Coeur à la crème

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Coeur à la crème
We recently had the good fortune to welcome back Daniel Roth, organist at St. Sulpice in Paris, France for a repeat performance in our church. The event included a post-concert reception, with a delicious sampling of beautiful sweets and savories. Tucked in among the appetizers was a French classic: Coeur à la crème. Our rendition was a delightfully creamy cheese spread studded with fresh herbs and surrounded by freshly baked pita chips. Topped with calendula blossoms, this was a reception “show-stopper” with promised “repeat performances” in the future! Classically prepared with cream cheese and crème fraîche, our recipe uses fresh ricotta. Try it savory or as a dessert--it will not disappoint!
SERVINGS
10 - 12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
10
PREP TIME
15
READY IN
6-8hours or overnight

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place ricotta and fresh herbs into a blender or food processor and blend, slowly adding in lemon juice. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place a fine metal mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a double layer of cheesecloth.
  4. Scrape the ricotta mixture from the food processor or blender into the cheesecloth.
  5. Put a small plate (salad plate or saucer size) over ricotta mixture. Place a can or a heavy object on top to help it drain and let stand 6-8 hours or overnight.
  6. In the morning, unmold the cheese from the strainer, removing the cheesecloth. Put on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs, edible flowers (we recommend calendula or nasturtiums) and serve with crackers or pita crisps. Bon appétit!

More lemon juice may be added until desired taste and consistency is reached. Any fresh herbs can be substituted for those used in this recipe! Feel free to experiment with your favorites!

Inspired by the Song of Spring

Being a Benedictine House, we start our day with the office of Lauds followed by Eucharist. As I left the service today, I was struck by just how many years Monasticism has existed and thrived, and how blessed I was to be a part of a living organism that has withstood the passage of time and changed the world in the process.

As I passed through our atrium, I was met with the lovely singing of birds. With the cold winter we’ve had, this promise of spring was a delight to my ears and got me itching to create a light new soup that was both colorful and tasty. I set out for the kitchen to create just that.

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Inspired by the Song of Spring
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, sautee leeks, garlic, and thyme in the butter and olive oil until softened- about eight minutes.
  2. Add diced potato and cook an additional 5 minutes or until the potatoes begin to take on a slightly translucent hue. Meanwhile, prepare asparagus by snapping off the ends and peeling the sides with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1" pieces.
  3. Add broccoli florets to your stock pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add prepared asparagus pieces and cover with 8 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken, whichever you prefer). Stir and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover your pot and cook until your vegetables are tender about 10 min.
  5. After 10 minutes, uncover the pot, turn off the heat and add the spinach. Allow to sit for an additional five minutes.
  6. Cool slightly, and puree using an immersion blender or a countertop blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth to achieve the desired thickness or add some cream. Re-heat and serve. Makes 14 cups of soup.

Pot Roast

We have had a wonderful summer with food, creating a wide variety of unusual fresh salads of all sorts, interesting new chilled soups, and great ribs, chicken, burgers, and other meats from the grill. Now people are remembering the savory heartwarming dishes of cooler weather, expressing their desire for savory seasonal favorites of the Fall.

Right now I am torn between wanting to serve a great pot roast, while at the same time thinking how happy many people would be to enjoy a tasty old fashioned Shepherd’s Pie…so we do both! For today, we’ll make a great pot roast doubling the amount we would usually cook, and saving the meat for a delicious Shepherd’s Pie in a few days’ time.

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Pot Roast
SERVINGS
6servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
4hrs
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
4 hrs15 min

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F
  2. Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast
  3. Heat the olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions and set aside.
  4. Put the carrots into the same pot and toss them until slightly browned, about a minute, and set aside the carrots with the onions.
  5. Add a bit more olive oil to the pot and place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is brown all over. Remove the meat to a plate.
  6. Deglaze the pot with either red wine or beef broth—about 1 cup—scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the meat back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.
  7. Add the onions and the carrots, and fresh herbs.
  8. Cover pot and roast, about 1 hour per pound of meat. The roast is ready when it can be pulled apart with a fork.
Optional: Top with mashed potatoes and freshly steamed broccoli
  1. Boil 6 baking potatoes in salted water until fork tender
  2. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot.
  3. In a small bowl, mix 2 cups of sour cream, 2 cups of milk and add to the pot of boiled potatoes.
  4. Mash potatoes with a hand masher, hand held beater or an electric mixer
  5. Spread potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with Paprika and broil 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add steamed broccoli and serve warm.

Savory Roasted Apple Bourbon Bird

Autumn is apple time, and our trees are laden with gorgeous fruit — apples that are being turned into applesauce, apple crisp, apple fritters and all things apple! This is the time to have fun with them when they are so plentiful and at their best.

Last week we decided to give our chicken meal of the week an autumn touch by incorporating some apples into it and we were quite pleased with what resulted…..our Savory Roasted Apple Bourbon Bird. All we did was rub our chicken all over inside and out with a great mixture of tasty spices and herbs, stuffed it with some apple and yam quarters and a few shallots and roasted it as usual but basted it with our unusual cider bourbon glaze giving it a beautiful rich finish that was breathtaking to behold and luscious to taste. It is really worth trying and equally as good with a pork roast.

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Savory Roasted Apple Bourbon Bird
SERVINGS
4people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
105minutes
PREP TIME
30minutes
READY IN
135minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine fresh garlic, onion salt, 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, cracked pepper.
  2. Rub well into chicken all over inside and out.
  3. Quarter a large apple, 6 shallots and stuff into cavity along with a handful of fresh thyme and a stalk of celery.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30 minutes to 45 minutes more.
  7. Baste chicken with glaze about every 5 minutes for final 15 minutes of cooking.
Bourbon Glaze
  1. Reduce the apple juice down to about ¾ cup then add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Heat the mixture until dissolved then add 1 cup bourbon and let boil for about 5 minutes or until mixture reduces to about 1 cup of liquid.
  3. Baste chicken with glaze about every 5 or 10 minutes for final 30 minutes of cooking.
  4. **Add 3 quartered apples, 2 yams cut to size of apples, and a dozen shallots to roasting pan stirring from time to time until all are tender.
  5. Remove and hold when done.

Creamy Festive Leeks

By now you have most likely planned your entire Thanksgiving dinner, but even if you have, I’d like to suggest a simple side dish you might want to consider adding to the meal, or taking with you if you’ve been invited to someone else’ s home for dinner. The idea occurred to me as I passed our rather empty gardens and spied several rows of leeks still standing strong and holding their own out in the cold.

Since the earliest days in the Community, it has been our custom to serve the traditional Cape Cod Thanksgiving meal, which always included creamed onions. Then, when our gardens began to produce beautiful leeks we started using them instead. Many people prefer leeks because of their milder and more subtle flavor, and now they have become a “must have” addition to our holiday menu.

If you have never been introduced to leeks cooked in this particular way, they might very well become a favorite with you once you give them a try.

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Creamy Festive Leeks
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
35-40minutes
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse leeks well, as soil can often be caught between leaves.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme, sage, white pepper, flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cream and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add sherry, and season with salt.