Recipes and Stories

11 February 2016: Lenten Restraint in the Kitchen—Baked Fish with Lemon and Crumbs

February 11, 2016

Tags: Lent, Lenten Cooking, Baked Fish, Bread Crumbs

Baked Fish simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon, and topped with nothing more than a little parsley and breadcrumbs tossed in olive oil. When the cooking is simple, it exposes every element and makes it important.
For most people, Lent, the ancient Christian season of penitence and atonement that began yesterday, is a time for giving up things – a bad habit or indulgence of some kind – most commonly, something that we love to eat or drink. It is also a time for curbing richness, which means giving up butter, cream, pastries, and desserts, and cutting back, if not altogether eliminating, the consumption of red meat.

This would not, therefore, seem to be a season for cooks.

And yet, it remains my favorite season for cooking. (more…)

4 March 2014: Feeding Body and Soul—the Introspective Cooking of Lent

March 4, 2014

Tags: Lent, Baked Fish with Potatoes, Ligurian Cooking, Southern Cooking, Mardi Gras

Baked Fish with Potatoes and Onions, an old Southern dish that bears striking resemblance to the cooking of Liguria, is just the thing to begin a Lenten discipline in your kitchen. Photograph by John Carrington Photography
Mae West, the sultry comic who made a career of poking fun at the straight-laced mores of her day, once approached a priest with her signature line, “So, Father, why don’cha come up sometime—and see me?” Thinking to get the better of her, he quipped, “Miss West, I’d love to, but it’s Lent.” Giving him a sidewise glance, she murmured, “oh, yeah? Well, when ya get it back, come on up!” (more…)