Tonight’s dinner would probably be more fitting on a colder night – but it’s in the mid-60s outside. Saturday night, the weather gurus are calling for 3″-5″ of snow. Or rain and snow. Or a wintry mix. Sunny on Sunday and back to 67°F by Tuesday.

I could have held it off for a couple more days but I wanted to use up some mushrooms before they became compost.

When we first moved back here in 2001, we could pretty much expect cold weather in the winter and hot weather in the summer. But not anymore… Mentally, I’m still cooking calendar-wise. One of these days I’m going to need to really start adjusting to the reality of what the weather is and not what the weather should be.

Old dog, new trick…

So… back to dinner…

I’ve been a Marsala fan since forever. My birthday dinner was Veal Marsala when I was a kid. Actually, it was Beef Marsala because we never had actual veal in the house except for Pop’s breaded veal cutlets – and come to think of it, there probably wasn’t much actual veal in those things, either.

When I was grown and out of the house, I asked her for the recipe and she meticulously wrote it out. I made it a few times but it didn’t taste quite as good as hers. I played with it a bit and realized she had neglected to add one ingredient – sage. When I asked her about it, she turned beet red and denied she had intentionally left it out, stammering all the while.

My own mother.

Fast-forward 40 or so years and here I am making a variation on the theme – with a pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloins make absolutely the best scallopini this side of the Tyrrhenian Sea – and at a fraction of the cost of veal. And it’s guaranteed tender – not always so with veal scallops, today.

There’s not a real recipe for this, anymore… I’ve been making it for so long – with the sage – that I do it by rote.

I start off by pounding the scallops and then dredging them in a seasoned flour – salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sage. I then saute them in olive oil and butter just until lightly browned.

Out of the pan and I then add mushrooms and cook them down. I might add a bit of onion or shallot… When they’re nicely done, I add a hefty amount of Marsala. I tend to use dry for cooking and sweet for desserts, but if I only have one or the other, I don’t let it stop me.

When it’s boiled down a tad, I add some beef broth and then slide the meat back in, let it simmer until the meat is cooked through, and then thicken it with a bit of the dredging flour, if it needs it. Check for seasonings and adjust, as needed. Stir in a bit of chopped parsley, if you have it.

It’s usually served over buttered noodles, but it also works over rice or even mashed potatoes. I haven’t bought egg noodles in quite a while since we have so much damned pasta in the cupboard, so I just used the Gigli pasta we had.

It worked. Quite well.

Mom would be proud…