Thanksgiving Recipes from Br. Mark

By Br. Mark Ligett, OFM

CRANBERRY SALAD One of our beloved friars, Charlie Miller, gave this recipe to me and said, "Try it. You will like it!" I did try it and I did like it! It’s become a favorite of mine to prepare for the friars during the holiday season.

2 6-oz packages of cherry Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
2 8-oz cans of whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup sour cream
½ cup chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
Mandarin oranges for garnish

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Add cold water and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate until slightly jelled.

Fold in remaining ingredients (except for Mandarin oranges). Pour into a 9" x 13" pan and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares and serve, garnish with oranges.

Serves: 8

This savory side dish originated in the Shaker Community located at Shirley, Massachusetts. It’s typical of so many Shaker dishes, few and simple ingredients, but so delicious!

4 to 5 cups thinly sliced onions
3 to 6 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Grated Nutmeg
Pastry for bottom crust (I usually use a prepared "Pillsbury" crust)
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sweet whipping/heavy cream, or ½ and ½
Flat leaf parsley to garnish

Place the pastry crust in a standard pie tin. Puncture the crust with a fork and "blind bake" this crust for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. This step is not necessary but does insure for a crispy bottom crust.

Saute onions slowly in butter until very soft but not brown. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Beat the eggs lightly and fold into the onions. Add this onion mixture to the cooled pastry shell.

Mix the sour cream and sweet cream together and pour over the top of the pie.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until top of pie is light, golden brown. Remove from oven and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6 to 8, depending upon size of pie tin.

This dish is easy to execute although at first glance, the long list of spices might look intimidating.

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¾ to 1 pound of pork tenderloin
3 bay leaves
2-4 tablespoons olive oil

In a small custard cup or dish, stir together all of the ground spices. Sprinkle this mixture over the pork tenderloin and rub it in with your fingers. Lay the whole bay leaves on the tenderloin and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Unwrap and brush the tenderloin with olive oil. Place on a rack in a roasting pan uncovered, and bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until the meat thermometer registers 160 to 170 degrees. Remove from oven and remove bay leaves and tent, allowing the meat to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into thick medallions

While the meat is resting, prepare the Maple-Mustard sauce by combing in a small sauce pan 2/3 cup maple syrup and 4 tablespoons Dijon-Style mustard. Stir until smooth.

Serve the pork tenderloin with a drizzle of the Maple-Mustard sauce.

Br. Mark loves to cook. Read 'Franciscan Joy: the privilege of cooking for Brothers', a previous Friar Voices blog post.