Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From Thy Bounty Fair - Confirmation Celebrations

It's time for our second From Thy Bounty Fair here at Catholic Cuisine and we are very excited about it! Since this is the traditional time of the year when Confirmations take place we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to share with us your celebrations. It's such an exciting time in the life of a young Catholic and I'm sure many of our readers have devised beautiful ways to celebrate.

Our fair will take place on June 17th so I need your stories and ideas no later than June 15th. I'm middle-aged and move slowly.

So send me the details at bonnybluehouse at gmail dot com and please, even if you don't have a blog we want to hear from you! No blogs required, just write it up and e-mail me. Pictures delight us! Send everything.

Have a blessed day! Pin It

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sauces for the Liturgical Calendar

This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.

While browsing over at SQPN, I took a look at the new webcast they have called Grace Before Meals. In this series of videos Father Leo Patalinghug cooks up some great pasta sauces based on the colors of the liturgical calendar. Right now they have up the green, red, and white sauces. And soon there will be a purple! That is one I am very curious about.

Here is the Green (pesto) Sauce for ordinary time. Enjoy!

BASIL PESTO SAUCE [Green] (serves 4) 2 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil ¼ cup of pine nuts 2 pinches of red peppers flakes 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (washed and dried) 1 teaspoon of kosher salt ½ teaspoon of pepper 1 box of penne pasta cooked al dente Cook pasta according to instructions on box. Saute garlic and toast pine nuts by heating a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic whole and allow to brown on all sides. Add 2 pinches of red pepper flakes and pine nuts and allow pine nuts to brown slightly. Remove from heat as soon as pine nuts develop some color. Let cool. Prepare the blender or a food processor. Add the rest of the oil, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese. Allow to blend until desired consistency. To assist the blending process, you may have to add more olive oil or occasionally stop the blender / processor and stir ingredients. Pour over hot pasta. Add more cheese if desired.
Also be sure to check out Father Leo's Website, Grace Before Meals, for the recpies for these sauces and more!

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Friday, June 6, 2008

St. Ignacio's Nachos

I was doing some research for our May Book Club last month and came across an interesting story about the history of Nachos. Yes, I said "nachos". My kids love nachos and when I read this story from the OED News, I just knew this would be a fun way to celebrate St. Ignatius' feast day.
She told me she had been born and raised in Mexico and there nacho has only one common usage: it is the word used as a diminutive for a little boy who had been baptized Ignacio. His family and friends call him Nacho. She thought I should know this. What a wonderful bit of information! We beamed at each other. I thanked her profusely, and later I told her she was the true reason for my success in solving the etymology of nacho(s).
To sum up the article, the dish we now know today as "nachos", which come in many variations and flavors, was originally served by a chef in Piedras Negras, Mexico as a simple combination of fried corn tortillas, melted cheese and jalapenos. It was named after that chef who was baptized Ignatio Anaya (named for St. Ignatius no doubt) but known to his friends and family simply as Nacho.I thought this was a fun story, a great opportunity to discuss what the OED is with the kids and the connection between the name we know as Ignatius and one of our favorite dishes. So why not also use this learning opportunity to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius? The only problem is that there are so many St. Ignatiuses (Ignatiusi?) which one do you choose if your family doesn't have a particular devotion to one specific saint?

For us, we took some time to look into the lives of a few of these saintly men named Ignatius, hoping to find one who might have been of Latin or Spanish descent. Of course there are the best known St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Ignatius of Loyola. The maybe lesser known St. Ignatius of Santhia and St. Ignatius of Constantinople. Or even a few whose causes are pending; Blessed Ignazio Maloyan (whose feast day will be June 11th) and Blessed Ignatius de Azevedo. Our family chose St. Ignacio Delgado y Cebrián, one of the Martyrs of Vietnam, mostly because I have a weakness for lesser known saints and he is of Spanish descent. St. Ignacio's feast day is on July 12th and I haven't yet decided what kind of nachos to make. I am posting this now because a friend of mine was telling me that she found it frustrating to read about feast day celebrations after the fact or without enough time to prepare. So, this is early for you, Genni. Enjoy your nachos!

