I don’t know if I should say Poor Sant Francis, his feast day is shared with National Taco Day or to say how wonderful – a saintly day and a delicious supper, too. Any way you look at it, we’re the winners here.
Saint Francis of Assisi was a mystic Italian Catholic friar, founder of the Franciscans, and one the most venerated figures of the Catholic faith. Saint Francis is known for his devotion to the Holy Eucharist. It is believed that in 1224, he received the stigmata during the apparition of a Seraphic angel. There are only four recognized stigmata recipients, Saint Francis is one.
Born sometime late in 1181 or early 1182, he was one of several children of Pietro di Bernardone dei Moriconi (wow – that’s a long name). His father was a prosperous silk merchant. Little is know about his mother, except that she was of French nobility from Provence. Indulged by his affluent parents, Francis enjoyed the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man. He was said to be handsome, witty and delighted in fine clothes. Francis spend money lavishly. Somewhere along the line, Francis began to see the world differently. He could no longer ignore the suffering and injustice. His friends began to mock him for his compassion, his father punished him severely for his chartable acts. After all, it was his father’s money that Francis began to hand out to the poor. Francis eventually fled his father’s home, and was taken in by a priest.
Over time, Francis embraced the life of a penitent. He restored several ruined chapels in the countryside around Assisi. He took to nursing lepers. While partaking in a Mass in the chapel of Saint Mary of Angels one morning in February 1208, Francis was moved by the Gospel. It was from Saint Matthew, “The Commissioning of the Twelve”. This was the pivotal moment that put him on the path to establish the Franciscan order. Saint Francis believed that actions spoke louder than words. He once told the friars who joined him to “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when absolutely necessary, use words.”
Saint Francis is also the patron saint of animals. Some believed he could speak with them, and they with him. Francis saw animals as brothers and sisters, equal creations of God. He often prayed for them and cared for them with the same love and compassion he had for people.
While there are numerus churches, schools and organizations that bear his name, it wasn’t until Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope that a pope chose his name. Pope Francis said he did so because of Saint Francis’ dedication to the poor, his humble existence, and compassion for the world. Those are all very good reasons.
And now for National Taco Day. In our house, I love the crunch of a hard taco shell. My guys love the way a soft shell wraps around the filling. This recipe gives us the best of both – not too crunchy, not too soft. Enjoy National Taco Day and Taco Tuesday!
Soft-Fried Spicy Tacos
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 Red Onion
Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
8 oz Sour Cream
1 bottle Taco Sauce
Dice the tomatoes and onions, set aside. Shred the lettuce, set aside.
Place cheese in a zip-lock bag. Add taco seasonings, shake the bag for “taco” cheese. Set aside. Have sour cream and taco sauce at the ready to serve with the toppings. Dice the avocado just before serving.
12 Taco Size White Corn Tortillas
Oil for frying
To prepare taco shells, add enough oil to a large skillet to coat the bottom of the pan. Warm oil over medium-high heat.
Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Wrap a rolling pin with foil to protect the wood. Set pin inside the baking pan, set aside. Heat oven to warm, about 175-degrees.
Once the oil is hot, place 3 tortillas into the oil with tongs. Cook for about 8 seconds. Turn over and fry for another 8 seconds. Drape tortillas, one at a time, over the rolling pin, tortillas slightly overlapping. Gently press the tortillas with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and shape into a shell. Repeat until all the tortillas are lined on the rolling pin. Once all the tortillas have been quick fried, hold in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Pour oil into a tin can to cool, wipe out skilled and return to medium heat.
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
Taco Seasoning to taste
In the now empty skillet brown ground beef with chorizo, breaking apart as it cooks. Season with tacos season. Drain well and keep warm.
To serve, remove shells from the oven. Fill shells as desired. Serve with rice and beans as desired.
Just don’t forget the margaritas!