Today marks the sixth and final “ordinary” Friday of Lent. Sunday will mark the observation of Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, with Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.
While some may argue that next Friday is the last Friday of the Lenten Season, and in a way they would be right in that with the resurrection the Easter Season begins. However, next Friday has the distinction of being Good Friday. While the rest of the Christian world sees Easter as the transition, Catholics see the end of Lent at the Lord’s Last Supper. While Good Friday and Holy Saturday are also part of the Lenten Calendar, the days of Holy Week have their own meaning apart from Lenten Fridays.
The Fridays of Lent are more than just days of abstinence. Abstinence is a tool of sorts, a conscience effort to focus on our faith, and that faith is the center of hope. Hope is the reason. Love is the reason. Faith is the reason. When we have hope outside our selves, and love beyond our selves and faith in something greater than our selves, the world is made a better place. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside our focus on self, we are able to focus our hearts on God, and through us His love, His joy, His grace fills the world.
Rejoice! For the Lord is with us. Faith will see us through.
Farewell Lenten Friday Supper
Lemon Spinach Shrimp Piccata
Lemon Spinach Shrimp Piccata
3 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Capers
2 lbs large Shrimp
1/4 cup Olive Oil, divided
4 (5 oz) packages Baby Spinach
6 tablespoons Lemon Juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon Salt, divided
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons White Wine
2 tablespoons Butter
Chives for garnish
Peel and slice garlic, set aside. Zest lemon, set aside. Rinse capers, drain and set aside. Peel, devein shrimp, removing tails. Keep chilled until ready to cook.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté sliced garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Gradually add spinach, 1 package at a time, and cook 5 minutes or until wilted. Stir in lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat wilted spinach in flavorings, then transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 2 minutes per side or until shrimp is pink; remove from skillet. Arrange shrimp over the spinach, keep warm.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice chicken stock and wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add capers and butter; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with snipped chives just before serving.
8 oz Linguine or Tagliatelle
1-1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
Parsley as desired for garnish
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente, about 8 minutes.
While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, zest 1 lemon, set zest aside. Juice all the lemons, including the one that was zested into a small bowl. Whisk in oil, salt, fresh pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon zest.
Drain pasta. Place in a shallow serving bowl. Drizzle lemon-oil mixture over the pasta, toss to coat.
Sprinkle with snipped parsley and toss just before serving.
Serve with warm bread, sweet butter and your favorite bottle of wine, be it red or white.