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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

GALENO WITH 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD


Galeno e Ipporcate
Primo Maestro di Anagni
Sotto: San Paolo, San Pietro, San Magno
San Giovanni Evangelista
Photo from: Bruno Cerboni
OCast Galieno, MEng Gallien, L. Claudius GalenusEng. Galen (129–201). He was born in Pergamum in Asia Minor. He became a follower of Hippocrates and Aristotle. He worked in Marcus Aurelius’ court as a philosopher and physician. For his knowledge of philosophy, anatomy and chemistry, he was ranked among the most famous physicians from ancient times and an indisputable authority for over a thousand of years. He was considered second only to Hippocrates.

Galen’s medical advances were important steps in medicine and, in particular, herbal medicine. He created various medicines by mixing plant and animal substances known as “Galenic preparations.” These demonstrated his profound knowledge of medicinals and their “virtues”.

He developed a drug called “theriac,” which was a cure all and an antidote against all poisons. He used men condemned to death to test the effectiveness of his medicines, thus introducing experimental medicine.

Lebrillo_65c
Photo from patriciaabooher
He also wrote about the properties of plants, antidotes and the humors. Galen developed the theory of the four humors. The belief in them remained throughout the Middle Ages.

The humors consisted fire (yellow bile), air (blood), earth (black bile), and water (phlegm). He maintained that each humor contributed to the personality: blood (associated with the heart) marked the degree of self-confidence; yellow bile (associated with the brain) governed the degree of irritability or anger rate; the phlegm (associated with the liver) controlled impassiveness; and black bile (associated with the spleen) governed the depression rate. Vapors formed in the humors ascended to the brain where the ‘temperament,’ personality or physical, mental and moral state of the individual resulted.

This infers that food, therefore, is a factor determining the characteristics or personality of the individual, a group of peoples and even nations today. The question remains, which foods do what and how?

The Arabs brought Ancient Greek medicine, including the Galenic theories to Spain and consequently the rest of Europe. Further, Benavides-Barajas maintains that Cordovan cookery was clearly formed thanks to Pergamo, Galen and Dioscorides and the importance Rhazi, Avicena, Averroes, Maimonides, Isaac Israeli, and Mesue gave to their theories. See Nueva-Clásica Cocina Andalusí.

Benavides-Barajas lists the best foods, which include semolina bread, Yemen legumes, young lamb, nutritive pasta, ragouts and many other dishes such as sweet and sour meats, sugar coated foods, rosewter, orange blossom wáter, sherberts, puff pastries and fritters.  [Anón/Grewe. 1982:
CLXXXVIIII:194-198; Anón/Huici.1966:43:36-37; Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:14-15; Castro. Alimentación.1996:231; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5 00; ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 74; ES: “GALENUS.” Jan 31, 03;  Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:153;  Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:]45:49:56 etc.; and Jayyusi, Salma Khadra. 1994:117:558]
 

CHICKEN IN AN EARTHENWARE BOWL WITH MUSTARD ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #237 HECHURA DE GALLINA EN LEBRILLO CON MOSTAZA, PP 142-14


Live Hen with Husband!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 hen[1]
salt to taste
1 onion sliced and pounded
12 sprigs fresh cilantro chopped
1 tbsp olive oil[2]
2 tsp coriander
½  tsp white pepper ground
1 tbsp basil chopped
1 tsp murri[3]
1 c vinegar
½ c peeled and ground almonds
6 eggs
¼ c  mustard seed[4]
1 c wine or vinegar





This Basically Nutrious Dish is Known Universally
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

Put cilantro in a food processor. Cover the blades with water. Chop the leaves and strain, reserving the water.

Quarter a hen and put it in a pot with salt, onion, half the cilantro, olive oil, half the coriander, half the white pepper, the basil and murri. Add cilantro water. Make a sauce by grinding  the mustard and mixing it with the vinegar. Add ¼ c of this to the pot and just enough water to cover the hen.  Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to boil gently uncovered for 1-1 ½ hours until done.

Add almonds and 2 slightly beaten eggs, the rest of the cilantro, coriander and pepper.

Break the remaining 4 eggs over the pot. Remove it from heat and leave it on the hearth to rest 15-20 minutes before serving, god willing.



[1] Chickens and egg yolks were considered to be warm and moist, which was ideal food for humans.
[2] Unless it is an organic hen olive oil is not necessary.
[3] See blog titled almorí published August 25, 2011 for recipe.
[4] Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, in his “Making Medieval Style Mustards, http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/Mustards.html, states: The humoral theory of medicine also accounts for mustard's popularity. Medieval people believed that everyone and everything possessed qualities of moistness/dryness and cold/heat which needed to be kept in balance for health. The cold, moist humor was referred to as phlegm, and excess of phlegm was considered a common hazard, especially in winter. The heat and 'dryness' of mustard could correct this excess.”

Monday, September 29, 2014

GALÁPAGO WITH A RECIPE FOR SWEET AND SOUR PORK RIBS

Tortoise
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1. L. Emys orbicularia, Eng tortoise. This turtle is commonly found around Valencia in marsh lands where currents are slow. It varies in color from greenish-brown to almost black with yellowish spots. The shell can grow to 30 cms in length but normally it is smaller. It takes sunbaths near the shore. If felt threatened it rapidly disappears in the water. It eats crustaceans, mollusks, fish and sometimes plants. It lays from four to 16 eggs in the beginning of June or July and again in August. It buries them near the water. They take two to three months to hatch.

