Keeping You Out of Trouble
By Tracey Moro/Photography by Mike Ferdinande
When searching for some new recipes for our Fall Edition it was unanimous that we should head to our local police stations. Our police and first responders are working so hard for all of us, especially right now. You wouldn’t think of police officers when thinking of recipes. But when we reached out to our local departments we were amazed how easily they all knew that one police officer who is known as the foodie, the health food nut, the amateur chef or the one constantly bringing in delights for the department to enjoy. So why not try out these recipes on your own family?
Sterling Heights Police Officer – Aaron Susalla
A busy dad to three, Officer Aaron Susalla has been with the Sterling Heights Police Department for 13 years and was with the New Haven Police Department for four years before that. He is the Community Services Bureau Sergeant who handles public outreach, school programs, social media and more. You may have seen his photo in the recent 2020 calendar the department produced. The Sterling Heights Police Department has been increasing it’s community outreach taking a proactive community policing approach to serve residents. “We’re always looking for ways to connect to our community,” said Susalla. When he isn’t working he’s exploring new recipes. He loves to cook and will take a recipe and experiment until he gets it just right in his eyes. “This dish is perfect for making in the cooler months when we’re less outdoors. It’s one of my favorite family recipes,” said Susalla who renamed the dish after himself. He recommends serving with some white wine, maybe a Pinot Grigio – and of course, some flowers on the table.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to the same thickness
4 Tbsps. of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Sea salt
3/4 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsps. unsalted butter, divided
8 oz. of your favorite mushrooms
3 Tbsps. finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, shredded
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dry Marsala (MarSusalla) wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Place the flour, half teaspoon fresh ground pepper, three quarters of a teaspoon salt in a shallow dish and mix together. Dredge the pounded chicken breasts to lightly coat each breast. Heat the oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough (chicken should immediately simmer once placed in pan) place the chicken breasts in pan. Do not overcrowd the pan and cook in batches if needed. Only turn the breasts over once while in the pan, cooking approximately three minutes on each side being careful not to overcook. Set the cooked chicken breast aside. Place the remaining butter in your hot pan. Once butter is melted, add the mushrooms and cook the mushrooms until they brown. Then add the shallots, rosemary, garlic, quarter teaspoon of salt and cook for two more minutes. Add the broth, heavy cream, Marsala (MarSusalla), quarter teaspoon of salt, quarter teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and scrape the pan contents into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium, cooking uncovered until the sauce is reduced to preferred consistency (about 12 minutes).
Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet, reduce to low heat and simmer until chicken is warmed through. Nicely plate your Chicken MarSusalla. Be sure to vase some lovely flowers for your significant other and serve your wonderful dinner.
New Baltimore Police Chief – Michael Mertens
When we reached out to the New Baltimore Police Department right away the Chief was ready with a recipe to share but was quick to mention his award winning recipe. “I won’t share my award winning chili recipe, but this one I will share,” said Mertens with a laugh. His chili recipe won a couple years in a row at the New Baltimore Lions Winterfest.
Mertens has been with the department for just over 30 years. “We have 17 officers and about 12 reserves,” he said. They service six square miles. At home Michael does most of the cooking – “my wife lets me.” He chose the avocado recipe because “it’s easy to make and healthy too. You can switch out the cheese and swap with any kind you want. I just like the goat cheese because it melts really well.” We suggest taking the discarded avocado and spreading it on your toast.
Baked Goat Cheese Avocado Eggs (Serves 1-2)
1 large avocado
Olive oil for drizzling
2 oz. goat cheese, or any cheese you choose (feta, parmesan, mozzarella, provolone etc..)
Chives to garnish, optional
Chili flakes, optional
Salt and fresh ground black pepper as desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit. Scoop about enough avocado flesh to make space for eggs. Use the scooped avocado for guacamole or spread on your toast. Place avocado halves cut side up on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Add bacon bits into hole. Crack eggs into avocado halves, one egg per half. It’s okay if you lose some egg white! Also, if your avocado halves don’t balance too well, using the egg shells to hold them up is quite helpful. Add more bacon bits and chili flakes on top of egg, then crumble goat cheese over avocado halves and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce time if you prefer a softer yolk. Garnish with chives, salt and pepper as desired.
