Presentation of Mary in Three Courses

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. If you are a Christian, you accept the existence of Mary, the mother of our Lord. After all, without her there would be no Christ and no Christian Faithful. While some view Christianity as dominated by men, it began with a woman.

While I cannot speak for other Christian teachings, I can tell you that Catholics accept more than just the strict interpretations of the Bible as part of our faith. Just as we see the laws of the Church as written by men, and recognize men as both the head of the church and the head of the family. That said, we know the heart and soul of both the church and her family lay with the women. The Good News began with a daughter named Mary, not a son named Joseph.

Catholics are taught that there was a childless Jewish couple, Joachim and Anne, who received a heavenly message that God would bless them with a child, a daughter. So grateful were they for this child that they consecrated her to God. Mary’s parents vowed even before her birth to give her to the temple. When Mary was all of three, they brought her to the Temple to serve God. Oral Tradition teaches that she remained at the Temple until the age of twelve. Western Art often depicts a lone figure of a young girl climbing the steep steps of the Temple, having left her parents behind. She is received by the High Priest to begin her education and dedication to God. This image is symbolic on so many levels. It’s hard for anyone today to imagine the depth of faith and strength of not only the child, but her parents. It was Thy Will be done.

Three is a special number in Christianity. The Holy Trinity. The Nativity of Christ, His Presentation and Resurrection. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mary’s Nativity and Consecration to God. It is only fitting that this Feast be served in Three Courses.

Presentation of Mary in Three Courses
First Course
Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad
Jalapeno-Sweet Pepper Flatbread

Second Course
Baja Fish with Corn Salsa
Campanella Vegetable Mac and Cheese

Third Course
Deep Fried Churros
Mexican Pressed Cinnamon Coffee

Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad
1 small Heirloom Red Tomato
1 small Heirloom Orange Tomato
1 small Heirloom Yellow Tomato
2 Avocado
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Drizzle of olive oil, to taste
Drizzle of red wine vinegar, to taste
Handful Cilantro

Slice each of the heirloom tomatoes. Place the sliced tomatoes on a serving plate. Peel, pit and slice the avocado. Place avocado over and around the tomato slices. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar then sprinkle. Thinly mince cilantro leaves, scatter over the salad and serve immediately.

Jalapeno-Sweet Pepper Flatbread
1 tube Crescent Dough Sheet
2 mini Sweet Red Bell Peppers
2 mini Sweet Orange Bell Peppers
2 mini Sweet Yellow Bell Peppers
1/3 cup Nacho Jalapeno Peppers, diced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Parmesan
Cilantro as desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out dough, line baking sheet with dough and set aside.

Stem bell peppers, cut into thin strips. Set aside. Dice jalapeno peppers, set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. saute bell peppers until just beginning to blister. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Brush top of crescent dough with olive oil. Scatter minced jalapenos and bell peppers over the dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Finish with a scattering of Cilantro.

Bake in the heated oven for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Use a pizza cutter to slice into strips and serve.

Baja Fish with Corn Salsa
Corn Salsa
2 ears Corn
1 cup Water
1 large Jalapeno Pepper
1 firm Roma Tomato
1/2 Red Onion, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons Lime Juice
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Green Onion, sliced
Cumin Seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste

Strip corn kernels from cobs and set aside.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add corn. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh corn in ice water. Drain again, add to a medium bowl.

Stem and dice jalapeno pepper, add to corn. Seed and dice tomato add to salsa. Mince onion and garlic, add to salsa. Slice green onion, tops only. Sprinkle over the salsa. Add lime juice and seasonings. Toss to blend, set aside until ready to serve.

Pan Seared Cod
6 firm Cod Fish Filets
Taco Seasoning to taste
3 teaspoons Oil
2 Lemons

Sprinkle taco seasoning over each fish fillet. Heat a large non-stick frying skillet over medium heat. Place fish, seasoned side down, in the skillet

Cook fish for 5 minutes, spray top side of fish lightly with cooking oil, turn and cook for a further 3 minutes or so until cooked through and flaky.

Place fish on a serving platter to rest for a couple of minutes. Top each filet with some salsa. Serve with lemons cut into wedges.

Campanella Vegetable Mac and Cheese
16 oz Campanelle Pasta
2 (7 oz) boxes frozen Antioxidant Blend Vegetables
1 (10 oz) can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 (14 oz) can Red Enchilada Sauce
3/4 cup Sour Cream
2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1 cup Tortilla Chips, crushed

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat both boxes frozen vegetables and both cans enchilada sauce to simmering over medium heat, cooking until vegetables are heated through. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in sour cream, cheese and cooked pasta. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Crush tortilla chips, scatter over the top and serve.

Deep Fried Churros
Canola Oil for frying
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Sugar for coating
1 teaspoon Cinnamon for coating
1 cup Water
3 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs

In a large dutch oven, add enough canola oil to fill the pan about half way, heat it over medium heat to heat it to 375 degrees. While the oil comes to temperature, make the dough.

Sift flour, set aside. In a shallow pan such as a pie pan, mix sugar for coating with cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, add the water, butter, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and add the flour, stirring constantly until the mixture turns into a ball. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.

Place the dough into a mixing bowl and add eggs, one at a time; mixing well after each addition to fully incorporate each egg into the dough.

Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

Pipe 5-inch ropes into the hot oil a few at a time. Cook churros for a few minutes on each side or until deeply golden brown.

Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil and then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Arrange each batch on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and hold in a warm oven. Repeat until all the churros have been made. Serve warm.

Churros can be served with warm chocolate for dipping or topped with whipping cream if desired.

Mexican Pressed Cinnamon Coffee
6 cups Boiling Water
3/4 cup ground Dark Roast Coffee
2 tablespoons Ground Mexican Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Vanilla
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar

Bring water to a boil in a kettle or tea pot.

In the bottom of the French Press, place ground coffee and ground cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon to blend. Add Vanilla Extract.

Pour boiling water into the press. Stir with the wooden spoon. Place the plunger over the press. Press down just a little, to just below the pour spout. Let seep for 4 minutes, then press plunger all the way down.

Pour coffee into cups, sweeten with brown sugar and serve. If lighter coffee is desired, add a little half-and-half.

Note: When pouring from the pot into the cups, I use a small wire-mesh filter to catch any grounds that may have managed to escape. Better to be safe than sorry.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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