5 Alarm Cookoff: The Winning Recipes

NY Daily News - November 13, 2009

Winning recipe: Brooklyn

John Sierp's fellow firefighters have a nickname for him: Martha Stewart. That's because he's expert at whipping up delicious dishes. Pork Meatloaf

5 Alarm Cookoff winning Brooklyn recipe from John Sierp John Sierp's spin on meatloaf pleases even those who don't usually like the dish, says the FNDY cook from Brooklyn. "Since the guys at my firehouse have a second name for me (Martha-as in Stewart)," says John Sierp, "It's no shock that one night I threw together a bunch of stuff we had in the fridge with the store-bought meat to come up with this ridiculously delicious meatloaf (a firehouse staple).

"I, of course, was once on the Martha Stewart show before, but not for this recipe. This is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, even for those who hate regular meatloaf."

Recipe: Pork Meatloaf Serves: 6 Prep Time: 15


For the meatloaf:
2 1/4 pounds fresh ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
3 eggs, beaten
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons peeled, freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped canned pineapple with juice
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
3 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup good soy sauce (Kikkoman or better)
11/2 cups panko bread crumbs (soaked in approximately 1/2 cup milk)
Black pepper to taste
For the topping:
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons pineapple juice
Pinch of Sriracha hot sauce
4 to 5 canned pineapple rings

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees.

To make the meatloaf: Combine all meatloaf ingredients in a bowl. Work with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients. (Do not overwork the meat; this can cause it to become too tough-work it just enough to incorporate the ingredients.) Form into a loaf that is approximately 4 inches in diameter.) Place into a flat pan.

To make the topping: Stir together all ingredients except pineapple rings. Top the meatloaf with pineapple rings and drizzle with the topping. Bake the meatloaf for 45-50 minutes (35-40 minutes in convection oven), or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees. Allow the meatloaf to rest for approximately 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite potato and vegetable dishes.

Winning recipe: The Bronx Jimmy Lowe originally got his recipe for flank steak pinwheels years ago and has been playing with it ever since.

Flank Steak Pinwheels with Teriyaki Ginger Glaze 5 Alarm Cookoff winning Bronx recipe from Jimmy Lowe "This is a meal I originally got from a guy in Brooklyn," said Jimmy Lowe, who moved from a Brooklyn firehouse to one in Queens a few years back and has been playing with the recipe ever since.

"I said, 'You know what, let me throw that in there and see what happens.' " He perfected it in a cookoff last year. "I think I made 300-something onion rings," Lowe says.

The appliances you need include a small food processor, cookie sheets, toothpicks or skewers, a deep fryer and a small frying pan.

Recipe: Flank Steak Pinwheels with Teriyaki Ginger Glaze Serves: 6 Prep Time: 30


1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, minced
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil
1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, cut into thick rings
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup teriyaki sauce
Ground ginger to taste
Wondra flour
1 can beer
2 eggs
8 flank steak filets, flattened to 1/4-inch thick
1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, minced
1/2 pound cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute portobello mushrooms with butter and salt to taste. Set aside. Add garlic to the olive oil, season with black pepper and set aside.

Soak onion in buttermilk. Mix teriyaki sauce and ground ginger in a small pot to heat later on.

Prepare batter by adding 1/2 cup Wondra flour at a time to a bowl and then adding the beer. Whisk in eggs and add about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and sugar (or to taste); refrigerate.

Lay out the filets of flank steak lengthwise top to bottom on a board, overlapping by 1/4 of an inch or more. Rub garlic mixture generously over surface of meat. Layer with a healthy amount of parsley, then bacon, then mushrooms, then cheeses.

With two hands, grab meat near middle and start rolling it up tightly, using tops of fingers to work filling in when rolling. Once rolled, cut into 1- to 11/2-inch wheels and lay on their side on a non-stick baking sheet, using toothpicks to hold them together. Heat teriyaki mixture and ladle over meat, saving at least half for glaze. Cook the meat for about 30 minutes (it should still be pink.)

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in deep fryer. Remove onion rings from buttermilk soak and place them in a bowl of flour (a few at a time). Lightly coat with flour. Once the oil is heated, dip onion in beer batter, shake off excess batter and deep-fry till golden brown. Set aside to dry on paper towels.

Once the meat is cooked and all the onion rings are done, prepare a glaze by adding a bit of Wondra flour to teriyaki mixture and heating over low heat. Lay pinwheel on plate, place an onion ring on top and drizzle some glaze over the plate.

Winning recipe: Manhattan Steven Brunner of Ladder 36 says his seafood creation is a firehouse favorite because it's light, versatile and fun for the firefighters to make.

Pan-Seared Scallop and Shrimp Asian Spring Rolls 5 Alarm Cookoff winning Manhattan recipe from Steven Brunner Just about anything can go in these spring rolls, says Steven Brunner. Scallops and shrimp were his winning choice. His winning recipe is "'lite,' different and delicious," said Steven Brunner of Ladder 36, "a firehouse favorite because it is versatile with regard to what you can put into it: sometimes pork or chicken or shrimp or beef or whatever you imagine. Also, the men have fun rolling them and laughing at the way the other guys' spring rolls turn out."