Romeo Police Officer Richard Soulliere
Officer Richard Soulliere is fairly new to the Romeo Police Department but he has been serving as an officer throughout Macomb County for years, including at the Metroparks, in Roseville and he is still serving part-time in Richmond. With under two acres in the Village of Romeo there are seven full time officers in the department. Rich enjoys working in Romeo and is known to bring some food for the officers to enjoy. “Working in a small town is great. It’s like a family, a home,” said Soulliere.
Growing up in St. Clair Shores in a big family Rich liked to cook. “I have a Dutch background and my Dad’s mom taught me a lot about cooking,” said Soulliere. With lots of big meals growing up, and time spent hunting and fishing he soon took his cooking skills to the smoker. “The smoked wild Alaskan salmon can be an appetizer or a meal. When you brine the fish it pulls the moisture out. If you don’t have a smoker you can adjust your grill for the same outcome.”
Salmon filets (wild caught preferred)
Dry brine – 2 cups dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1 Tbsp. black pepper
Alder wood chips or pellets
Take the salmon filets and rinse with cold water, pat dry. In a bowl, combine brine ingredients and mix well. In a glass container take part of brine and spread along the bottom of the container. Use the remaining brine to cover the top and sides of the salmon filets. Allow salmon to cure in the fridge for 8 to 48 hours. After the salmon has cured, remove from the fridge and rinse with cold water, pat dry.
Place on drying rack. The salmon filet will need to air dry for one to two hours to prep for smoke. Set smoker or grill to 150 degrees. Smoke for two hours or until an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Optional: brush salmon with maple syrup or a fruit jam 30 minutes prior to the salmon being finished. Heat the glaze prior to brushing on the salmon so it will spread evenly.
Macomb County Deputy Jon Ramlow
Deputy Jon Ramlow was awarded the Macomb County Deputy of the Year for 2019. Currently, Deputy Ramlow is assigned as the traffic car working out of Macomb Township. After 20 years with the Sheriff’s Office, he has become known as the Macomb Township sub-station chef. At home in Chesterfield with his wife, and six children (yes, her two, his two and their two) he can often be found helping with the cooking in the kitchen. Deputy Ramlow told us “This recipe comes from my wife’s Aunt Debbie. It’s my favorite, so now I make it on my own. Our family and friends love it.” The Macomb County Sheriff ’s Office is contracted with the City of Mount Clemens, Townships of Harrison, Lenox, Macomb, and Washington, and the Village of New Haven. In addition to their road patrol, the Sheriff’s Office Marine Division covers approximately 85 square miles with 30 miles of shoreline connecting to 57 miles of rivers and streams. A total of 213,805 police calls for service were dispatched in 2019.
Aunt Debbie’s Famous BBQ Meatloaf
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 onion, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Form mixture into a loaf and place into pan. Stir together remaining tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and water if needed. Pour this sauce over meatloaf. Bake for one hour, basting every 15 minutes with the sauce from the pan.
Macomb County Deputy Brandon Binion
Our second Macomb County Deputy is Brandon Binion. Also serving Macomb Township, he is part of the road patrol answering calls for service. With 17 years under his belt he has plenty of experience. “I constantly bring smoothies to work,” said Binion. With three growing boys, Brandon and his wife try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “My wife and I make our own smoothies and we never add any sweeteners. They’re great for work because they are light on stomach.” Deputy Binion was presented with a Professional Excellence Award in 2019. The Macomb County Sheriff ’s Office has 275 sworn personnel, 57 dispatchers, and 162 corrections staff. The Macomb County Jail can house 1,201 inmates and booked more than 16,000 inmates in 2019. Some of the specialized units within the department include Traffic, K-9, Detective Bureau, SWAT, Mobile Field Force, Dive Team, Computer Crimes, and the Sheriff’s Enforcement Team which includes multiple undercover units. The Sheriff’s Office is also grateful to have many reserve deputies that volunteer their time to their community.
Tropical Detox Smoothie (2 servings)
2 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup spinach
1 inch peeled and chopped ginger
1 cup water
Fresh juice from half of a lime
In blender, pulse all ingredients until smooth but still thick. Add more water if needed. Stop and stir occasionally if needed. Pour and enjoy.