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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ESMERALDA

The Beauty of Emeralds Takes Away the Breath of All Beholders!
Photo by: Lord-Williams



emerald. A precious stone which Villena recommended to be worn in a ring on the ring or baby finger while serving meals or eating as a protection against ills, poison and polluted air. It was thought to ward off evil sorcery. Avenzoar claimed it fortified the mouth and stomach, stopped vomiting and reanimated the system. If poison is swallowed he recommended the weight of nine grains of emerald be embibed in a drink to stop the action of the poison. If worn as a ring it scared away poisonous snakes. See manos, comer con. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:123:150; and Villena/Calero. 2002:16:11a]

Monday, April 21, 2014

ESCUDILLA WITH 14TH C PEACOCK SAUCE WITH ALMOND MILK POTTAGE

Escudilla - An Individual Soup Bowl
One Serving
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast scudilla,scala,sopera, Cat escudella, OCat scudella, Leon escudiella,[1]

1. individual soup bowl or large cup for other liquids. In Catalonia, they were deep, hemispherical with small handles called orelletes. Normally they were glazed earthenware or wooden. In Leon, they are wooden bowls or plates used in smoking and serving meat. They are most appropriate for eating botillo. Egyptian pharaohs first used them. Europeans copied them but they disappeared with the Barbarian Invasions in the 5th C. Later, probably during the 7th C in Spain, the bowl came back for soups and other dishes served with spoons. When the bowl was au gratin or had a crust on top, then it was shared between two eaters.

2. a serving. If a recipe calls for six escudillas, it is for six portions.


3. a measurement estimated to be about 600 ml or 20 fl.oz today.

4. soup, pottage, or cream sauce.

[Anón/Grewe. 1982: XXVIIII:78:XXXXIIII:86:XXXXVII:91 etc; ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: glos; García Rey.1934: 85; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002: 123:211; Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:63:157; Nola. 1989:xiii-3:xx-1:xxxi-2 etc; Nola/Pérez. 1994:196; Ruíz/Brey. 1965: 1175a186; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:154:202]

PEACOCK SAUCE WITH ALMOND MILK POTTAGE ADAPTED FROM ANÓN, SENT SOVÍ XXXXIIII QUI PARLA CON DE DEU FER SALSAS DE PAGUÓ AB LET DE MELLES, pp 86-89
6 Servings

Ingredients

Frying Guts and Hearts
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For a broth:
bones and entails from 1 chicken
or
3 lamb hocks
2 lamb stomachs

300 gr scalded and peeled almonds

8 stripes of streaky bacon
guts from 2 chickens
2 chicken hearts
2 rabbit hearts
lard or bacon grease for frying
2 onions
juice from 2 lemons, oranges or bitter pomegranates
2 tbsp honey

Peacock Sauce
In a Bowl or Escudilla
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Peacock Sauce:
1½ tsp ginger scrapings
1½ tbsp cinnamon
1½ tsp cloves
1/3 tsp cardamon
¾ tsp saffron

Other spices:
1 tsp ginger shavings
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
2 tsp mashed and dissolved saffron



Optional
1 chicken liver
10-12 chicken wings

Preparation

The Pottage Before Adding Chicken Wings
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Make a chicken broth or lamb. Mix 1 qt broth with almonds. Let soak for 6 hours. Chop the almonds, strain this and set aside.

Fry the bacon and set aside. Save the bacon and the grease.

Chop the guts and hearts. Gently fry them in lard or bacon grease. Separate the meat from the fat. When cooked remove and set aside.

Scald onions in boiling water. Quarter the onions and fry them in the lard or grease. When translucent, remove excess grease. Chop the onions, the gut mixture and the bacon to make a paste. Put this back in the frying pan.

The Pottage with Chunks of Chicken Meat
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Add the juice with honey, 1 tsp peacock sauce, the other spices. Add almond milk and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes until cooked.

When it appears to be cooked taste to insure that it is sweet and sour enhanced by the seasoning. The color should be that of a mixture of cinnamon with saffron.

Grease from spit roasting pheasant or chicken can be added but care must be taken not to make the sauce too greasy.

Also a chopped chicken liver may be added after straining it through a sieve with a little broth. Chopped wing meat from chickens or pheasants can added as well. It is recommended to mash the meat in a mortar and strain it.[2] The sauce should be thick and served in small portions.


