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Ignatian News Network’s “Pre-Prans with Ruthie” Cooking Show Features Jesuit Father Radmar Jao

December 20, 2013 — Jesuit Father Radmar Jao joined host Ruthie Blacksea, chef at the Jesuit Novitiate in Culver City, Calif., to whip up a few recipes for the Christmas episode of “Pre-Prans with Ruthie,” a cooking show on the Ignatian News Network.

Pre-prans, which is short for preprandials, refers to the Jesuit community-building tradition of sharing appetizers and drinks before dinner is served. In this video, Blacksea and Fr. Jao prepare Cayenne-Candied Bacon Bites, festive Flatbread Pizzas and Scandinavian Gløgg.

A new episode with Blacksea is produced each month. Blacksea, a niece and sister of two Jesuits, considers her ties to the Society of Jesus and Ignatian spirituality “lifelong.”

Fr. Jao also guest-starred in a Thanksgiving edition of “Pre-Prans with Ruthie” last month, which featured recipes for Sweet Potato and Sausage Skewers with Lemon Garlic Dip and High West Lemonade. [Source: IN Network]

Flatbread Pizza 

1 store-bought flatbread 
2 sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced 
2 TB butter or olive oil 
1 jar fig jam 
1/2 c. chopped walnuts 
3 ripe pears, sliced thin 
3 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 

Heat oven to 450. 

Saute onions in butter until caramelized, which should take 15 minutes or so. Meanwhile, spread a layer of fig jam onto the flatbread. Top with a layer of onions and walnuts, arrange the pears and top with the cheese. 

Put on top rack of oven for about 8-10 minutes.

Cayenne-Candied Bacon Bites 

1 lb. thick cut bacon 
2 tsp. vegetable oil 
1 c. packed light brown sugar 
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with lightly greased foil. 

Combine the brown sugar and cayenne in a shallow dish, mix well. Press one side of bacon firmly into spice to coat well. Arrange the slices onto the baking sheet, sugared side up. Sprinkle with any remaining sugar mix. 

Put a cooling rack on top of the bacon to keep it flat while cooking. 

Cook until bacon is crisp and bubbly, 15-20 minutes. DO NOT PUT ONTO PAPER TOWELS, THEY WILL STICK. 

(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse) 


1 bottle dry red wine 
1/2 bottle port 
2 c. good vodka 
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half 
2 oranges 

Put all into pot, give it a good stir, heat to almost boiling, reduce heat and let summer for an hour or more if you like. Strain and serve in mugs. 

Gløgg will keep on the stove, covered, for several days. 

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