Appliances you'll need: 1 basic medium sauté pan, a large nonstick skillet and a 2-quart sauté pan.

Recipe: Pan-Seared Scallop and Shrimp Asian Spring Rolls Serves: 10 Prep Time: 60


1/2 pound 16/20 count shrimp

1/2 pound fresh large sea scallops

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup sesame oil

2 cups bok choy or Chinese (Savoy) cabbage, cut crosswise

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic

1/2 cup julienned shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup dark soy sauce

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup julienned scallions

1 cup cooked Asian bean threads

20 10-inch round sheets of rice paper

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup duck sauce


Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and sear in half the sesame oil. Let cool and chop. Cook bok choy, carrots, red pepper, ginger, garlic and mushrooms until soft and tender in remaining oil. Place in a colander and reserve the drained liquid. Add 1/2 the dark soy sauce to the drained liquid and reduce by half. Thicken with a mixture of cornstarch and the remaining soy sauce. Combine cooked vegetables and seafood, then add scallions, bean threads and reduced vegetable broth.

Moisten a rice-paper sheet in hot water, place about 3 ounces of mixture in center and carefully and tightly roll burrito (or egg-roll) style. Cover rolls with a moistened paper towel and let set for 5 minutes.

Gently roll the spring rolls in a plate with toasted sesame seeds to lightly coat the outside. Serve with hoisin and duck sauces.

Winning Recipe : Queens

Keith Young of Queens made his winning Jumbo Shrimp a la Terry Diablo, named after a firefighter who died on 9/11

Jumbo Shrimp a la Terry Diablo 5 Alarm Cookoff winning Queens recipe from Keith Young This crowd-pleasing dish is a tribute to Keith Young's fellow firefighter who perished on 9/11. "I made this dish a few times at my firehouse, and the brothers went nuts," said Keith Young. "I made it for a firefighter's 10-year anniversary meal because he wanted to make something special. I had just gotten on the job, so I wanted to make friends quickly, and this is how I did it." It's named after firefighter Terry Farrell, who died on 9/11, whom Young met as a young "probie."

Appliances you'll need include a food processor, blender, cutting board, knives and juice press.

Recipe: Jumbo Shrimp a la Terry Diablo Serves: 6 Prep Time: 30


For the shrimp:
3 cups olive oil
1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp
1/4 pound Canadian bacon
1/4 pound Asiago cheese
6 eggs, beaten

For the a la Terry Diablo sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 rib celery, sliced thin
Reserved shrimp shells from 25 shrimp
1 to 2 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Terry Farrell Bourbon
3 bay leaves
2 cups half-and-half
1 roasted red pepper, skins and seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
4 cups cooked rice


Make the shrimp: Heat oil. Butterfly and devein shrimp. Place 1 slice of bacon and 1 slice of cheese on top of shrimp. Dredge in flour, then eggs, then fry until golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-high. Add garlic, onion and celery; cook to soften for a few minutes. Add shrimp shells and sauté until they turn orange. Dust flour onto shells and stir until flour becomes pasty. Add tomato paste and bourbon to pot and reduce till almost nothing is left, then add bay leaves and half-and-half and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and strain ingredients through fine mesh sieve into another pot. Place in blender with roasted red pepper and blend until smooth. Add back to pot and season with cayenne and salt. Place shrimp on bed of rice, and top with sauce.

Winning recipe: Staten Island Sal DePaola got his inspiration for a spicy jambalaya from his relatives in New Orleans.

Chipotle Jambalaya 5 Alarm Cookoff winning Staten Island recipe from Sal DePaola Staten Island firefighter cool Sal DePaola brings the heat with this spicy jambalaya.

"I had relatives in New Orleans and used to visit them," says Sal DePaola. "Every time I went there, we had jambalaya, so I decided to combine ingredients from a few I tasted and make my own. The chipotle peppers were my idea after I once added chipotle hot sauce to it and loved the flavor." Appliances you will need include a pot for rice, a large saute pan or a large iron skillet, a large mixing spoon and knives.

Recipe: Chipotle Jambalaya Serves: 4 Prep Time: 40


2 cups long-grain white rice 2 cans chicken broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 skinless chicken thighs
2 chorizo sausages, diced
4 ounces Serrano ham, diced
1 can chipotle peppers, diced, with sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt and pepper
1 pound shrimp
1/2 pound manila clams


Cook the rice in the pot according to package directions, substituting 2 cans of chicken broth for 2 cups of the water.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan in the olive oil, saute the garlic, peppers and onions. Add chicken thighs, sausages and ham. Cook until the chicken is about half cooked, then remove the chicken from the pan. Allow it to cool, then shred and remove bones. Add the chicken back to the pan. Add chipotle peppers and spices.

By this time, the rice should be nearly cooked. Add the rice to the saute pan. Mix well. Add the shrimp and clams and let simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Remove cover, mix well and serve.