ember Days of the Catholic Calendar year. Even so, we have 13 celebrated Feast Days remaining before Christ the King Sunday, the final Sunday before Advent and the new year.

Ember Days appear, in all things, the Farmer’s Almanac. It seems strange that something so secular would include something tied to the Christian Faith of bygone times. There is a reason – and it has to do with weather. According to folklore, the weather conditions of each of the three Ember Days or Embertide foretells the weather conditions for the following three months. I wish I had paid better attention throughout the year to note the weather and see for myself how much of this is purely folklore nonsense. There may be merit in this, but I don’t really think it’s that, as the story goes, Ember Days “control” the weather. While the observation of Ember Days goes all the way back to the time of the Apostles, only God retains control over the weather. All we do is to observe and make educated guesses based on those observations. Experience passed down through the ages tells most farmers not to plant corn fields in November. Ember Days were created to honor the changing seasons, so it would make sense that they would appear to influence the weather.

Ember Days were far more important in the past because people were far more tethered to the environment than we are today. Today we tend to control our environment to suit our needs. Most people work indoors, or at the very least have access to indoor shelter. We can change the natural flow of a river and use the waters to irrigate plots of land that might otherwise be dry and barren. What we cannot control is the rainfall. That is a gift from above. God put us in charge, as His stewards, to care for this planet. We need to find a balance between social prosperity and conservatorship. The best way to find balance is to listen. Let God be our guide. After all, He is the architect. We need to trust in Him.

And to always give thanks. Even in times of hardship, give thanks. For hardship holds a lesson, and brings us even closer to our Creator. The Ember Days of Autumn are moments to give thanks for the Harvest of the Wine that will become the Blood shed for our salvation. With that in mind, I give you my celebration of the harvest. May God be with us and bless all we do.

Ember Days Marsala Supper
Creamy Chicken Marsala
Roasted Garlic Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Warm Bread
Wine of Choice

Creamy Chicken Marsala
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 large boneless Chicken Breasts
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
4 tablespoons Butter, divided

Mix the flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a shallow bowl. Set aside.

Slice each breast in half lengthwise to create 4 thin breasts. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake off excess. Set aside for the flour to adhere to the meat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the skillet, cook two chicken breasts at a time until golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, continue to cook another 4 minutes or until golden. Remove breasts to a warm platter, tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Keep warm until ready to return to the skillet.

Creamy Marsala Sauce
8 oz Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
6 Garlic Cloves, (minced)
1 tablespoon Butter or as needed
3/4 cup Marsala Wine
1-1/4 cup Chicken Stock
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons snipped Parsley, garnish

Clean mushrooms, slice and set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

To the empty skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms sauté for about 3 minutes until browned, scraping up at any of the browned bits left by the chicken at the bottom of the skillet.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and chicken stock to the skillet. Allow sauce to simmer until reduced by half, about 12 minutes.

Stir the cream into the sauce. Return the chicken breasts to the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens and the breasts are warm-through, about 4 minutes.

Snip parsley, scatter over the chicken and serve.

Roasted Garlic Creamy Mashed Red Potatoes
Roasted Garlic
1 Head Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut 1/4 inch off the top of the bulb of garlic to expose the cloves beneath. Do NOT peel paper skins from the garlic. Place the clove on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil. Place in the heated oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until golden.

Open foil. allow garlic to cool to the touch. Once cooled, break bulb apart, squeeze cloves from skins. Set aside until ready to use.

Creamy Mashed Red Potatoes
3 lbs Red Potatoes
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Half-n-Half
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Scrub potato skins. Cut potatoes into quarters or half depending upon size. Place potatoes in a large stock pot.

Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover pot and cook potatoes for 20 minutes or until soft.

Drain potatoes, return to the pot off heat. Cover pot with a kitchen towel to absorb steam. Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with half and half. Mash the potatoes with garlic. Add butter mixture, whip until blended.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, rewarm just before serving.

Roasted Asparagus
2 bunches Asparagus
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Het oven to 425-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Trim woody ends from asparagus. Spread asparagus in a single layer in the prepared pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, garlic salt and pepper.

Bake in the heated oven for about 12 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender.

Transfer to serving platter and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

6 thoughts on “A Marsala Supper for the Last Ember Days of Autumn”

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