Food Disciples
Part 1: Discipline  

Originally published November 10, 2010

 

During a recent break from the seminary, I used my time for “further education.”  While most priests would go to a theological seminar or a spiritual retreat, I went back to cooking school.  Why not?  As Grace Before Meals continues to grow, I have to keep up my culinary skills, while continuing to develop my theological learning as well.   Besides, after dedicating time to class prep and teaching, I needed a bit of a breather from the books, and get my hands into some food. 

Me taste testing Radio Host Ed Norris at the Big Brother / Big Sister benefit event at Raven’s Stadium

For the next three weeks, I will share with you just some of the lessons I learned from my recent cooking class experience. 

 

Chef Maureen and Mr. Johnson – culinary arts instructors at City College, San Francisco

Since my cooking skills are somewhat developed – at least good enough for cooking with families – I knew I needed something more than the basics.  A chef friend who I met at one of my events extended an invitation to come  “anytime” and experience her unique cooking school program in the heart of downtown San Francisco’s City College.  The hands on program grants certificates for pastry and savory chefs.  This program also gives them a unique perspective in cooking for a student run restaurant called, “The Educated Palate” serving high-end meals at incredible prices.  The experience is invaluable!

Chef Maureen with student, after plating a shrimp scampi with Israeli couscous

I took her up on the offer and found myself learning from the best of teachers:  the students!  There are famous sayings that qualify the unique understanding of teachers as someone who’s always willing to learn.  That’s what I saw in the Head Instructors, Chef Maureen and Pastry Instructor, Chef Bisty.

Chef Bistsy offering plating and design tips for the dessert

Granted, I only experienced 3 days of their classes, but the pedagogy I saw offered the students the greatest lesson of all:  experience.  Experience can be good or bad.  That’s where the instructors were so helpful.  They showed the students the techniques, offered them guidance, and most importantly, they encouraged each student to be disciplined in their learning.

That’s the lesson I had to “learn again!”  Discipline.  We don’t like to experience it, but it’s required for anyone who takes anything seriously.  The students taught me how discipline helps learn to cut, saute, to bake, and even to serve.  Discipline, sometimes a hard lesson to digest requires patience, practice and perseverance.

Recent graduate, Chef Philly offered a class on art carving of vegetables and fruit – a highly technical discipline and art

That “discipline” reminds us that no matter how skilled we are at something, we’re all still learning.  That’s what the word discipline mean.  It means “student”, the Greek word from “disciple.”  These food disciples / culinary students inspired to go return to the basics when it comes to cooking, and more importantly in the practice and ongoing learning of my faith.

While I learned many things, new techniques – especially baking (that’s for next week’s blast) – I was given a beautiful reminder about the humility to learn, the desire to improve, and the repetition of practice in order to master a craft or art.  As true as that is for cooking, the need for discipline is especially true when considering the art of filling the hungers of our heart and souls.

These apple pastries were worth standing in front of a hot oven for hours

Jesus’ closest friends are also called disciples – students.  They were students, learning from Jesus how to love one another.  The greatest lesson they learned just happened to be at the dinner table of the Last Supper. At this sacred meal, they learned the greatest lesson of love through Christ’s sacrifice.

A group of “faithful foodies” and good friends!

Let us pray:  Father, we are not only your children, we are your disciples, students of your law of love.  Despite our inability to grasp all of the information and inspiration you give us each day, help us to digest these lessons with humility and patience.  And as students who continue to learn these life lessons, help us then teach these lessons – not with words but with actions – to those we meet this day.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 

 

This week’s featured recipes:

 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out with the latest Grace Before Meals webisode, check it out by clicking the link below:

 

After you finish watching how easy it is to make the two pasta dishes, then you can follow the recipes below for each item. Click on the picture to get the recipe for:

 

 

Italian Chicken Pasta with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes and Onions

 

Asian Chicken Noodle with Coconut Cream Sauce
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!
Any submissions may be used in future Grace Before Meals publications.

Posted in Blast from the Past, Food for Thought, Past Emails, Recipe-Pasta, Recipes, Savoring Our Faith, Video | 2 Comments »

Blast From The Past

On occasion, our Grace Before Meals movement will send out some “Blasts from the Past,” not only because the messages are still relevant today, but it also helps us remember how far we’ve come! Post something by clicking here.

