A website featuring adventures
in the (very good)Food served
at Holy Innocents Hermitage II



Holy Innocents Hermitage II (aka "HIH II") is where The Motley Monk has resided for the almost the past decade.  The townhouse was named by a classmate in memory of those infants slaughtered by King Herod after being told about the Messiah's birth.  In the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, the Feast of the Holy Innocents is celebrated annually on December 28th.  The reason for the "II" in the title is that HIH II is the successor to HIH I, an apartment where The Motley Monk lived for almost five years before moving into HIH II.  There likely will never be an HIH III.

Urged on by several friends and neighbors who have dined at HIH II, The Motley Monk has developed this webpage to report the very good food he serves guests at HIH II, whether meals are served in the dining room or, even better yet, on the porch out back (dubbed "The Cigar Bar," where meals are served during the spring, summer, and fall months, weather permitting, of course).  Very good is not a form of self-aggrandizement but a statement of fact, as reported by those who have enjoyed meals at HIH II.


The Dining Room
for dining anytime

The Cigar Bar                
for dining during the day        
                and for al fresco
                       at night


Make no mistake about it: at HIH II, guests are only served meals that The Motley Monk likes, has already taste-tested, and in most instances, has adapted to his particular tastes and interests.  Some of the food comes straight from old family recipes (for example, Mom's sauerbraten, Tonna Mary's brisket, and Nonnie's butter cream coffee cake with streusel topping).  Some other food comes from recipes shared by friends (for example, Dennis' green peppercorn sauce that The Motley Monk likes to serve on venison, Marge's cinnamon buns, Mississippi mud pie, and unbelievably good rhubarb pie, Greg's bean dip, Patsy's "to kill for" red beans, rice, and andouille, as well as Debbie's Jewish apple cake).  Other food has its origins in cookbooks, cooking magazines (The Motley Monk subscribes to Bon Appetit and Cuisine at Home), various cooking shows on television (can anyone survive a week without watching The Food Network? or The Cooking Channel) and, again, all adapted by The Motley Monk to his particular tastes and interests.

Below are some very good recipes The Motley Monk believes readers of this webpage will be proud to serve their guests.  To get a closer look at the ingredients depicted in any picture contained in these recipes (for example, the flat iron steak casserole where I have layered out the casserole in a pasta bowl), enlarge the picture by pressing the "control" and then "+" button.




Chicken Dishes



Beef Dishes



Pork Dishes



an Indian curry dish inspired by Seinfeld:



a brisket roasted in a porter beer sauce:



a pork blade roast in a prune cranberry sauce:


an Italian dish inspired by a local restaurant, Gino's:


flat iron steak casserole (inspired by Lydia Bastianich):


barbecued pork chops with a blueberry sauce:

  Italian sausage and sweet potato casserole (also inspired by Lydia Bastianich):


Breaded pork chops (a lesson in how to bread meat quickly, effortlessly, and painlessly):


  Mom's sauerbraten:


Skillet pork and dumplings:


  Beef shanks:




South of the Border



Venison and Lamb



Salads and salad dressings






Regis' venison stew:



variations on insalada caprese:


beef burritos with a killer mole sauce to die for:


Venison with a dried cherry-cognac reduction:

creamy faux caesar dressing    (no oil):



tamale pie:


Greek lamb balls:

salad au Minette:


    Gatto's tomato salad:


    Mom's cold cucumber salad:


    a variation on Chef Alice Waters' fennel-mushroom salad:







Fresh Pasta



Strictly Italian


Patsy Braumiller's red beans, rice, and andouille:


an easy, basic, fresh pasta dough recipe:


a rustic basic-tomato basil sauce  for a variety of uses:


    a hearty bolognese sauce for a for a variety of uses:



    a stromboli "to die for" inspired by Mrs. Mostardi:

    The Motley Monk's recipe for very good risotto:



Alia and Varia








a very cool corn chowder for a hot summer day:



skillet cornbread (or cornbread muffins):



a chilly day's Umbrian lentil soup:

 green peppercorn sauce
(adapted from Dennis Gaffke):



    Dad's homemade split pea soup:

A simple, elegant lunch:


broccoli rabe and a bada bing hoagie:



Sun Burst Cafe du Alturaa great source for coffee beans:











Apple and dried cherry clatfoulis:




Stay tuned as The Motley Monk is a "work in progress"!  He is continuously adding recipes as time permits and has about 150 more recipes to add (and that's not counting those The Motley Monk is currently working on and/or developing).

The Motley Monk is also always on the hunt for interesting gadgets for "kitchenophiles."  If a reader wants to check out the current stash of gadgets click the following button:


The Motley Monk also has found an excellent website of what he calls "Kitchen Art."  Terry Border's "Bent Objects" are not only creative but get visitors to think about how ordinary kitchen items can be used to imitate life.  Check it out:


For those readers who may be interested, The Motley Monk also hosts a blog, The Motley Monk OMNIBUS, commenting upon important religious, social, and political matters as these are discussed at HIH II.  The commentary on The Motley Monk OMNIBUS unfolds just as it does at HIH II during a mealaround the dining room table or out on the cigar barbut, here, around the table of The Motley Monk OMNIBUS.  People have ideas; people express their ideas; some approve of these ideas while others disapprove.  Sometimes the commentary can get heated but, hopefully, not overheated to the point that someone leaves the table in a huff.  Like the commentary or not, this constitutes the good life, especially when supplemented with some fine adult beverages!  To go to The Motley Monk OMNIBUS click the following link:


Some frequently asked questions:

For those who are interested in my responses to the questions visitors to The Motley Monk have asked, just click on the questions and you will be transported to may answer. 

1. Who is "The Motley Monk"?

2. Why the "very good" in the website's subtitle?

3. Where does the cooking take place?

4. Why the "Cigar Bar" and "Les jardins de HIH II"?

5. Is there anything noteworthy about HIH II?


If you have any questions or comments concerning the contents of The Motley Monk, please feel free to email me.  Just click on the post office box:


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2010.  The contents of The Motley Monk, including text, graphics, images, and other material ("Material"), are protected by US and foreign copyright and trademark law.  Unauthorized use of the Material may violate copyright, trademark, and other applicable laws.  Use of the Material must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original Material. The Material may not be modified, sold, reproduced, displayed, distributed, or otherwise used in any way for any public or commercial purpose.  Use of the Material on any other Web site or in a networked computer environment for any purpose is strictly prohibited.

Page last updated: 08/16/2012