Brother Lawrence’s Stuffed Turkey Cutlets

After a dramatic religious conversion, young soldier Nicholas Herman decided to devote his life to following God and learning more about Christ. He joined a monastery and took the name Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. There, he spent the rest of his life working in the kitchen and repairing his brothers’ sandals. But during his decades of doing seemingly menial jobs, Brother Lawrence discovered a profound truth about having a relationship with God: Experiencing His presence can—and shouldhappen everywhere.  He spent his life serving others.  His letters were later compiled into the now classic book The Practice of the Presence of God.

“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”  ― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

 

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Brother Lawrence's Stuffed Turkey Cutlets
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
15 mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. ​Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, pound your turkey cutlets with a meat hammer until thin. Melt 2 Tbsp. each of butter and olive oil in a stove to oven safe skillet such as Calphalon or cast iron. Add your sliced onion and saute until lightly golden and soft. Add baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes, herbs and cook over low heat until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic (if desired) and wine. Cook over low heat until the flavors absorb into the tomatoes and onions.
  2. ​Lay your turkey cutlets on a cutting board. Zest the lemon over each one. Lay your mozzarella cheese on one end. Spoon the onion mixture over your cheese, and then top with a generous grating of fresh Parmesan. Starting w/ the cheese end, roll up each cutlet tightly. Sprinkle some bread crumbs into a shallow bowl, and roll each cutlet in to coat.
  3. ​Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and olive oil back to your pan, melt over medium heat and add the cutlets. Sautée each side of the cutlets until golden and then place the skillet in a 300 degree oven for about 12​-15​ min. to cook through.
  4. Take the remaining spinach,and microwave for about one minute until just limp. Sprinkle with onion salt and lay on a platter. Place the cutlets on top of the spinach to serve. Pour the juices along the sides of the cutlets just before serving.

cuetlet2

Rolled Sole with Fennel and Citrus

​Hospitality is an important ministry of Benedictines, but also with that comes the need for a spirit of flexibility!  You never know when a guest can appear needing a meal or a place to spend the night.  Being a Type-A personality and a perfectionist, this “gift” is not something that comes naturally to me. My life at the Villa was a wonderful time for me to breathe and let God take the reins.
It’s a place where I hear the gentle guiding voice of the​ Holy Spirit.

We had some special guests coming to stay​ at Villa Via Sacra​, and as usual, we had many other things that felt equally important going on at the same time.  I thought I should plan a meal that could be prepped, held, and baked at the last minute, so that we could be free to do all of these things, but still sit down and enjoy a meal with our guests, so I prayed about what should be served. Nothing immediately came to mind, which was frustrating!  I needed answers, I didn’t have time to waste, and most importantly, I had to go grocery shopping!  I guess God was teaching me a something…
Then one day, not too long before they arrived, this recipe came to mind, and it felt perfect.  The guests were older, it was a hot day. They would be traveling for a couple hours before arriving, and I knew they would be very tired.  This recipe is light, easy on the stomach, and pleasing to the eye.  It turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing meal and a lesson to me about depending on God’s timetable, not my own.

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Rolled Sole with Fennel and Citrus
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
45 mins
READY IN
65 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In medium skilled, over medium-low heat, sauté the diced fennel in the olive oil until barely tender, about 3 min.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in the fennel flowers or seeds, then the garlic.
  4. Stir in the orange sections, and half of the citrus zest (reserving other half for garnish), and 2/3 cup of breadcrumbs. Remove from stove.
  5. Top each fillet with a layer of fennel mixture, gently roll up and secure with a toothpick if desired.
  6. Arrange the rolls in a 6 x 9 inch baking dish.
  7. Drizzle with the melted butter and ¼ cup of wine, and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake uncovered for 20 min. or until the sole has white edges and the crumbs are browned. Do not overcook!
  9. While the sole is baking, combine the juices of the lemon and orange along with the remaining ¼ cup of wine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and let the sauce reduce for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the fish from the oven. Spoon the citrus juice mixture on top of the fish and garnish with the reserved zest and fennel fronds or parsley, and serve immediately. Andiamo Mangiare!​

Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is now considered a specialty dish often featured on menus in upscale eating places. It has, however, been a common everyday food in Italian homes for many years. Cooked in different ways to satisfy various tastes, it is almost as popular as pasta in the Mediterranean diet.