Old Dog, New Tricks

Now I am not truly an “old dog”, though I feel like it sometimes when traveling non-stop or when doing a flying jump kick over some volunteers to break some boards (see picture below). But as the fall approaches, our Grace Before Meals team is preparing to launch some new “tricks” as discussed in last week’s blast, including the long-awaited release of my new book Spicing Up Married Life, coming out September 18.

And if I have to take the designation of being an “old dog performing new tricks,” as humbling as it may seem, I am glad to, as I know I am in good company- specifically, St. Dominic (whose feast day is August 8) and my former spiritual director, Fr. Frank McGauley.

I look back fondly on the many lessons I learned from this amazing priest, who passed away on July 15, 2008. He was 86 years old at the time, and yet, as you will read below, he was always learning something new about his faith and love for God, as well as God’s love for us. And much like St. Dominic, his faithfulness was inspiring and helped me to grow deeper in my own. So please enjoy this stroll down memory lane to remember this great priest and friend from whom I learned so much. And with St. Dominic’s intercession, we ask for God’s blessing on all priests and religious, families and communities, and all those, including Grace Before Meals, who seek to glorify God with their lives and devotion. May we please him by our faithfulness and true love.

Food for the Body

St. Dominic – Old Dog, New Tricks

Originally Published August 8, 2007

My spiritual director is an 85-year-old Jesuit Priest who served in the missionaries of India for more than 30 years.  He learned their languages and culture in order to serve the poor and local tribes as their pastor, spiritual leader, and friend.  He’s worked with Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta and a host of other holy men and women who brought the Good News of Jesus to that part of the world!

His credentials were enough reason for me to “select” him as my spiritual director. But there are so many other reasons, such as his sincere joy, his holy fear of the Lord, his sensitivity and awareness to the battles against evil, and also his down to earth spirituality.  Above all, he is humble!

I could jokingly say, he’s everything I’m NOT – but then, I wouldn’t be joking!

Every meeting, without fail, I receive so much spiritual food from his wisdom and counsel.  But one thing I constantly marvel at is how this “old man” approaches suffering, trials and challenges – especially the challenge of growing older.  He sees challenges as lessons in life, and he tells us that nothing goes to waste!  He lives with knowledge and hope that even our problems can be useful in God’s hands.

In my last Spiritual Direction Meeting (I usually go once a month), I heard he had a nasty fall down a flight of stairs.  He let go of the safety rail with his one hand because he was afraid of tipping over the plate of food he had in his other hand.  Of course my ears perked up, simply because he mentioned food!  (I secretly wondered if the meal was worth the fall!)  But thank God his athletic skills from his younger days kicked in, so that he fell in such a way to avoid even worse physical damage. Though it could have been worse, it was bad enough to bloody him up and require medical attention.  He thanks his angels for helping him out, especially at his tender age!

Yet in all of this, this man of God was able to learn a life lesson, which he conveyed to me.  He mentioned that the plate of food could be a symbol of the many responsibilities, privileges, and issues that we carry.  These things are precious to us and we are afraid to tip them over.  BUT for him, the handrail was a symbol of GOD.  No matter how tempted we may be to try and take control (i.e. use both hands) and manage our own affairs, we cannot let go of God.  Look at what might happen if we do!

Food for the Body

Here is a man who could call himself “a ragged old dog.”  Yet he is so willing to learn new tricks!  I used this phrase “old dog” because of the Feast we celebrate every August 8th – the Feast of St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans.  His name and the name of the congregations he founded literally means “Dogs of the Lord” – domini (Lord) canes (Dogs).  An image of St. Dominic normally shows him in the beautiful white Dominican Robes pointing up, holding a book, and next to him a dog holding a torch in its mouth.

Even though my spiritual director is a Jesuit, I see in him a true “Dominican” – as he is ever faithful to the Lord, like the old dog “Fido” (which is a form of the word “Fides” – “Faith”).  Sorry cat lovers, but that’s why they call Fido “man’s best friend,” because the dogs are ever faithful!

This old faithful – my spiritual director – reminds me that life should be a spiritual journey and that we can find spiritual lessons in every encounter – even if its challenging and full of suffering.  After all, Jesus didn’t die on the cross to be jewelry, but to be a visible lesson and reminder of love, forgiveness, and the reality of human suffering, especially in our elderly population – who is so often forgotten.  My spiritual director, and all of the elderly patients I minister to remind me of the importance to grow old gracefully and to realize that getting older presents its own challenges.  We who are younger can learn tremendous lessons from them, even if the only lesson we repeat is patience, patience, patience!

