From the frying pan to the fire?
Exactly. There is rumor going around that the firefighter cooks at the McKinney Fire Stations serve some of the best food in McKinney up.
Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to some of those chefs and you can make up your own mind.
Mine? Already made up… They are GREAT!!!
Firefighters and Paramedics on shift at the eight Fire Stations in McKinney have to eat. So one or more ‘chefs’ are either designated or offer to cook for their brethren.
The crew antes up $10 each per shift [the city pays for stuff like spices and plates etc.] but the men and women have to pay for their own meals [Hint! Hint! to our Congressmen] and that money has to stretch for the meals they will be eating on shift.
This week - FIRE STATION # 5… Where they are lucky enough to have TODD SIMMONS.
Todd grew up in New Zealand amongst thousands of sheep and cattle and cooked from a very early age. He was on his way across America to Europe to visit his sister when he ran out of money and somehow ended up here in McKinney --- which was really lucky for the crew of Fire Station #5. He is married with two children age 2 and 5 who serve as his testers and critics. They gave the recipe offered today, rave reviews !
Todd loves to cook and can converse knowledgeably about Chicken Cordon Bleu and Pavlova! The adjective for any man who chops wood in the Texas heat to smoke ribs is ‘dedicated’.
If you are ever invited to Firehouse 5 for a meal……….Go!
Watch the video of Todd – in his own words - and then try Todd’s MEAT AND CHEESE PIE.
Meat and Cheese Pies
1 egg yolk
2 boxes of pastry rolls (pie crust)
2 pounds 95% fat free ground beef
3 cups of grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups of finely diced onion
2 packets of brown gravy mix
2 tablespoons Tony Chachere’s seasoning 6 small foil pie dishes (the throw away kind)
Cook meat in large skillet with seasoning until brown then add onion. Mix 2 gravy packets in 1 cup of hot water then pour into skillet and further simmer meat until you have a good consistency.
Spray pie dishes with Pam
Roll out pastry and using a dessert bowl, cut a circle out of the pastry and place inside the pie dish.
Spoon in meat mixture to pie dish and press down, add cheese to taste on top the meat.
Using the egg yolk, brush a small amount around the edge of the pastry at top of pie dish.
Using the dessert bowl, cut another circle of pie crust and place over the dish.
Press the edges together using a fork, cut off excess pie crust and place two small cuts on pie top. Brush pie top with a small amount of melted butter.
Place pies on center rack in oven and bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes or until pastry are golden brown.
Best served with a cold IPA unless on Duty.
About The McKinney Fire Department
The McKinney Fire Department is made up of 164 total personnel. While 20 employees work in various capacities on staff, the majority of MFD personnel are professional firefighters, assigned to emergency response duties. Each of the 144 firefighters is trained as emergency medical responders as well, with most being certified paramedics. The MFD consists of eight fire stations covering the 62.9 square miles in the city, as well as the designated extraterritorial jurisdiction. McKinney firefighters responded to a total of 9,794 calls in 2011.
Firefighters in McKinney work a schedule of 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty. During the 24 hours on duty, the crews respond to emergency calls, attend mandatory training, and provide public education activities such as station tours and community training. In addition to these duties, they operate their “household” by performing day-to-day routines, including grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning.
About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for TownSquareBuzz.com's "Food" section. She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the "Food" section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking. She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.
Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions. What would you like to have for dinner?