Vietnamese Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

As our State is starting to reopen the economy, part of me is going to miss this “time at home.” I’ve realized how much I’ve recognized, appreciated and enjoyed the simple things of life so much more over these last couple months.  I was emailing a few of my other monastic friends across the country and we have similar stories.  We’ve spent more time just being, praying the offices on behalf of the world, quieting ourselves down and trying to listen more to His voice. I hope I don’t lose what I’ve gained from this experience!  I’ve also had time to do some festive cooking. This weekend I decided that our travel ban didn’t refer to in house international cuisine. So, here’s a yummy, fresh and healthy recipe that can be used to cool you down on a hot summer’s day.  If you’re a vegan, substitute the shrimp with some red pepper or thinly julienned beet. It will be just as delicious.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Vietnamese Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
5minutes
PREP TIME
1hour, 15 minutes
READY IN
1hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Prepare the Peanut Sauce
  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Thin with warm water if desired. This recipe will make more peanut sauce than you need, so store in a clean jar in the refrigerator for another use.
Spring Rolls
  1. Take one rice paper wrapper and dip it into warm water in a pie plate for 10 seconds to wet it and make pliable. Lay the wrapper down on a clean work surface (wooden cutting board works great here)and smooth it out with your damp hand.
  2. Take a leaf of lettuce and tear it into large 5-inch pieces and place it along the bottom half of the wrapper (see image) Place some rice noodles on top of the lettuce followed by a couple thin slices of avocado. Place a few carrots and cucumbers beside the lettuce, 2 pieces of scallion (or more) and then your shrimp sliced in half across the middle, pink side down. If desired, add some mint, basil or cilantro.
  3. To roll, gently fold over the left and right sides of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Then fold the bottom part of the wrapper over the filling and gently but tightly roll up the spring roll, burrito style. Repeat steps 1 to 3
  4. Chill until ready to use. Serve with peanut sauce or another favorite dipping sauce

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

Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry

Here’s a tasty and classy recipe that we served to our guest in Bethany tonight. The prep time is minimal. You can make the marinade ahead, add the steak tips, seal in a zip lock bag and freeze until ready to use (skip to step 2). We recommend buying steak tips when they are on sale. All of us love comfort food, and this is the perfect recipe for a busy family. The marinade is also our new favorite for steaks and grilling as we head towards summer – a teriyaki kind of flavor. We got rave reviews from our guest, so give it a try!

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Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry
SERVINGS
8servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
15mins
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
35 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a shallow bowl, make the marinade by combining soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, onion, ginger and pepper. Coat beef tips with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hrs.
  2. Remove steak tips from marinade and pat meat dry. Reserve marinade.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil. When oil is hot and begins to smoke, add the beef and brown 3 min. on each side. Do not overcook. Remove when evenly deep brown and reserve on a plate.
  4. Add remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil to skillet, heat until oil ripples then add mushrooms and brown 7-8 min. Add garlic after 5 to 6 min. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and cook a few minutes more.
  5. Add sherry, reduce 1 minute. Add 1 cup of reserved marinade (strained). Reduce heat and cook, reducing liquid until thickened.
  6. Add beef tips, their juices and mushrooms to the pan, cook for 2 min. Serve with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables on the side.

Marinade for Steaks and Chops

Years ago, there was a collaboration between all the cooks in the Community, resulting in a lovely little cook book, “Recipes that Bear Repeating.” The creation of this book was a true labor of love. For months, recipes were written out, exchanged, and “tested” in all the households. Many notes and conversations later, such as “What do you mean by one can? What size can?” or “What does ‘until done’ mean? We need a time estimate!”, this treasury of favorites was pulled together and printed, including traditions for holidays and special occasions from the Community. This Marinade for Steaks and Chops is definitely an All-Star from the book! Right now, at Priory Books & Gifts if you buy one of the Sisters’ hand-made aprons, you get a copy of your own for free! Don’t miss out on this little treasure.

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Marinade for Steaks and Chops
SERVINGS
3 1/2cups
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cover meat with marinade and chill for several hours. Turn meat several times to allow the flavor to penetrate more evenly. If stronger flavor is desired, refrigerate overnight.
  3. Let meat come to room temperature before cooking.
  4. It may be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer indefinitely.

Crunchy Tofu Noodle Salad

Meals at the Convent are planned and prepared by the Convent kitchen staff for each day of the week—except Sundays, when rotating groups take turns making dinner. This gives Sisters who don’t normally cook an opportunity to do so, and to select a favorite dish they particularly enjoy. Often these meals turn out to be “fun” or ethnic in nature, such as last night when an abundance of chopping, chatter and laughter resulted in a tasty, colorful Thai meal enjoyed by all.

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Crunchy Tofu Noodle Salad
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
30minutes
PREP TIME
15-20minutes
READY IN
45-50minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut tofu into chunks about 1” square or ½” strips. Marinate in soy sauce and fry in oil in a sautee pan until slightly brown and semi firm or line sheet pan with aluminum foil, coat with a layer of oil and cook tofu at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until brown and semi firm.
  3. Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.
  4. For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl.
  5. Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas, peppers, scallions, fried tofu in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and the parsley and toss together.

Asian Chicken

Near the first of June, everything is accelerated here in the Community of Jesus, including special events. Attention to gardens, increased numbers of guests and events require increased work. Sisters from our convent kitchen are called on to help with the cooking and serving in our retreat kitchen and guest house. Still, every effort is made to maintain care in preparing meals at the convent with the same attention to details and care.

One of the tricks to doing this is to come up with menus that are as time-saving as possible to prepare but are still healthy, flavorful and appealing. Our menu planners are great at this, as proven by this Asian chicken meal we had for dinner last night. Because the chicken and it’s sauce was so flavorful we served it with plain white rice and fresh rainbow chard sautéed in a little olive oil and fresh garlic.

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Asian Chicken
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
30-40mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
40-50mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500°Fahrenheit
  2. Whisk together all ingredients except chicken, then coat chicken all over with sauce.
  3. Arrange pieces, skin sides up in 1 layer without crowding, in a foil-lined large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep).
  4. Roast in upper third of oven until chicken is cooked through and glaze is brown, 30-40 minutes- basting several times.