I’ll close with this story I keep close to my heart whenever I consider working with the elderly.  A young priest noticed the old Monsignor sleeping in his pew during prayer.  One day the younger priest expressed his displeasure to the old man and questioned how he could sleep during his prayer.  The old Monsignor explained that he tries to stay attentive to the Lord in prayer, but sometimes his age gets the best of him.  “In those moments,” the old man explained, “I sometimes hear God say, ‘You’re not as young as you were, but your faithfulness is like a dog who sometimes serves his master best by simply resting at his master’s feet!”

With the prayers of St. Dominic, I want to ask God to bless my spiritual director with a long and faithful life – I obviously need that “old dog” around to teach me new lessons!

Food for the Body

Orzo Ginger Chicken

The FDA has some ideas for healthy eating for our elderly community.  Sometimes we have to wonder, how did people in generations past live such long lives without the FDA?  I think they used common sense by eating appropriately, healthy, and festively – and they started young.  So start now!  But if you do have someone a bit older in your family life, you may want to make them a healthful and soul satisfying meal. Here’s an idea for a very simple and tasty dish that’s not only easy to prepare, it’s also really easy to eat!  For the recipe [click here].

Food for the Soul

My spiritual director has taught me great ways of praying!  He reminds me to make sure that “nothing goes to waste.”  Therefore, if ever I have certain challenges, I try to reflect on them and ask, “What did I learn from this?”  This examination of conscience not only reminds us that our challenges are not useless, but could also be helpful!  My spiritual director’s fall taught him and me to always manage the “food on my plate” by not overdoing it, and to always, no matter what, hold on to the railing!

Let Us Pray: Lord, when life gets a bit more complicated, help me to take a moment to gain true balance, so that I can better walk with You and with Your people.  Help me to be strong, but at the same time humble enough to keep me dependent on Your loving guidance.  Help me to walk, hand in hand, with You!  Amen.

CONNECT WITH US @

Become a Fan of Fr. Leo and Grace before Meals on Facebook!Follow Fr. Leo on Twitter!Watch Grace Before Meals episodes on Youtube!

 SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!

Posted in Blast from the Past, Chicken, Food for the Body, Food for the Soul, Food for Thought, In Memory, Menu Inspiration, Past Emails, Prayers, Recipe, Recipe-Meats, Recipe-Pasta, Recipes, Spicing Up Married Life | 1 Comment »

 

This week’s blast is a combination of old and new: New Inspirations with an Old Recipe. As we approach the end of the Lenten season, it is more important now than before to prepare our hearts and in doing so, we can sometimes use new inspirations for our old approaches. So keep the faith (and the appetite) for the upcoming Easter season. Contact us at assistant@gracebeforemeals.com with any of your own stories, inspirations and recipes.

The Holiest Week of the Year

 

This week’s blast is a combination of old and new: New Inspirations with an Old Recipe. Each year, we have the opportunity to grow in our spiritual lives through a unique celebration called Holy Week.  This solemn week has special meaning for our Grace Before Meals movement.  It was on a particular Holy Week a few years ago that I had the opportunity to share the Grace Before Meals message on national TV – ABC World News.  You can see the video link below.

(Interviewed while making a special Palm Sunday Pasta.)

(Interviewed while making a special Palm Sunday Pasta.)

Since then our movement has grown in very special ways.  The ups and downs of our movement have been perfectly blessed by Jesus’ life – a life of many ups and downs.  But, in the end, we know there is only one way for Christians who know, love, and serve God:  UP!

(I baptized this young man in 1997. He definitely grew UP! He was one of the first "babies" that I baptized as a newly ordained Deacon. His mother introduced me at a conference I gave in Florida.)

(I baptized this young man in 1997.  He definitely grew UP!  He was one of the first “babies” that I baptized as a newly ordained Deacon.  His mother introduced me at a conference I gave in Florida.)

During this week, we have an opportunity to climb the mountain with God.  If you haven’t had the chance to make it to Confession (which helps us get rid of the spiritual baggage that drags us down), go for it!  If you haven’t had time to really pray, give to the poor, or take on a Lenten discipline, then now is the time.

(St. Veronica's charity helped lighten Jesus' heavy burden.) 

(St. Veronica’s charity helped lighten Jesus’ heavy burden.)

Of course, one way that you can encourage your family and friends to make this upcoming week a real blessing is around your dinner table.  Here’s a Blast from a past Palm Sunday recipe for you and your family.

(Penne della "palma" – creamy heart of palm pasta.)

(Penne della “palma” – creamy heart of palm pasta.)

