Monsignor shares recipes inspired by faith

Thursday, June 6, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Before long, many people will be planting their gardens and capturing the joy of harvest. Monsignor Michael Begolly, pastor of Mt. St. Peter Roman Catholic Saints Parish in New Kensington, will harvest more than most.

First of all, his love of cooking and gardening comes from a childhood filled with the joy of having his mother, aunts, and sister around to instill in him the joy of cooking, and an appreciation for nature. One of Begolly’s past gardens produced 19 varieties of basil.

The Monsignor notes his grocery shopping has spiritual benefits as he focuses on all of God’s creation from seafood to colorful produce and then the ability to bring that to the table. One of the most gracious yearly acts that Monsignor’s is faithful to is auctioning off a gourmet dinner prepared and hosted by him at his home. The meal usually is prepared for six. Last year the winning bid for his dinner went for $2,200 to benefit St. Anne Home, Greensburg, the Catholic Charities of the Greensburg and his parish. Two of Monsignor’s shared recipes are Tuna Ceviche with Avocado and Chocolate Mousse Loaf.

Tuna Ceviche with Avocado

(serves four to six)

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

1 pound sashimi grade tuna, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 ripe but firm avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into ½-inch cubes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Belgian endive, lettuce leaf, or radicchio leaves for serving

fresh cracked black pepper

In a jar, mix the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, ginger and sea salt. Shake until well mixed. Place the tuna in a glass bowl and pour on the dressing. Toss to coat. Gently stir in the avocado and cilantro. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Serve immediately on endive, lettuce or radicchio leaves. Top with a sprinkling of fresh cracked black pepper.

Chocolate Mousse Loaf

(serves four to six)

10 ounces semisweet chocolate

¾ cup butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

¼ cup sugar

4 egg yolk

5 egg whites

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with buttered wax paper. Sprinkle chopped nuts onto the paper. In a double boiler, melt the butter, chocolate and cocoa over hot, not boiling water. When melted and blended, let cool but not harden.

Beat in the sugar, followed by the egg yolks, one at a time. Whip the heavy cream and fold into the mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and chill for at least two hours.

When ready to serve, run a butter knife around the side of the pan and unmold it to a serving plate. Gently pull off the wax paper. Serve sliced with sweetened whipped cream.