[1] ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: glos states:

Escudilla, "Dish" is used in three ways in the text. First, it refers to a bowl. Second, it is used as a synonym for "a serving". Many of the recipes say, "and this will make number of escudillas". Lastly, it is a measurement of volume, much like 19th century recipes call for a "wineglass" or a "teacup" of a certain ingredient. A recipe for preserved dates in Granado calls for "three pounds of water, or three escudillas" (Granado, 395) which seems to indicate that the escudillas of that time held about 16 fl. oz. Studies of 15th and 16th century Iberian pottery found at archeological sites show that escudillas varied in size, with rim diameters ranging from 8 cm. to 15 cm. (about 3-3/8 to 6 inches), but 13-14 cm. (about 5-1/4 to 6 inches) seems to have been the most common. A modern bowl in my kitchen, whose shape and proportions are similar to illustrations of medieval escudillas has a rim diameter of 13-1/2 cm. and a capacity of 600 ml. (about 20 fl. oz.).”

[2] This batch was made by simply adding whole raw chicken wings with bones and skin to the sauce. When the meat was cooked the "medieval carver" removed the skin and bones from the wings and put the chunks of meat back into the pottage without mashing it in a mortar.

Friday, April 18, 2014

ESCRÚPULO WITH 15TH C INSTRUCTIONS FOR DUKE'S POWDER

Avila, Spain Medieval City Walls
Author Showing How Weights Chained to Walls Worked
for People with Scruples!
Photo by: Beatriz Cabrera
escrúpulo, OCast & Port escrópulo, Eng scruple. One scruple weighed one dinar (coin), 1,198 miligrams or 20 wheat grains. See dinero. [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:96:ftn 12; and Nola/Pérez.1994:82:196]

DUKE'S POWDER ADAPTED FROM NOLA'S xiii-2
POLVORA DE DUQUE[1]

Ingredients

½ oz cinnamon
1/ 8 oz cloves
1 lb sugar
½ oz ginger

For Dukes with Scruples
(Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves)
Photo by: Lord-Williams
While listing the above ingredients, Nola states that cloves are not included when preparing Duke’s Powder for lords. He continues that ginger can be added “for the ‘passions of the stomach.’”

Concerning apothecaries weights, they are measured in the following manner: one pound is twelve ounces; one ounce, eight drachmas; 1 drachma, three scruples; on the other hand, the clearest way of understanding this is: one drachm weighs three dineros, scruple weighs one dinero, and a scruple is twenty wheat grains.[2]



[1] In her footnote 12 of  ES: Guisados1-art - 6/6/01, Lady Brighid ni Chiarain states that “Barbara Santich suggests that this recipe title is a misnomer, and an indication of Italian influence on Catalan cooking. A very similar blend of spices — minus the sugar -- is found in an anonymous Venetian cookbook of the late 15th century. It is called specie dolce, ‘sweet spices’. Several recipes in that cookbook call for dishes to be topped with sugar and unspecified spices before serving. Santich theorizes that specie dolce was the spice blend, which was sprinkled with the sugar. The Italian name specie dolce, ‘sweet spices’, may have been mangled in translation to become the Catalan polvora de duch, "powder of the duke".

Which came first the chicken or the egg? The 14th C Catalan Sent Soví manuscript recipe #CCXX, p 216 is for “Duke’s Powder,” naming the same ingredients as Nola including one pound sugar and with the addition of galingale and cardemoni (apparently a tropical fruit).

[2] In her footnote 12 of  ES: Guisados1-art - 6/6/01, Lady Brighid ni Chiarain explains: “There seems to have been some differences between Catalan and Castilian measurements. The Libre del Coch specifies that a drachm weighs 2 diners, whereas the Spanish versions say that 3 dineros weigh a drachm. Both sources say that a diner/dinero weighs the same as a scruple.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ESCORPERA WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR SCORPION FISH CASSEROLE


Scorpion Fish Wings Spread
Photo from:divemasterking2000
escórpora, escorpena, escorfeno, escorpina, cabracho, rascacio, L. Scorpaena scorfa (Cast cabracho), Eng large scaled scorpion fish (Mediterranean), S. atlantica (Cast escórpora), Eng scorpion fish (Atlantic) or L. porcus (Cast rascacio), Eng small scaled scorpionfish. The long scaled scorpion fish has up to 45 scales on its lateral line. It can be anywhere from bright red to reddish brown in color. It has a big head. It has venom spinal glands making it very difficult and dangerous to handle.

In the 15th C they were known only in the Mediterranean, living around rocks or at the bottom over sand or mud. With the increase in earth temperatures today they may migrate as far north as Cornwall, England.

The identification of this fish has caused much debate. Pérez claims it was indefinable while Carroll-Mann concludes it is the red scorpion fish. Authors do not agree on the species of this fish. As the red scorpions are telescopic in size they are caught only by mistake in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, it hardly seems likely that it would be mentioned as food.

