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Posted on Jun 16, 2016 |

Rita’s Recipe: Male Patron Saints, and Father’s Day Foods

Rita’s Recipe: Male Patron Saints, and Father’s Day Foods

Roast corn, steak, and a marinade for Father's Day.

Grilled corn, steak, and chimichurri — perfect for Father’s Day.

A good number of male saints mentioned in the Bible came to be known as patron saints of food and drink. I thought it would be fun to talk about some of them since Father’s Day is Sunday. And the recipes I’m sharing are perfect for your favorite Dad!

Happy Father’s Day to all of our Sonrise Morning show and Catholic Beat Dads!


He’s the patron saint of butchers, and he’s associated with bacon. He is frequently shown with pigs and it’s possible that he used pig fat in his healing medicinals.  He was adopted by pig butchers as their patron saint.

ST. LAWRENCE, 3RD century Roman deacon: Cooks

He was sentenced to death by slow roasting over an open fire, but was supposedly so filled with joy and faith that he told is torturers, “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” After his death, he became the patron saint of cooks.


St. Urban was a bishop in France during the 4th century and had to hide in a vineyard from  his political enemies. While he was hiding, he converted the vineyard workers. After that he went from vineyard to vineyard, spreading the gospel.

StT MARCO D’ AVIANO: Cappuccino

He was a monk, born in Italy in the 1600’s, and was sent by the pope to unite Christians in the face of the Ottoman army. Legend has it that following the victory, the Viennese reportedly found sacks of coffee abandoned by the enemy and they didn’t  like the strong taste, so they diluted it with cream and honey. The color of the coffee was like that of the monk’s robes of the Capuchin order, so they named it cappuccino.


There are several patron saints of beer, but Augustine is my favorite. He lived n the 5th century and had a free wheeling, liquor laden lifestyle. He earned saint status after he gave up his lifestyle and became the patron saint of beer.

Grilled steaks

This Father’s Day I will serve my husband, Frank, flat iron steak, his favorite. I’ll serve these with a Caesar salad and grilled asparagus.

I like to let the seasoned steaks sit at room temperature about 15 minutes or so prior to grilling. They cook more evenly that way. there’s no real recipe but here’s how I do it. I trim the steaks, and “cross hatch” them with a sharp knife on both sides, about 1/8″ down. That allows the seasoning to work its way into the steak. I season it with:

Olive oil and Canadian or Montreal steak seasoning, to taste.

Rub steaks with oil and then sprinkle both sides with seasonings.  Oil grill grate with a paper towel dipped in oil. Prepare grill on high for about 15 minutes. Grill about 8 minutes per side for medium rare (about 130 degrees). Turn once. Let rest a few minutes and then serve.


Grilled Corn with Cotija


  • 4 ears juicy corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 generous cup grated Cotija cheese
  • Ground cayenne (optional)
  • Lime wedges 

Mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise.

Grill ears of corn until kernels begin to char, 5-10 minutes. Brush sour cream mixture liberally over corn.  Put the Cotija in a shallow dish long enough to allow you to roll the corn in. Roll the corn until well covered. Sprinkle with cayenne for extra heat and serve with lime wedges.


Versatile spicy chimichurri sauce

A reader wanted a spicy chimichurri to serve on top of steaks for Father’s day. Rick Bayless and I did a class together and he made this chimichurri.  He used it as a marinade and sauce for shrimp. It was so good and versatile, too. Nice on chicken, fish and, you bet – steak! I’ve adapted it only slightly.

  • 1/2 head garlic, cloves separated
  • 2 Jalapeno or Serano chilies
  • 1 bunch cilantro, tough lower stems removed
  • 1 bunch parsley, tough lower stems removed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water or bit more if needed

Set a dry skillet over medium heat. Lay unpeeled garlic cloves and chilies in pan. Roast, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes for chilies and 15 minutes for garlic, or until soft and blotchy brown in spots. Let cool and slip skins off the garlic. Wearing gloves, pull stems off chilies and roughly chop (no need to remove seeds). Place in a food processor along with cilantro, parsley, olive oil, and salt. Process until nearly smooth (it will be pasty). Stir in water. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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