About Gourmet Nun

There are actually two of us under the title of "Gourmet Nun!" One of us came at age 13, the other in her 30s. We have been sisters for 43 and 38 years respectively. One of use came with her mother (who felt called to this community), the other drove down in a red Carmen Ghia, leaving behind a job in a flower shop in Boston. Between us we have almost a century of cooking experience (that actually sounds kind of frightening!) having cooked since we were young. We have been in choir, wind ensemble, orchestra, painted, made quilts and both have been or are executive chefs in our events kitchen. We both love food; but especially the relationship between hospitality and the dining room, the Eucharistic table and the banquet table. Nothing makes either of us happier than a well-planned and well-executed meal that speaks of the love of God.

Hidden Blessing

I love the way God slips blessings into our lives—sometimes in the most unexpected, unusual, personal ways. Perhaps it would mean nothing to someone else, but somehow you know He did that, and He did it just for you! Decades ago, I was walking the beach after a hurricane, checking out the damage, and as I looked down I spotted what looked like a 3×5 recipe card—roughed up a bit and written in a scrawl, it read Simple Apple cake. Being not much of a cook in those days, the work “simple” jumped out and decades later I’m still using it—simple, delicious, quintessential comfort food!

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Hidden Blessing
SERVINGS
6-8servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
30mins
PREP TIME
12mins
READY IN
45mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix all together in a bowl.
  2. Bake in a greased and floured 9” pan for 30 minutes at 350.
  3. Serve warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream!

Just a Light Lunch Today, Please!

So requested a lady on Personal Retreat in our guesthouse. To be honest, I actually was planning something a little more elaborate such as zucchini lasagna, Caesar salad, and herb-buttered Italian bread. But I replied, “Of course!” and conceived a plan. As I picked fresh lettuce from our kitchen’s “Chef's Garden”, ideas came– what about fried eggplant and deviled eggs to add a special little touch! Some avocado slices, sliced ham or chicken, olives, cherry tomatoes.

Once again, the Holy Spirit came alongside and brought ideas fresh and new. Our retreatant was very blessed…as was I!

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Just a Light Lunch Today, Please!
SERVINGS
1serving
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
serving
COOK TIME
10mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
30mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Eggplant
  1. Lay a slice of eggplant on paper towel and sprinkle with salt on both sides. After a few minutes, press with the paper towel to extract any excess moisture
  2. Beat the egg with a fork and a little water, thoroughly immerse the eggplant slice
  3. Dredge the slice in bread/panko crumbs while heating butter and oil in frying pan
  4. When butter mixture is hot, add eggplant and fry until soft and golden brown; lower heat if necessary so as not to get too brown too fast – about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel
Deviled Egg
  1. Place 2 eggs in boiling water, boiling for 10 minutes
  2. Cool under cold water and peel
  3. Gently slice in half, and carefully remove yolks, placing in a bowl and crush with a fork; the extra egg is good to have for more yolk filling
  4. Add mayonnaise and mustard, more if needed, mix until creamy and smooth

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!

Grilled Swordfish with Avocado Butter

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Multiple Reasons to Grill
I just love the summer evenings, not only the beautiful sunsets on Cape Cod but also the wonderful aromas being created by all of the grills cooking up wonderful dinners in our neighborhood. I often cook an entire dinner on a grill just to keep the heat down in our house and the dirty dishes out of the kitchen. The other evening, we celebrated one of our Sisters' 40th Birthday and she asked for swordfish since it was such a special celebration. This is one of my favorite swordfish recipes, I think you’ll love it too.
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
10
READY IN
40

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place swordfish steaks in glass baking dish in a single layer
  2. Combine oil and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Pour marinade mixture over steaks; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Prepare Avocado Butter: Combine butter and avocado in a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the lime juice, zest, parsley, garlic, and salt; stir well. Cover and chill until firm. If desired, shape butter into small bowls before serving.
  4. Remove steaks from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Preheat grill. Grill steaks over medium high heat for 9 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with the reserved marinade (do not over cook).
  6. Serve fish off the grill with a ball of Avocado Butter on each steak. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

Community of Jesus

My Favorite Re-torte!

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My Favorite Re-torte!
A number of our Sisters really love to cook and are always up for the challenge of something fresh, creative, and different—and find great satisfaction in researching and trying out new ideas. It’s personally rewarding, but the best part is being able to bless our many guests and visitors with menus inspired by lots of research, experimenting, and prayer! However, that’s not to dismiss some classic favorites, that consistently receive rave reviews—and one of them is Blitz Torte—a deliciously rich yellow layer cake with creamy custard filling, and golden meringue topped with crunchy toasted almonds.
SERVINGS
8-10servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
30mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
30mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Cake
  1. Cream ½ cup of the sugar with softened butter. Add egg yolks and blend well.
  2. After adding baking powder and salt to the flour, add alternately to the sugar mixture with milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Spread in 2 well-greased and floured 8” cake tins.
  3. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff, slowly adding the remaining 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Spread over cake batter and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. (Poke down through meringue with a long toothpick to be sure cake is done)
Custard filling
  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, egg yolk and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmering boil, stirring constantly. Cool and add 1 tsp vanilla and butter.
  2. When set and cooled, spread custard between the two cake layers. Just before serving, spread the top layer with sweetened whipped cream with 1 tsp vanilla added—then add fresh fruit for color and interest.

Stuffed Mushrooms: Practically Perfect in Every Way!

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Stuffed Mushrooms: Practically Perfect in Every Way!
Recently, we had the joy of celebrating the 80th birthday of one of our Sisters. What better way to celebrate this milestone than a Mary Poppins-themed party? Beautiful table settings, colorful flower arrangements and fanciful kite decorations added to the festivities, and the food was not far behind! Among the offerings that evening was a favorite of many of our Sisters: stuffed mushrooms. Warm and savory, this appetizer is reserved for special occasions and doesn’t last long on the plate!
SERVINGS
4-6servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
35mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Gently clean mushroom caps by wiping black dirt off with a paper towel
  3. Remove mushroom stems, and finely dice.
  4. Coat the bottom of a skillet and sautee the garlic until tender. Add the diced mushroom stems and cook until soft.
  5. Remove skillet from heat, and set aside to cool.
  6. In a mixer or hand mixed, combine cream cheese, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Once mushroom stems are cool, add to bowl and thoroughly combine.
  7. Grease a 9x9 glass casserole dish, and arrange mushroom caps hollow side up.
  8. Using small spoons, gently fill the mushroom caps with the cream cheese filling and bake for 20 minutes in the oven, or until moisture begins to form in the cap.
  9. Remove from oven, garnish with chive and serve alongside other hors d’oeuvres.