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A Creamy and Heart-Healthful Mushroom & Marsala Sauce

Important Rule of Cooking:  If you create a new recipe and it’s a hit, write down what you did.  And the sooner the better.  You wouldn’t believe how many mushrooms David and I consumed during the past two weeks as I sought to solve the case of the mysterious anniversary sauce.  Here’s the result of my efforts.  Now I can get back to working on my next novel, set in early California.

Heart-Healthful Mushroom & Marsala Sauce

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Anaheim Chili, chopped (approx. ½ cup)

1 Shallot, thinly sliced (approx. ½ cup)

1/8 cup Chardonnay Wine

1/8 cup Sweet Marsala Wine

2 cups Crimini Mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup Water

1-1/2 tsp. Spice Blend*

3 Tbsp. Fat-Free Sour Cream

2-3 Tbsp. Fat-Free Half-and-Half

2 tsp. Lemon Juice

Dash Cayenne Pepper to taste

Fresh Basil, several leaves cut in small pieces (approx. 2 Tbsp.)

Lightly sauté the chili and shallot in the olive oil on low heat.  Stir in the wine, followed by the mushrooms.  When the mushrooms start to soften, add the water and spice blend.  Finish cooking the mushrooms, stirring frequently.  Add the sour cream, half-and-half, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Add the basil.  Cover and turn off the fire.  Reheat shortly before serving.

The sauce is thin.  Serve it over fish, crab cakes, salmon cakes, chicken, rice, pasta, vegetables or left-over turkey.  You could even add drained canned albacore tuna and serve the mixture over toasted English muffins.  If you want to thicken the sauce a little, try stirring ½ tsp. of corn starch (mixed with a tablespoon or so of fat-free half-and-half) into the pan before the basil is added.  I haven’t tried thickening this sauce, but that should work.

Spice Blend:  Make a supply from dried spices.  In the mixture, use one part each of oregano, summer savory, marjoram, basil, sage, thyme and tarragon and one-half part each of rosemary and dill weed.  This is a great all-purpose mixture for cooking a wide variety of dishes.  It’s very close to the Bouquet Garni that Spice Islands used to manufacture.