Let us pray:  Father, as the Church prepares to celebrate the Passion of Our Lord, may we enter faithfully into these mysteries of redemption and so celebrate with You at the victory.  In a special way, we pray for those preparing to enter into the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and reception of the Eucharist.  May they experience the full joy of being part of the Christian family.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(Some of the youth "posing" before my talk at the Anaheim Convention Center.) 

(Some of the youth “posing” before my talk at the Anaheim Convention Center.) 

Click here to watch the video from the ABC World News.

How will you celebrate and the coming Holy Week?  Does your church have opportunities in which you can participate?  What’s your favorite part of next week?  Have you ever attended the Chrism Mass for your (Arch) Diocese?  Do you have a special prayer intention with which we can encourage and pray for you too?  Post your comments, questions, and ideas here.

(Stations of the Cross – Lourdes, France.)

(Stations of the Cross – Lourdes, France.)

ALSO – be sure to sign up for the Napa Valley virtuous vacation for a special summer retreat-vacation-culinary extravaganza!

(Get ready for some delicious wine pairings!)

(Get ready for some delicious wine pairings!)

Also, don’t miss my show, “Savoring the Faith” on EWTN this Sunday at 8:30pm EST. I know, last week’s episode did not happen make due to the Holy Father’s message, but we should be back again this week. Be sure to tune in!

PLUS: A NEW GBM VIDEO

Check out Fr. Leo's latest: Foodie Express!

Check out Fr. Leo’s latest: Foodie Express!

I, Fr. Leo, actually edited this video all by myself despite my lack of technological comprehension. Give it up for me! Just kidding. Don’t do that. But check it out and be sure to leave comments! How’d I do?

CONNECT WITH US @

MINIFLIPPING...nuff said.Become a Fan of Fr. Leo and Grace before Meals on Facebook!Follow Fr. Leo on Twitter!Watch Grace Before Meals episodes on Youtube!

SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE!

 

Posted in Blast from the Past, Holiday, Menu Inspiration, Prayers, Recipe, Recipe-Pasta, Recipes, Video | 1 Comment »

Menu Inspiration

Menu Inspiration gives subscribers exclusive access to original and inspired recipes from Fr. Leo Patalinghug, host of the movement Grace Before Meals.  If you try this recipe, let us know what you think. If you have a special recipe that inspires the family to come together more regularly, please share it with us and our faithful foodie community. Pictures of your food surrounded by your family and friends are always welcome!  Post your comments below.

Holy Week Menu

High Altar of Cathedral of Mary our Queen, Baltimore, Md

(High Altar of Cathedral of Mary our Queen, Baltimore, Md)

Next week, also known to Christians as Holy Week, commemorates the epic events in Jesus Christ’s life here on Earth.  The Paschal Mystery begins with Jesus entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, then the Institution of the Eucharist and the role of service demonstrated on Holy Thursday, the culmination of Christ’s suffering on Good Friday, and of course, the Light of hope inflamed on Saturday’s Easter Vigil in preparation for Easter Sunday!  This is the best week of the year for faithful foodies, at least in my culinary cultured perspective.

For Palm Sunday I’ve created a pasta that incorporates hearts of palm – something to help us commemorate how the palms in Jesus’ time represented victory and life.  The palms were used for building things, protection from the day’s heat, and even the leaves were used for medicine!

(A

(A different type of “Palm” leaf, but I used this one to wrap and steam fish.  Delicious!)

On Holy Thursday we see the role Jesus took on as waiter and servant – even to the point of wearing an “apron,”  which is one reason why we offer our exclusive Grace Before Meals apron to you – a great gift for loved ones or yourself.  It’s a reminder that we are all servants of God’s generous blessings.

(Michigan Event.  Mom was so proud her son "helped" me make the pasta dish -- the first time he ever cooked!)

(Michigan Event. Mom was so proud her son “helped” me make the pasta dish — the first time he ever cooked!)

On Good Friday we see another unique aspect of Christ’s life:  he thirsts!  He will say that as part of His last words on Earth.  And obviously, gall* won’t satisfy what he really craves:  our faith!

*Gall is the bile/vinegary substance soaked up in the sponge given to Jesus on the cross

Finally, the sad events of Good Friday culminate in an intensely beautiful and scripture-filled prayer on Holy Saturday, when the Lamb of God conquers the grave, as we will hear proclaimed in the Exsultet Prayer.

These Feast Days will no doubt make it busy for you and your family.  But if you can take extra time to celebrate with the Church Family, I’m sure you will be nourished, satisfied, and consoled!