Today it is illegal to catch them but not in the Middle Ages. Although there must have been recipes for turtle soups and other concoctions as Villena mentions them as food eaten in his day, they to do not seem to be recorded.

2. gallivero, gullet, upper part of pig's trachea.

3. Estr. the ribs in the cervical region of the pig. When they are uncovered after the pig has been slaughtered they look like a tortoise.

[ES: Reptiles. Sep 24, 04; Pers. Memories. Slaughters Mostoles. 2000:2001:2003; Serradilla. 1993:143; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a ] 

SWEET AND SOUR PORK RIBS RECIPE FROM THE FEAST OF THE SLAUGHTER IN MOSTOLES 2002
4 servings

Ingredients
Pork Ribs on Flatbread
Photo by: Lord-Williams

1 c brown sugar
¼  c flour
½  tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp ground mustard seed
2 c water
½ c  dry sherry
½ c  vinegar
2 lbs pork spareribs 
¼ c olive oil  
2 mashed garlic cloves


Preparation

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl. Add the water, sherry and vinegar.

Put the ribs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Gently boil 10 minutes and remove the ribs from the water and slice.

Heat a frying pan. Add the oil and brown the ribs on all sixes. Add the sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 15 more minutes until done.

Serve over rice, couscous or flatbread.



Friday, September 26, 2014

GALANGA WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR CHICKEN IN FLATBREAD

Dried Galanga
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast garingal, galanjal garangal, garanjal, L. Alpina galanga (greater galangal) and Kaempheria galangal or Alpinia officinarum (lesser galangal), Fr. galanga de l’Inde, gran galanga or galanga, Eng. galingale, galangal, greater galangal, alpinia galangal, Laos ginger, Siamese ginger, Thai ginger, lesser galangal. The rhizome is harder than ginger and creamy white with a mildly hot, ginger-peppery, resinous flavor that is used as a seasoning. This originated in Java or China where it grows on the southeast coast and spread west to southeastern Asia, namely Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of India.

Today it is popular in Thai cooking and can be purchased at oriental shops. Lesser galangale, Kaempheria galanga, is smaller and has a reddish-orangey flesh outside and almost white inside. It has organic flesh and is stronger, hotter and more resinous flavor than greater galangal. It is not as bitter and has fewer medicinal properties. Both galangales have been imported to Europe.

 Ibn Khurdadbah, an early Arab writer from Sindh, recorded the first shipment in 869, where, like ginger, the rhizomes were incorporated into cookery to flavor a wide variety of sauces, stews, soups and medicines. As fresh galangale is good for six months only, it came to Europe dried. Today it is frozen.

Galangale mixes well with garlic, fennel, ginger and turmeric. It tastes like ginger with a hint of cinnamon. When none is available ginger is used but there is no real substitute for it.

Making a Lid with Pita Bread
Photo by: Lord-Williams
During the Middle Ages, it was frequently used in cooking and mixed with spikenard and other spices for meat gelatins. Nola added it to a majority of fish dishes.

It is called for in medieval English manuscripts. Like ginger, lesser galangal is bruised, crushed or ground into powder. As it is quite tough it is soaked in wine before grinding.

Today coffee grinders are used. The flowers are eaten pickled or raw.

Medicinally, both have been used for seasickness, catarrh, stomach problems and rheumatism. Indians have used galangal as a deodorant. Both galangales were used for halitosis and as an aphrodisiac in Asia and Europe. Essence d’Amali, an essential oil, is extracted from the rhizome for use in perfumery. Arabs gave galangale to their horses to “ginger” them up. See juncia olorosa [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 36; ES: “Food Dict.” Dec 7, 03; ES: Forme of Cury. Feb 16, 05; ES: Stefan’s “galangale”. Jul 24, 06; Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:157; Nola. 1989:xxii-2; and Nola/Iranzo. 1982:168; and Nola/Pérez. 1992:198]

CHICKEN IN FLATBREAD ADAPTED FROM Huici’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #58. THE RECIPE OF IBN AL-MAHDI'S MAGHMÛM, p 44 [1]

Ingredients

1 chicken
4 oz sweet olive oil
¾ tsp coriander
3/8 tsp  dirham white pepper
3/8 tsp cinnamon
3/16 tsp ginger
3/16 tsp ganingale
3/16 tsp lavender
3/16 tsp cloves
3 oz vinegar
2 oz onion juice
1 oz cilantro juice
1 oz murri[2]
1 splash of rosewater
2-3 pieces of flatbread (pita today)


 Most Remarkably Delicious
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/180ºC 


Selecta a fat hen. Debone it and cut the meat into bite size pieces.  Heat a pot. Add olive oil. Add chicken and seal the pieces. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour this into an oven-proof dish. Make a lid by covering it with pita bread. Cook 30-45 minutes
until cooked.

Remove and let sit 15-20 minutes. Then invert it onto a dish and present it; it is remarkable.



[1] Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi, an Abbasid prince, who was anti-Caliph for some months, and whose hospitality and culinary expertise made him famous. Al-Bagdadi gives his name to this dish and calls it Ibrahimiya. (Huici)

[2] See blog published August 25 2011 titled almorí for recipe.