Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Supper For The Promotion of Clericalism

It’s spring, and time for a Supper For The Promotion of Clericalism, in other words, no lay people allowed.  I am in favor of clericalism… the way I define it.  HERE

In less provocative terms, I’m having 7 priests over for supper tonight.

Because where I am used to be a diocesan seminary, but now houses the diocesan offices (the chancery), I decided to make a variation of my old standby spaghetti “al seminario” (which we got alot in my Roman seminary years).  This version will be dubbed spaghetti “alla curia”, since in Italian a diocesan chancery is called a “curia”.

So, brown lots of beef.  I got ground round at $3.99/lbs.  I prepped it two in two batches.  Generous ground pepper and a bit of salt.

I put the browned beef aside.

Then the onions (2 large Vidalia, also on sale) with a little bit of celery.  Again, salt and pepper.  Sweat them.  I deglazed with a splash of vermouth.


Adding the tomatoes, 3 large cans of San Marzano (which a reader sent… these were the last).

Time to reduce.   Ah…yes… there’s pepperoncino!

Okay, that was last night.   Today I transferred the hot plate (aka my stove – thanks KA!) from the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue to the common area.

To finish, I added carrots (which made it “al seminario”) and peas and mushrooms (which makes it “alla curia”)

It will finish cooking at low heat.  I’ll finish the plates with a dollop of panna (or the closest I could find, crème fraîche).

Some random shots during prep.

One of the options for after…

Partially set… that’s the menu on the wall.  I took two awful secular pointless frames off the wall put these up.

It’ll be a bit of a tight squeeze, but I’ll slow the meal down to a civilized pace so we can get up and stretch.

In any event…  the second course is roasted chicken and a salad mixed greens with a dressing of cherry tomatoes macerated in garlic, salt, first-press olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I have cigars and other things to kill off the espresso (thanks to Fr. JB).  The evening was made possible entirely by you readers.  I have used cooking items which you sent from the wish list and some of your donation money (please send more!).  So, thanks a million to all of you.

More later, I hope.

T-minus 1.5 hours and counting!

UPDATE: 5 May 0406 GMT

I have photos … but… wreckage…  stuff everywhere… glasses…. cats and dogs…. chaos.

But all the food was eaten or sent home.

The conversation ranged from insider baseball to the Ford GT.


You don’t see what is of off shot…


Part of the playlist:


I will share with you music for the clean up.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, Priests and Priesthood, SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Sauce looks good. Seems to be a cousin to my pasta sauce. Curious why you don’t include carrot and garlic from the get go to make a soffrito as the base. It’s fun to do that using shredded carrots.

    If you’re really feeling adventurous, scorch the soffrito just a wee bit and deglaze the pan with some grappa di prosecco. [The recipe evolved as I was making it.]

  2. Former Altar Boy says:

    Have a great time with your brother priests, Father. Can we assume there may be celebratory cigars after dessert?

  3. Former Altar Boy says: cigars after dessert?

    There may indeed be cigars!

  4. Fr_Sotelo says:

    The Church needs more of this type of clericalism. The clergy never get together anymore for a good dinner!

  5. Makemeaspark says:

    Please pray for a seminarian whose vocation is in Jeopardy. I think his heart will break if he is not allowed to continue on his quest to be a priest.

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    Just in time for such gatherings, a book review: Catholic Beverages, by Brad Minor.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    The thought pleases me a lot that your fellow priests have a fellow priest and skilled cook to make them a nice dinner. I naturally wonder and cannot help guessing to myself who all is coming to dinner! It is sure you will enjoy each other’s company. Limited though your kitchen facilities are, it must be nice living at a nerve center of the Church. I feel so marginal in the Church, the only people I ordinarily am able to talk with and deal with are other lay people as lowly and unable to make a difference as me–and usually priests don’t have time for me or sometimes actively do not want to talk with me. I was out with a group recently which included with one good priest and it gave me so much happiness having dinner in his company.

  8. iPadre says:

    “Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum.”

  9. Priam1184 says:

    Is that an induction set up I see?

  10. Makemeaspark says:

    Elizabeth D Be of good courage! You hold in your hands the greatest power on earth. Prayer. Do not let the smoke of the evil one tell you otherwise!

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    God has all the power in His hands. “When I am weak, it is then that I am strong.” But how little one understands it.

  12. Priam1184 says: induction set up

    Yes! You win a prize.

    On this project I opted for a trivet so I would not burn anything.

  13. Latin Mass Type says:

    I am joyful at the thought of all that priestly fellowship! I will be meditating on this as I say my rosary for priests tomorrow morning.

    And prayers, too, for Makemeaspark’s seminarian!

  14. Mariana2 says:

    What would spaghetti alla papabile be : ) ?

  15. benedetta says:

    Wonderful post! I always enjoy seeing your photos of cibo, Father, whether out or prepared yourself!

    How fitting and true your Matsui print!

    Still I continue to wonder how it is that you are living without a proper kitchen, and marvel at what you are able to concoct nonetheless!

  16. Deacon Jay says:

    Father Z,

    Many thanks for the music. Mozart had to have been gifted by God to write such sublime stuff.

  17. frjim4321 says:

    Former Altar Boy says: cigars after dessert?
    There may indeed be cigars!

    I certainly hope so!

  18. Bosco says:

    “… stuff everywhere… glasses…. cats and dogs…. chaos…But all the food was eaten or sent home.”

    Hmmm…I’d smell those cats and dogs breath if I were you, Father.

    Just as an aside (I do a bit of cooking myself, Italian mostly) I see you used olive oil. Did you drain-off the ground beef after you browned it? [Yes. And the beef was super lean.]

  19. Siculum says:

    OK, so this is weird, but here goes: Last night I dreamed that I showed up to this gourmet feast just as it was wrapping up. (I’ve never before dreamed of going to Wisconsin, come to think of it.)

    My stomach growling, I pleaded with Father Z to just let me lap up the remnants at the bottom of the al seminario pot. Because it just looked so good. He said “No,” and whisked it away.

    Talk about the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and being sent away empty. :(

    I’m still hungry.

  20. Siculum says:

    Guess that’s what I get for reading about Fr. Z’s Kitchen before going to sleep at night! Yeesh.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    The idea of you all having a congenial and fun evening together is a happy thought!
    To be a fly on the wall for the conversation, that would be interesting.
    Just now I am investigating my own “convection setup” and would love to know what works and what doesn’t. I’m looking at red sauce in the pan and white walls. To me that spells disaster. How do you avoid it?

  22. Cubanito says:

    “stuff everywhere… glasses…. cats and dogs…. chaos.”

    Ahhh, but were any of these dogs yellow dogs?

    [Ah! Yellow Dog!]

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