*Oh, by the way... I thought it funny that the only picture I could find of what looked most like Chef Anaya's original nachos was from LaBamba Restaurant... in Aberdeen, Scotland! Pin It

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Green Is For the Growing Time

Do you hear that? I think the Church is taking a collective sigh of relief. The Liturgical Calendar has had a shift in the liturgical seasons and now we are in the slower-paced, less festive Ordinary Time. We have come through the cycle of Christ's birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection. The festival season of Easter is over, and we've had Pentecost. We were filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Now the Church gives us time to let those fruits grow within us; it is the growing time of Ordinary Time, reflected with the green liturgical color. My son calls this the BIG Ordinary Time because the green section on the Liturgical Calendar wheel is the largest section.

Ordinary Time is anything but ordinary. It's unfortunate our English language has that definition of the word. The use of the word "Ordinary" is merely meant as in time, ordinal, keeping track of the number of weeks. The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar explains this time:
VI. Ordinary Time

43. Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive character, thirty-three or thirty-four weeks remain in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially on the Sundays, they are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. This period is known as Ordinary Time.
It's also known as ferial time, a time without feasts. In the Traditional Calendar this season is referred as "Time After Pentecost". I find both titles in English fall a bit short, but we just have to look at the Church calendar and around us (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) to understand what this liturgical season should mean to us.

Weatherwise, this is summertime. (Yes, not officially, but meteorologically it is). My vegetable garden is planted, and now I'm waiting for it to grow. We're deep into lawn mowing season in the suburbs, and the forecast is for hazy, hot, humid days, with the usual afternoon thunderstorms. We are watching our little gardens, tending and weeding, keeping them from pests and diseases.

We'll be spending more time together as a family, either on outings or vacations, or family celebrations. We stay up longer, enjoying the sunlight. The heat almost forces us to slow down the pace. Those with children in organized sports will be sitting poolside, field side, or perhaps bleachers, with lots of car trips. But again, we're doing a lot of it together.

Perusing the calendar for the next few months, there are many saint feast days that we are commemorating. These saints give us the example of how to LIVE our Faith. They are part of our family, and we'll be spending time with them. We'll continue the instructions of the mysteries of our Faith and meditate on the teachings of Christ during this season, and use the example and intercession of the saints to apply it our lives. We've got to slow down the pace to be able to listen, to tend and weed our souls, and allow those graces we've received at Pentecost to grow -- and then share the harvest.

The cookbook I pull out this time of year is Twelve Months of Monastery Salads: 200 Divine Recipes for All Seasons by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette. There are lots of ideas for vegetarian salads. I either use them as sides for our main meal, or some recipes can be adapted by adding strips of chicken or steak or tuna on top.

But I'm leaving you with a very simple spinach salad of my own concoction; a green salad to reflect our green growing time!

Spinach Salad
Ingredients::1 pound fresh spinach
sliced mushrooms
1 avocado, diced (optional)
8 slices bacon
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped or sliced
2 tablespoons red vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook bacon until very crisp. I use a microwave and paper towels to keep down the grease and odor. But if you want to use the drippings over the salad, fry in a pan or oven.
Wash spinach; trim if necessary. With paper towels gently pat dry.

Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper and whisk. Put the spinach leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado cubes, chopped eggs, and mushrooms. Break the bacon into pieces and sprinkle into salad. Add the dressing and toss all ingredients and serve immediately. Optional, pour a few tablespoons bacon drippings on salad, toss, and serve.

The bacon adds a salty dimension, and I use hormone and nitrate free bacon. But this salad can be made as a dinner salad by adding cooked chicken pieces, either substituting the bacon, or just adding the chicken. Pin It