(Me and some members of the youth group who served a dinner during my presentations in Guam.)

(Me and some members of the youth group who served a dinner during my presentations in Guam.)

Perhaps one way to encourage your family to come to these celebrations is to make a special meal with my exclusive recipes!  These will never replace the banquet God prepares for us at the altar.  But these recipes – appropriate for this season of Lent – can certainly provide just enough family time to have discussions about what’s happened in Jesus’ life.  This way, as a family, you can talk about what truly makes next week the Holiest and most celebratory week of the year, especially for faithful foodies!

PALM SUNDAY RECIPE:  Penne della Palma!  (A creamy Palm Sunday Special)

(A “tender” side of me.  Me with some Grace Before Meals friends from Fort Meade Army Base after a recent event.  I’ve got a real "soft spot" for  babies!)

I created this recipe specifically for the ABC World News Report. Hearts of palm, oftentimes used in salad, are instead used as a sweet and tart vegetable base for a creamy pasta sauce.

Penne della Palma (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 pound penne pasta

1 can hearts palm

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

¼ cup parsley, minced

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs butter

½ cup brandy

½ cup starchy pasta water

½ cup whipping cream

½ Tbs salt and pepper (or to taste)

Instructions: Boil pasta until al dente. Drain water, but reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water. Drain water from palms and cut into ¼-inch pieces. In a large pan, heat olive oil and butter, then saute garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and palm. Add cheese and breadcrumbs, and combine. Add brandy, water, and cream (ATTENTION: cooking with liquor is flammable). Add pasta and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese for more flavor.

HOLY THURSDAY MENU: Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

(Searing seasoned meat in a slightly oiled but highly heated cast iron skillet for 1 minute on each side, and then finishing off in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes creates a beautiful crust and pink tender inside!)

(Mushroom and red wine sauce.)

Remember Holy Thursday’s meal is all about service, demonstrated by how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper.  This celebration also commemorates the institution of the Eucharist – Jesus’ Sacramental Presence in the Bread and Wine.  On this day it will be a good idea to really focus on the food of bread and wine.  And perhaps also teach your young children how wine can be used as a “gift” and how wine can be abused by people.  For that reason, I want to encourage people to participate in an upcoming Napa Valley wine pilgrimage, where we will discuss “transubstantiation” and the theological implications of wine in the Old and the New Testament.

(Vineyards in Napa Valley.)

This wine-based mushroom recipe can also help create a simple side dish to complement any protein-based main course, such as chicken, beef, or pork.

Ingredients:

2 cups red wine

1 glove garlic, finely minced

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs tomato paste

2 packages button mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper

1 sprig rosemary (optional)

Instructions:  In a saucepan large enough to fit all the mushrooms, heat the red wine, garlic, and rosemary sprig until the wine comes to a light boil.  Add the butter and tomato paste, and stir until sauce thickens.  Add the mushrooms, and mix until all is fully incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and remove from heat.  The liquid from the mushrooms will help loosen the sauce.  To make the sauce more wet, add a ½ cup of water, and season with salt and pepper.

NOTE:  Be sure to speak with your children about how wine is important to the Christian culture and about how Thursday’s celebration elevates the wine to a supernatural level!

GOOD FRIDAY MENU:  Tuna, Caper, and Peppercorn Fusilli Pasta

(Regular can of tuna transformed into something delicious and Lent- Friendly.)

(Regular can of tuna transformed into something delicious and Lent- Friendly.)

Here’s a tuna pasta that beats the pants off traditional tuna sandwiches.  While this is a tasty little treat, it definitely satisfies the Lenten requirements.  It’s a simple, not expensive seafood dish, and it’s perfect for your family.  It uses inexpensive ingredients, infused with some inspired thoughts, that make it a meal worth celebrating with children who, like Jesus, thirst for faith.

To make this little can of albacore come to life I created my version of Italian tuna pasta that I ate in Florence during my seminary days.  I’ve made it for several other people, and they say it’s definitely something to celebrate. But it’s still in the Lenten rulebook for fasting, and it sure beats the texture and blandness of those sandwiches!

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 lb box dried fusilli pasta, boiled and cooked al dente

2-3 cans albacore tuna

2 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 Tbs fresh capers

1 tsp green peppercorns, in water

1-1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

Instructions:

Sauté garlic in pan of hot olive oil.  Add tuna (including the liquid in the can), capers, and peppercorns.  Mix until tuna is warm.  Add tomato sauce, and let simmer for 1 minute.  Add pasta, and allow some of the pasta water to help “cream” the sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  NOTE:  If you prefer to eat tuna less warm and prefer it room temperature, simply wait until you add the pasta to add the tuna.  But be sure to drain the juices as it could “clash” with the rest of the ingredients if not incorporated with heat.