It can be prepared as a simple, meatless, light lunch or as an accompaniment to meat or fish for a fuller multi-course meal.

This time of year, spring asparagus especially lends itself to this creamy, cheesy dish to make it an exceptionally flavorful culinary experience.
Asparagus Risotto

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Asparagus Risotto
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
50mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Blanch the asparagus
  2. In a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon butter on medium heat.
  3. Add the shallots and cook until translucent.
  4. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.
  5. While shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in another saucepan.
  6. Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine.
  7. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice. Stir until the liquid is almost sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Continue adding 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice at a time, and cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed each time.
  9. You will stop adding stock when the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes.
  10. With the last ladle of stock, add the asparagus. Turn off the heat. Keep the risotto loose. It thickens a lot while it sits.
  11. Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter. Add onion salt and pepper to taste.

Autumn Shepard’s Pie

Whenever we have Shepherd’s pie for dinner I know for certain that there will not be any leftovers for lunch the next day. Simple as it is, people love its old fashioned goodness, and even those who never take seconds can’t seem to resist having just a little bit more.

Just yesterday, I learned that sweet potatoes may be one of the greatest sources of beta carotene and Vitamin A – thus very good for you. So why not put a little autumn spin on our Shepherd’s pie and top it with tangy orange-zested sweet potato instead of white? I gave it a try and to my delight it did exactly what I what I hoped for……a thick golden crust that was gorgeous to look at and mouthwatering to eat.

Served alongside a mixed green cranberry vinaigrette salad this became a most satisfying homespun November supper.

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Autumn Shepard's Pie
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
30minutes
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Put meat, onions, salt, thyme, pepper and if available bone and pan drippings, in a pot or pressure cooker and cover with water.
  2. Cook or boil them until the meat and onions are both soft. Boil the liquid down until flavorful.
  3. Add the wine and thicken with flour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  5. Place meat mixture in a pie dish (the peas may be added) and top with mashed sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake until golden brown and bubbling through, about 30 minutes.

Savory Herbed Chorizo Chicken

Sometimes color can be almost as important as flavor in producing a successful recipe.  That is one of the reasons I find so much joy in using fresh garden vegetables, whether they are cooked into the dish or simply used as a garnish or an accompaniment.  Fresh herbs can also enhance an otherwise plain or ordinary entrée.

Right now our gardens are rich with a profusion of healthy herbs — so lush and fragrant that when I am in the midst of them I understand why Paddington, the cat, would often lie right down and roll around in a bed of them. I love to keep a collection of freshly picked herbs in front of me on the kitchen counter where I can bury my face in them from time to time and remember to include them in whatever I may be cooking.

Today I am making savory herbed chorizo chicken breasts using both garden vegetables and herbs to notify both the eye and the palette.

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Savory Herbed Chorizo Chicken
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves ½ teaspoon salt, divided ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Cooking spray ¼ cup Mexican pork chorizo, casings removed ¼ cup sliced onion 2 tablespoons diced carrot ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper ¼ cup diced red bell pepper ¼ cup white wine 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
18mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  4. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
  5. While chicken cooks, heat a large skillet over medium – high heat.
  6. Add chorizo; cook 1 minute, stirring to crumble.
  7. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, onion, and carrot; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add bell peppers; cook 1 minute or until crisp-tender.
  9. Add wine, cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  10. Spoon chorizo mixture over chicken; top with cilantro or any choice of fresh herbs ( rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage)