O my Jesus, on this the last Friday of the Lenten Season
As we prepare ourselves for the Most Holy Week
I surrender myself to You and to Your will in all things.
Today marks the sixth Friday of the Lenten Season. On Sunday we will stand as witnesses to Christ entering Jerusalem and the start of the Holy Week. Our Penance Journey is nearly at an end.
The church calls us to recognize Fridays as a day of penance, to atone for whatever we may have done that has displeased God. Since Vatican II, penance has been more of a personal decision rather than an act observed by the full body of the Church. The exception is during Lent, when every Friday Catholics are instructed to abstain from meats. Vatican II did not say it’s okay the rest of the year to have a big steak dinner on Friday. What they did say is it’s okay IF you are going to do something else – pray the Rosary or read scripture – some act that brings attention to the fact that it is Friday, and that Christ died on a Friday. In our house, we continue with the abstinence observance simply because it’s the easiest. The best part about the whole Fish on Fridays During Lent thing is that the secular world jumps on board. Restaurants run Fish Specials. Seafood markets have great sales. Sort of like the world is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, the world is eating Fish on Fridays.
Within the secular world, to prepare for Lent means a big party in the street – Carnival – to do away with meat. If you were to look up the word Carnival, you’d find traveling outdoor shows or public feasts in the streets with music and games, costumes and dancing. You would also find reference to the period just before Lent, celebrated in some Roman Catholic areas with a public festival such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I find those secular ideas amusing. What Catholics really do is prepare our minds, bodies and spirits for Lent. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. So why am I bringing all this up, at the end of the Lenten Season?
Most years, we do indulge in the whole Mardi Gras Feast leading up to Ash Wednesday. I’ve share with you a number of over the top full on New Orleans extravaganzas in the past. This year it was all about the pancakes, and only because Hubby wasn’t with us on Fat Tuesday. Since we missed our Mardi Gras Cajun Feast, I decided this, the sixth Friday of Lent, would be the perfect time to share another Cajun inspired meal. It’s simple, just fish, potatoes and a vegetable. But very spicy – in that down on the Bayou kind of way.
Oven Baked Blackened Mahi-Mahi
2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Dried Thyme
1 tablespoon Dried Basil
3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Mahi-Mahi Filet
Olive Oil as needed
In a small bowl, mix all the spices together to create a dry rub.
Pat fish filets dry. Brush with a little lemon juice. Divide rub, work into each filet on both sided. Cover fish, refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to merge and marry within the fish.
Heat oven to 450-degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil, coat lightly with olive oil.
Bake Mahi-Mahi for about 10 minutes in the hot oven. Turn, continue to roast another 3 minutes longer or until fish is flaky.
Serve and enjoy.
Cajun Red Roasted Potatoes
6 Red Potatoes
1 Shallot, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
Heat oven to 450-degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil, set aside.
Scrub potatoes, cut each lengthwise in half, then cut each half into four wedges. Set aside. Peel and finely mince shallot, set aside. Peel garlic, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, minced shallots and seasoning. Press garlic directly into the seasoning mixture, mix well. Add potato wedges, toss to coat. Spread out in the prepared baking sheet.
Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until tender and golden, turning potatoes evern 15 minutes or so for even cooking.
Serve directly from the pan or transfer to a serving platter and enjoy.
Cajun Spice Air-Fry Asparagus
1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoons Olive Oil
Cajun Spice to taste
Heat air fryer with an empty basket at 400-degrees for 5 minutes. While the fryer heats, prepare the asparagus.
Clean asparagus, snap wooded ends. Pat dry, place on a cutting board. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, season to taste with Cajun Spice. Toss to coat.
Pause air fryer. Spread asparagus out in a single layer in the basket. Roast in the air fryer for 6 minutes.
Arrange asparagus on a serving platter and enjoy.
To have a Cajun inspired Friday Lenten Supper is so fitting of this Secular Crazy world Catholics navigate every day. God wants us to find joy in life, even in making sacrifices or in following our faith. So find those pleasures, and remember to give thanks.