EASTER MENU: Glorious Lamb!

(Pan roasted and oven-finished lamb chops.)

(Pan roasted and oven-finished lamb chops.)

Finally, in preparation for Easter, treat your family to a not-so-traditional lamb dish.  This is one I really enjoy making.  It’s a special dish that begins with “frenched” lamb chops.  So while this is something you can’t use to feed a large dinner party, it’s definitely worth the time and money for your immediate family on this Easter Sunday’s Feast of Feasts!

Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops (Serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

6 rib rack of Baby Lamb Chops, frenched (i.e., bone is cleaned to create a “handle,” and trimmed fat is optional.  I leave the fat on as it adds great flavor and texture, but trimming the fat off the “back” of the chops is up to you.)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup Italian season breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

(Frenched Lamb Chops first sautéing in the pan, and will be finished off in the oven.)

(Frenched Lamb Chops first sautéing in the pan, and will be finished off in the oven.)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine breadcrumbs, rosemary, and garlic on a large plate and set aside. Season lamb chop with salt and pepper, and then coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, making sure all parts have some oil on each.  Dredge chops and coat with the breadcrumb mix.  Heat remaining olive oil in a nonstick skillet.  Sear chops on all sides for 1 minute each.  Put on an oven-safe rack, and place in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes for a rare to medium temperature, 20 minutes for medium well.  Remove from the oven, and let meat rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it into individual chops.  These chops will definitely raise our Lenten-numbed taste buds back to life!

I hope these recipes help satisfy some of your physical hungers as the Church’s celebration truly satisfies our spiritual hungers.  Also, thank you for your patience as we continue to make adjustments on our website, especially in order to gain full access to all of these exclusive recipes.  If you have any recipe ideas to share, please send those along with pictures to:  assistant@gracebeforemeals.com.

Let us pray:

Father, inspire us in this coming week, so that everything we do, speak, and pray reflects the wonder of Your love for us.  Bless families so that this week will truly reflect the holiness, the hop,e and the glory that comes from Your goodness.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

(Crucifix in Costa Rican Church.)

(Crucifix in Costa Rican Church.)

Tell me what you’re going to make for Holy Week or Easter.   Any recipes, tips, questions or comments, please share below.  Your comments and questions help fuel our Grace Before Meals Team’s imagination and encouragement.  Post your comments or questions by clicking here!

Stirring the Pot!

Posted in Grace Before Meals, Menu Inspiration, Recipe-Fish, Recipe-Meats, Recipe-Pasta, Recipe-Sauce, Recipes | 9 Comments »

Posted March 24th, 2010 | Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta

 

Penne della Palma (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:
1 pound penne pasta
1 can hearts of palm
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
¼ cup parsley, minced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
½ cup brandy
½ cup starchy pasta water
½ cup whipping cream
½ Tbs salt and pepper (or to taste)

Instructions:
Boil pasta until al dente.  Drain water, but reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water.  Drain water from palms and cut into ¼ inch pieces.  In a large pan, heat olive oil and butter, then saute garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and palm.  Add cheese and breadcrumbs, and combine. Add brandy, water, and cream (attention:  cooking with liquor is flammable).  Add pasta and mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese for more flavor.

Penne della Palma

Penne della Palma

Posted in Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta | 2 Comments »

Posted February 24th, 2010 | Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta

To make this little can of albacore come to life, I created my version of Italian tuna pasta that I ate in Florence during my seminary days.  I’ve made it for several other people and they say it’s definitely the opposite of penitential!  But, it’s still in the Lenten rulebook for fasting and it sure beats the texture and blandness of those sandwiches!

Ingredients:  Serves 1 portion

1 cup of dried fusili pasta, boiled and cooked al dente

1 can of albacore tuna

1 Tbs olive oil

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 Tbs fresh capers

½ tsp green peppercorns

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ cup tomato sauce

Instructions:

Sauté garlic in pan of hot olive oil. Add tuna (including the liquid in the can), capers, and peppercorns.  Mix until tuna is warm.  Add tomato sauce and let simmer for 1 minute.  Add pasta and allow some of the pasta water to help “cream” the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Posted in Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta | 5 Comments »