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Friday, February 5, 2016

MALAGUETA WITH RECIPE FOR A SAUCE FOR ROAST PIGEONS


nuez de Abisinia, granos de paraíso, Hisp Ar nuezes de xarque or jarque,  L. Aframomum melegueta, Ar. jūz aš-šerk, Fr. maniguette ou moix d’Abyssinie, Eng. grains of paradise, melegueta or malagueta pepper. Malagueta is derived from Melle, an African empire in the Upper Niger region. The spice was taken from the coast of what today is Liberia, then to ports in Tripoli and from there to Europe.
Photo from: 
Roça São João dos Angolares, São Tomé

By 1245 in Lyon it was called “paradise gain” as it came from foreign lands. At that time in England, it was called “Parisian grain”. It appeared in 14th and 15th C European cookbooks using it instead of black pepper, which was more expensive.

The pungent seed contains tiny, hot and peppery grains. It was used on roasted meat, in spiced wines, hippocras and beer and in stews and broths. Today, the plant grows wild in Ghana. It is reed-like and 1-2.5 m. in height. It has pale purple flowers, which are followed by pear-shaped scarlet fruits inclosing the pulp containing brown seeds 2 mm wide. Often, grains of paradise are confused with other seeds like black cardamom. Although relatives and grains of paradise smell like cardamom, but they are not the same.

In Hispano-Arabic xarque or jarque means “colony of the Moros.” There was one is a near Calatayud in the province of Zaragoza where there is a Muslim mosque. Perhaps grains of paradise were grown there. On the other hand for Arabs xarque or jarque means “orient”.  Nola calls them ‘nuts of xarque’ in the first two recipes in which he uses them and grains of paradise in others. He adds them at the end of cooking time to the sauce for Merritoche Pottage, in another for roasted squabs, in Membrillo Pottage etc. When pepper prices declined, grains of paradise were forgotten. See cardamomo.

[ES: “Glossary” Congo Dec 27, 03; Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:156-157; Nola. xxiii-1:xxx-3:xxxvii-4 etc; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:44:169-170; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:199]

Sauce for Roast Pigeon with Grains of Paradise
Photo by: Lord-Williams
A SAUCE FOR ROAST PIGEON ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S xxx-2 OTRO SALSERON PARA PALOMINOS ASADOS

Ingredients

4 pigeon livers[1]
1 c grated cheese
½ c vinegar
1 qt chicken broth or hot water
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp grains of paradise

Preparation

Roast the livers and grind them in a food processor. Add grated cheese and vinegar, and grind them all together.  Blend this with 1 c broth or hot water, and strain it through a sieve into a pot. Bring to a boil. Add spices and continue boiling, stirring constantly in one direction, otherwise the thin sauce will separate.
Pour over roast pigeons or chicken or serve on the side.


[1] Chicken livers were used as pigeons were not available.

NOLA'S xx-3
OTRO SALSERON PARA PALOMINOS ASADOS



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MAJAR (And) WITH 15TH CENTURY FOR GOURD SEED PUDDING


Gourd Seeds to Be Pounded
Photo by: Lord-Williams
to blend, continual pounding or mashing. Spanish dictionaries do not differentiate machacar, grind, pound or mash from majar. Marchar is to mash a garlic clove with one or two strokes. Majar today indicates food put it in the food processor. In medieval times, continual manual pounding to make almond milk for example took an extended period of time as indicated in Nola’s recipe Salsa de pavos. [Nola. 1989: xiii-3:xiii-1:xvi-1 etc; and Nola/Pérez. 1992:201]


CALABACINATE WHICH IS SEEDS FROM GOURDS ADAPTED FROM NOLA'S xx-4 CALABACINATE QUE ES SIMIENTE DE CALABAZAS

A Perfect Pudding of Ground Gourd Seeds
with Almond Milk
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
Ingredients

1 c gourd seeds
1 c peeled almonds
1 qt chicken broth
sugar to taste

Garnish
Sugar

Preparation

Peel gourd seeds leaving them white like almonds. Mash them in a food processor with the almonds. Bend them with chicken broth and strain the mixture through a cheesecloth into a pot. Add sugar to taste. Cook until thick.  This pottage can be made with only gourd seeds; with sugar it is very good for liver disorders.

NOLA'S xx-4




Monday, February 1, 2016

MAIMONIDES WITH RECIPE FOR CHICKEN BROTH WITH MATZO BALLS


Córdoba – Maimónides
Photo from: Eneas Pedro
Maimonides, Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204, born in Cordova, Spain, died in Cairo, Egypt. Being a Jew, he was force to flee from Spain with his family when the Muslim Almohades came to power in 1148 as they imposed conversion to Islam or death.

After years of wandering in Spain, he and his family settled in Fez by 1160, the cultural center of Morocco. There, he was educated by Spanish-Moroccan physicians. In 1165, Judah ha-Kohen ibn Susan, Maimonides’ master, was put to death for not accepting the Islamic faith, the student fled to Israel, Alexandria and finally to Egypt.

In Cairo, Maimonides eventually resumed medical studies begun in Fez and became a physician to al-Fadil, the vizier, who actually ruled the country after Saladin’s departure in 1174. By 1190, he was the sultan’s personal physician. Further, he had his own private practice.

