Celebrating All Saints’ Day

Today is All Saints Day. It is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. That means we are obligated to attend Mass on November 1. The exception would be if November 1 should fall on a Saturday or Monday. Then the Obligation of Mass is moved to Sunday.

While All Saints’ Day is not a public holiday in America, in other countries such as Germany and France, businesses are closed. In Mexico, Portugal and Spain, people make special offerings on this day. The people of Italy, Hungary and Belgium place flowers on the graves of their dead. Romanians, Polish, Croatians and Austrians carry on the tradition of lighting candles to place on the graves of their dead. While this may sound like All Souls since not all souls are saints, it isn’t.

All Saints’ Day began as a way of honoring those who died as martyrs in Christ. Very early in the history of the Church, the number of martyrs was so great, it was impossible to honor each on the day of their death. As a result, a single commemoration for “all the martyrs” was observed annually in the spring. Many of the Eastern Rites still celebrate All Saints’ Day in the spring.

By 313, when Christianity was legalized throughout the Roman Empire, the violence and bloodshed in the persecution of the faithful came to an end. The Church wanted to honor those who had died for their beliefs. While the idea of the Church establishing Saints in heaven hadn’t fully developed yet, the concept of martyrs in heaven was readily accepted. The Church has a long and stringent process before declaring anyone a Saint, and it takes time. God knows who the saints are long before the Church does. Therefore, All Saints’ Day honors all saints known and unknown. Hence the flowers and candles on the graves of the dead. After all, your saintly Grandmother just might be an unknown Saint in heaven.

Early in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Roman Pantheon, formally a shrine to the gods of Roman mythology, as a Christian Church to honor the Blessed Virgin and All the Martyrs. Pope Gregory III, in the same fashion of his predecessor, Pope Boniface, consecrated a chapel at Saint Peter’s Basilica to all the Saints on the anniversary of the Roman Pantheon dedication of November 1. Rome adopted November 1 as the date of the Feast of All Saints in the 8th century. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV extended the observation to the whole of the Roman Catholic Church.

After this, I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count,
From every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

– Revelations 7:9-10

All Saints and New Orleans just go hand in hand. And so I give you a feast to celebrate the day.

New Orleans Inspired Feast of All Saints’ Day
Cajun Shrimp Pate

Cajun Snow Crab Clusters with Cajun Butter
Easy Sausage Gumbo
Warm Bread

Creole Tomato Herb Salad

French Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Today is also National Pâté Day. In honor of the National Day and in keeping with our New Orleans Oh When the Saints Come Marching In theme, a beautiful Shrimp Pâté seemed perfect. Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp Pâté
1 Red Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1-1/2 lb medium Cooked Shrimp (41-50 count), divided
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
Salt to taste
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Chili Oil or other colorful flavored oil
Parsley for garnish
Baguettes for serving

Finely dice red onion, set aside. Peel and thinly slice garlic, set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic and seasonings. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

Set aside about 1/2 pound of shrimp as a garnish (about 6 per ramekins or individual jars). Add the remaining shrimp to the onion mixture, toss together. Remove from heat, let cool for 10 minutes.

Place shrimp mixture in a blender. Pulse a few times to begin the reaming process. Add cream cheese, processor until smooth. Season to taste.

Divide into glass ramekins or small jam jars. Arrange reserved shrimp on top. Drizzle a little flavored oil over the Shrimp Pâté. Garnish with parsley and cracked pepper.

Cover the tops of the jars with waxed paper, secure with twine. Chill until ready to serve.

Just before serving, slice baguette, brush with a little oil and place under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly toast.

Arrange jars on individual plates with toasted baguettes and butter spreaders. Serve and enjoy.

Note: Can also be served from one large ramekin or jar centered on a platter with toast and spreaders.

Cajun Snow Crab Clusters with Cajun Butter
4 lbs Snow Crab Leg Clusters

In a large pot, fill with an inch of water and place a steamer basket in the pot.  Bring water to a boil.

Place the crab leg clusters in the steaming basket and cover with a lid. Let them steam for about 10 minutes on medium high heat.

While the clusters steam, prepare the butter.

Cajun Butter
8 Garlic Cloves
1-1/2 cups Butter, divided
2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
3 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning

Peel and mince garlic, set aside.

Place about 1 tablespoon butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté minced garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in lemon pepper and Cajun Seasoning to create a paste. Return to heat, sauté about a minute to bring out the flavors of the seasonings.

Cut remaining butter into small pieces, add to the sauce pan. Melt butter.

Spread crab legs out on a rimmed serving platter. Pour Cajun Butter over crab, serve and enjoy.

Easy Sausage Gumbo
1-1/2 pounds Andouille Cajun Sausage Links
1/2 White Onion
2 Celery Ribs
Olive Oil as needed
1 (14 oz) can Diced Tomatoes with Green Peppers
2-1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
1 (7 oz) can Corn
1 cup uncooked Instant Rice
Green Onions, garnish

Cut sausage on the bias into rounds, set aside. Cut onion in half from tip to root. Reserve half for another use, peel and dice remaining half. set aside. Clean and trim celery ribs, dice and set aside.

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions and celery until pale and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet, set aside.

Add sliced sausage to the empty skillet, cook until browned, turning as needed. Stir in the tomatoes with liquid, onions, celery and chicken stock. Stir in seasoning; bring to a boil. Drain corn, add to the skillet. Stir in rice; cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Snip green onions, set aside. When ready, ladle gumbo in bowls, garnish with green onions and serve.

Serve with warm bread and sweet butter just because who doesn’t like warm bread?

Creole Tomato Herb Salad

3 large Tomatoes
1 White Onion
1 tablespoon Mint
2 teaspoons Chives
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Slice tomatoes into quarter-inch-thick slices, set aside. Peel and thinly slice onion into rings, break rings apart and set aside. Thinly slice mint into ribbons, set aside. Snip chives, set aside.

Alternate tomato slices and onion rings on a large platter. Sprinkle with salt. Top salad with a scattering of mint and chives, set aside.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
4 teaspoons Olive Oil
4 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 Garlic Cloves

Finely dice garlic, place in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add olive oil, vinegar and mustard to the jar. Secure lid tightly, shake vigorously.

Drizzle vinaigrette over the tomato salad. Serve at room temperature.

French Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce
Bread Pudding
5 cups cubed French Bread
1 cup Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoon Bourbon
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch Kosher Salt
2 large Eggs
Cooking Spray

Heat oven to 350-degrees.

Cut bread into cubes, spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread for about 8 minutes in the heated oven to lightly toast. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk Evaporated Milk, milk, sugar, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Lightly beat eggs, add to milk mixture. Whisk to create a custard. Add bread cubes. Let stand 20 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to soak up milk.

While the bread soaks, make the sauce.

Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
3 tablespoons Bourbon
1 tablespoon Butter
6 tablespoons Half-and-Half, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch Kosher Salt

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, bourbon, and butter; bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in 5 tablespoons half-and-half; simmer 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup.

Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon half-and-half, the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Keep warm.

To Assemble and Bake Bread Pudding
Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon half of the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of sauce over the bread mixture. Spoon remaining half of bread mixture over sauce.

Bake bread pudding in the heated oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let pudding cool to just warm. Serve, drizzled with warm sauce.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: