Many Christians Fill Up on Fish during Lent

Article excerpt

Byline: Deborah Pankey Daily Herald Food Editor

"Man cannot live by bread alone, but needs every word that God speaks."

That quote from Matthew 4.4 (as written in the Good News Bible) holds the meaning for many Christians as why they fast, or at least abstain from eating meat, during Lent.

As the story goes, the spirit of God led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After spending 40 days without food, the devil said to Jesus, "If you are God's son, order these stones to turn into water," To which Jesus gave the preceding reply.

In modern times, most people don't give up food for 40 days as proof of their faith, but still honor the spirit of the scripture with prayer and fasting in the form of giving up something they normally can't do without during Lent.

"The space we provide for quiet and the discipline of will over body gives the spirit freedom to listen to deeper levels of our body and mind connection," said Sister Barbara Mass with the Sisters of the Living Word in Arlington Heights.

Knowing that fish becomes the protein of choice for many people during the Lenten season, especially on Fridays, area restaurants add seafood entrees to their menus to accommodate the masses. The choices go beyond fried perch and breaded white fish.

With the greater availability of fresh fish such as sea bass, salmon and snapper, chefs' are finding more creative ways to prepare these delicacies: wrapping pieces in bacon, grilling marinated swordfish steaks, tossing scallops and mussels into creamy soups. Here's some recipes from a few area chefs to get you through the remaining weeks of Lent. We're sure you'll clip them out for use throughout the year.

Lemon Risotto with Shrimp

   2   teaspoons white onions, finely chopped
   4   teaspoons unsalted butter
   2   cups arborio rice
   4   cups chicken broth
   2   teaspoons Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
   Salt and pepper to taste
   Juice of one lemon
   12   large shrimp
   1/3   cup butter
   1/2   cup dry white wine
   1   teaspoon lemon zest

In a deep 2-quart saucepan, saute onions in butter. Add rice and chicken broth about 1/4 cup at a time, until absorbed, stirring frequently, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add more chicken broth as necessary until the risotto is al dente (tender but still firm).

Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon juice onto rice just before serving,

Meanwhile, clean and devein shrimp. Saute for about 10 minutes over low heat in butter and white wine, adding lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. When tender, spoon onto bed of risotto on each plate.

Serves four.

Nutrition values per serving: 340 calories, 20 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein, 85 mg cholesterol, 55 mg sodium.

Owner/chef Tony Barbanente, Via Veneto

Salmon Siracusa

   15   ounces fresh salmon
   2   ounces garlic olive oil
   1   tablespoon oregano, dry
   1   teaspoon pepper
   1   teaspoon salt
   2   ounces olive oil
   2   ounces Calamata olives, pitted, cut in half
   2   ounces white wine
   1/2   cup chopped tomato, or to taste
   1/4   cup chopped onion, or to taste
   Fresh or dried basil, to taste
   Garlic, minced, to taste
   Olive oil, to taste
   4   ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
   1   ounce garlic, chopped, peeled
   2   ounces lemon juice
   2   each lemon wedges

Remove the skin and bones from fresh salmon and cut into three, 5-ounce portions. …