Maimonides wrote 10 books on medicine. The manuscript that most influenced the Hispano-Arab culinary world was El Tadbir al-Sihha (“Guide to Good Health”). This treatise on hygiene was written in 1198 for Afdal Nũr al-Dĩn Ali, Sultan of Egypt, who suffered from depression. Maimonides stressed the physic state of the patient in his daily environment including exercise, diet, cultural life and friends. Maimonides maintained that a happy person is a healthy person.

Preparing Matzo Balls
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Maimonides began the trend of using chicken soup as medicine. He recommended hens’ broth ad that made with other fowl to “neutralize the body constitution.” He thought boiled chicken soup helped to cure leprosy and asthma.  He claimed that whole wheat bread was the most valuable bread for the quantity of protease contained in it. This is an essential fiber for intestinal peristalsis. Maimonides not only gives nutritious assets but provided the culinary procedure.  He also provided an extensive list of herbal remedies. His nutritional remedies are still used today.

As a pass time, Maimonides served the Jewish community as their leader. The Mishneh Torah, a systematic code on all Jewish law complied in 1180, was his major contribution to the Jewish culture. It is a guide for Jews on how to behave in all situations by reading it with the Torah.

Further, he wrote the Guide to the Perplexed, a commentary on the entire Mishna. He has been acclaimed as “the only philosopher in the Middle Ages who symbolizes a confluence of four cultures: Greco-­Roman, Arab, Jewish, and Western.” His teachings were not exclusive of Jewish interests. The Guide consists of philosophical writings about theological issues in general and about God. Upon reading his works Muslims and Christians forget he was a Jew. Perhaps for this he has been acclaimed the “most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, and quite possibly of all time”. For the diet he recommended whole wheat bread and chicken broth. See maimón and Nueva-Clásica Cocina Andalusí.

[Benavides-Barajas. 1995:14; Enyc Judaica 1971:11: 754-780; ES: Telushkin. May 30, 02; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:82-83]

THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF’S VERSION OF MAIMONIDES’ CHICKEN BROTH WITH MATZO BALLS

Ingredients
A Dish to Savour
Photo by: Lord-Williams
4 qts water
4-5 lb whole chicken
1 lb chicken wings
3 large white onions, peeled and quartered
4 celery stalks including leaves, halved
4 carrots, halved
3 mashed garlic cloves
6 parsley sprigs
6 sprigs dried thyme 2 tsp salt salt and pepper to taste

Garnish matzo balls[1]
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Preparation

Add them to the water and simmer. Do not let the soup boil.

Add the remaining ingredients and partially cover. Simmer for 2 ½ hours. Skim foam and scrum on top frequently.

Remove chicken and carrots from the broth. Remove the bones from the chicken and return them to the broth.  Simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Chop the carrots and shred the chicken and set aside.

Remove broth from heat. Remove the lit and let cool. Strain the soup through a sieve into a bowl.
Squeeze the water out of the vegetables into the bowl.


Add half the shredded chicken and carrots to the broth.  Garnish with matzo balls and dill before serving.

[1] See blog titled maimón published January 29, 2016 for recipe.



Friday, January 29, 2016

MANGO, -A WITH YOGURT

Mangos
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1. coned shaped net or cloth sieve. 2. handle. 3. L. Mangifera indica, Ar. ’anba, Fr. mangue, Eng. mango. This is a tree, providing shade, living more than 300 years, growing to 20-30 m. in height and producing a short and thick yellow oblong tropical fruit with a thick rind. It comes in two sizes. One is as big as a goose egg and can weigh 2lbs. The other is the size of a plum. It should not be eaten until completely ripe. The juicy pulp has a somewhat sweet, acid, citronic and cooling taste that melts in the mouth. In the center is a hard pit.

It is a native Burma and eastern India. It is known to have existed from the 4th and 5th C BC. The Indians collected it when it was ripe and preserved it by pickling in water, salt and vinegar, which made it taste like an olive.

Mixing Mango and Honey with Yogurt
Photo by: Lord-Williams
By the 10th C the tree existed in East Africa and in the 14 C. a huge mango tree was recorded beautifying the gardens at Villa
al-Qarawiyyîn in southern Andalusia, then occupied by the Arabs. This indicates that the Arabs, who then controlled the trade routes from India, brought it to Iberia and they successfully cultivated these trees there.

Like the Indians, the English use mangos to make chutney or pickle them. No other methods have been discovered to preserve the ripe fruit.

Indians use the wood of the tree for house and shipbuilding. In Malaya the skins and seeds are used to treat hemorrhoids, intestinal worms and uterine hemorrhages. During famine, the seeds are eaten. In India cows are fed the leaves and then their urine is collected to use as yellow dye, especially in oil paints. The gum from the trunk is mixed with egg white and opium to treat dysentery in India. [Castro. Alimentación. 1996” 171; and ES: “Mango.” May 15, 2004]

MANGOS IN YOGURT, THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF'S RECIPE

Simply Surprising
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Ingredients

3 c yogurt
3 medium sized mangos

¼ c honey

Garnish
2 tbsp chopped mango
sprigs of mint

Instructions

Peel the mangos and chop them. Set 2 tbsps aside for garnish.

Mix the remainder of the mangos and the honey with the yogurt and chill. Before serving sprinkle with the chopped mango for garnish and crown this with sprigs of mint.