One community that Favorite Recipes Press was honored to work with over the past few years has been the community of the Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Many of us only know of Mission San Juan Capistrano through the story of the swallows. In reality, the 234 year old Mission was at one time an active Catholic Mission and a working farm. The Mission of San Juan Capistrano is considered the “birthplace” of Orange County, CA and is now known as the premiere historic and religious site and in the County.
The Mission is now a historic museum with permanent and traveling exhibits and award winning audio tour. Visitors flock there daily to see the beautiful 10-acre grounds of gardens, fountains and adobe preserved architecture. One of the keys to maintaining a museum of this magnitude is money to ensure the art, artifacts, structure and site are maintained beyond the public’s expectations. The Foundation which is responsible for the museum’s funding has a stated goal of having each guest feel awestruck when they visit the grounds, the gardens and the museum. A new source of income was established in 2007 when the Women’s Guild published The Bells are Ringing—A Call to Table. To date this cookbook has raised over $250,000 for the preservation of the Mission.
This beautiful 208-page hardcover cookbook is now in its 3rd printing and contains kitchen tested recipes contributed by long-time members of the San Juan Capistrano community. Popular local restaurants, including Cedar Creek Inn, El Adobe and Sarducci´s at the Depot contributed recipes as well. The book is filled with impressionist, early California artwork from the Irvine Museum, beautiful photographs, and sidebars that tell of history relevant to the Capistrano Mission, the Jewel of the Missions. The Bells are Ringing is a perfect souvenir for Mission visitors and a great gift item as well.
The Bells are Ringing-A Call to Table was named National 1st Place Winner of the 18th Annual Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards. To learn more about the Mission you can visit www.missionsjc.com.
The Bells are Ringing cookbook is beautiful. I am enjoying the stories and photographs as much as the recipes - a perfect gift. - Noreen
Want a sample recipe? Here you go!
Artichoke Chicken Capistrano
2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (28-ounce) can diced Italian-style tomatoes
1 pound sliced cremini or white mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the artichokes, reserving the artichokes and the marinade. Combine half the reserved marinade with the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken with the flour and add to the skillet. Cook until brown on both sides. Remove to a baking dish.
Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, basil, oregano and wine to the skillet, stirring up any browned bits. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Pour over the chicken.
Bake for 30 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and stir in the reserved artichokes. Bake for 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with spaghetti or fettuccine.
NOTE: Take care not to overcook the chicken. Because boneless chicken breasts vary in size, test them for doneness and adjust the baking time accordingly.
Serves 6 to 8