Firehouse Food

July 25, 2014 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: Editorial, Food | Tags: fish taco recipe, Sergio Leon, skirt steak recipe, Tampa Fire Rescue

Firehouse Food

An aspiring chef in his own right, Firefighter Paramedic Sergio Leon of Fire Station 8 gives us a few healthy recipes from his cookbook


Fish Tacos with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli


2 lb of fresh fish

Olive Oil

8-10 Corn Tortillas

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ancho Chili Powder

3 limes

Salt and Pepper


Aioli (blend 2 roasted red peppers, ½ cup mayonnaise, 5 roasted garlic cloves, salt and pepper)


Season fish with salt, pepper, chili powder, lime juice. Add all ingredients for aioli into a blender, blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast tortillas in a dry skillet to give them some color. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to non-stick skillet and cook fish on both sides. Cooking time will depend on thickness of fillets. Serve with salsa, arugula, and aioli.


Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Red Potatoes and Sauteed Kale


2 lb good quality skirt steak (trimmed)

2 limes

2Tbsp whole coriander seeds

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 Tbsp kosher salt

4 cloves fresh garlic (minced)


2 lb red potatoes (3/4 in dice)

1 ½ Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped fine)

1 Tbsp fresh thyme

1oz olive oil

4 cloves fresh garlic (minced)


1 bunch, fresh kale (rinsed, stems removed)

1 shallot (minced)

2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 Tbsp good quality sherry vinegar


Toast coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a dry skillet to “wake up” their essential oils. They will become fragrant when toasted. Once toasted, grind the spices and mix together with the kosher salt. Season the steaks with lemon zest and the coriander spice mixture. Toss potatoes with rosemary, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 350 until they take on a beautiful brown color on the edges.

Grill steaks to your preferred doneness and set aside to rest. In a large sauce pot, heat olive oil with shallots and garlic. Once garlic is fragrant, add kale, turning often to coat kale with heated oil. Once kale has begun to reduce, add chicken stock and cover for one minute while on high heat. After one minute, remove lid, add sherry vinegar and season to taste.




8 gala apples (peeled, cored, and quartered)

Juice of half a lemon

2 Tbsp butter

¼ tsp salt

½ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 vanilla bean (split, and seeds scraped)

½ cup apple cider

Short-crust pastry:

¾ cup all purpose flour

2 Tbsp very cold butter (cut into pea-sized cubes)

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

Cold water (as needed)

1 egg (beaten)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine first three ingredients of short-crust recipe in food processor and pulse until you get a parmesan cheese-like consistency. Then add cold water, a few drops at a time until dough forms a ball. Once dough is in a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, shape it into a puck and refrigerate dough.

For the tart, add the sugar, vanilla bean, lemon juice, and apple cider to a non-stick skillet

and heat on medium heat until sugar reaches a deep amber color. NOTE: Do not walk away from the stove while cooking the sugar because it is very easy to burn. Once you have reached the deep amber color, add the butter and swirl until combined. Place apples in the caramelized sugar, making sure to use all available space in the skillet. Try to make a nice pattern with the apples because what is now the bottom, will be the top once the tarte is removed from the skillet. Cook the apples on med-low heat just until the apples have softened a bit (5-6 min). Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while preparing pastry dough. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll it to a thickness of about 2-3 mm. Trim dough to a diameter slightly bigger than the skillet. Carefully lay pastry dough on the top of the apples in the pan, tucking the excess dough downward to seal the apples and caramel. Brush the pastry dough with eggwash and make a few holes with a toothpick to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry dough is golden brown. Let the tarte cool for 10 minutes before flipping it onto a plate.


Thank you to Firefighter Paramedic Sergio “Serge” Leon for his help with these recipes and the entire staff at Fire Station 2 for allowing us to use their amazing kitchen as a backdrop for our photo shoot.