All three species are similar in appearance. Large-scaled scorpion fish have the tastiest meat, but the stock made with them is even better. Soups produced with the meat of this fish, especially in fishermen’s ports, are famous for their flavour and quality. Puddings and pies also are made with them.  The fish should be boiled. Great care must be taken when cleaning it as it is very bony. Further, although the fish is dead, it is still poisonous until boiled. If one is pricked by it, it could be fatal.

The family name of this fish comes from the Greek “skorpis”, indicating that their poison is as toxic as that of the scorpions of the desert. The spikes on the tail fin are connected to poisonous glands. A sting from these fish causes increasingly excruciating pain around the wound, somewhat like a wasp sting but much worse. During the first hour it increases. The victim suffers nausea, vomiting, fever, vertigo, cold clammy sweating and insomnia. After about an hour, the pain somewhat subsides. The next day the wound becomes insensible, black, tense, thick, hard and gangrenous. Today these stings are treated immediately with antibiotics, in the Middle Ages death was frequent.

A Pity Sea Bass had to be Used
But No one was Poisoned!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
The bodies of the three types of these rockfish are thick and compressed. The heads have spikes and prickles. The eyes are large. Their mouths are oblique, with slender teeth. The colors range from brownish-black to red, orange or yellow, which camouflage them perfectly among the rocks and algae when sedentary or swimming. All eat twice their size in weight daily. The large-scaled scorpion is about 50 cm long, the short-scale 30 cm and the small red scorpion fish about 20 cm. long. The small-scaled and the large-scaled scorpion inhabit the Mediterranean and the Atlantic from England to Senegal. Today, small-scaled scorpions also live in a part of the Black Sea [Corbera. 1996: 128-132; ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 141; ES: Zammit]

SCORPION FISH CASSEROLE ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S lxiiii-1 ESCORFENO EN CAZUELA

Ingredients

1 c chestnuts
¼ c almonds peeled and fried
3-4 lbs large scale scorpion fish[1]
4 c fresh parsley
4 c mix herbs (basil, oregano and celery leaves were used)
¼ c chopped onion
1 garlic clove mashed
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ c olive oil

Simpler than Making a Salad!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Covering:
¼ c raisins with the chestnuts and almonds
juice from1lemon

Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400ºF/200ºC

Make slits like a cross in each chestnut. Roast them in the oven for about ½ hour until the skins open and the insides are tender. Remove from oven. Let cool long enough to skin. Coarsely chop leaving 2 whole chestnuts for garnish.

Peel, fry the almonds and coarsely chop except for a half dozen almonds set aside for garnish.
Nola states that this fish is not good except in casserole or boiled. To roast it, clean and wash it. If thick or large, cut it into pieces.
a Dainty Good Friday Dish for Your King!
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Remove stems from herbs. Put the leaves in a food processor and chop them. Mix them with the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and the olive oil. Smear the bottom of a casserole with half the olive oil. Put the herb mixture in the casserole like a bed. Add the fish. Pour the remaining olive oil over it. Roast uncovered for ½ hr hour until almost done. Cover the fish with almonds, chestnuts and raisins. Sprinkle with juice from one lemon. Return to oven for 5 or 10 minutes until fish is tender.





[1] Sea bass was used, as scorpion fish was not available at this time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

ESCALDAR WITH 14TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR


It is Customary to Scald the Dead Animal
With Boiling Water
After Removing or Singing its' Coat
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 to scald in boiling water. [ Ibn Razīn/Granja. 1960:
6:19; Anón/Grewe. 1982:X:69:XI:70:XXXXI:84 etc; Nola. 1989:xv-1:xvi-1:xxii-1; and Nola/Pérez. 1992:196]

GOAT ROASTED ON A SPIT ADAPTED FROM GREWE’S EDITION OF SENT SOVÍ X, SE HABLA CÓMO SE PREPARA EL CABRITO ENTERO CON PIEL EN BROCHETA, p 69

Ingredients

2 lbs goat or other meat to be roasted
¼  c grease
1 egg
½  tsp cumin
1 garlic clove mashed
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
½ tsp freshly chopped rosemary





FOR THE STUFFING[1]:
1 c raw almonds
1 c raisins
This Roast is Slit in Half and Spread Out
Photo by: Lord-Williams
¼ c lard 
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves

Preparation

The original recipe calls for roasting a goat in its skin, which is scalded in boiling water. Today’s palates will find that too strong. It is advisable to use a skinned animal instead. Further, as goat is difficult to find another type of meat may be used. [2]



The Stuffing is Spread on the Meat
Then the Meat is Rolled, Tied and Put on a Spit
Photo by: Lord-Williams
The recipe continues to instruct that the guts of the animal should be removed and it should be stuffed. No ingredients for stuffing are indicated.

For the stuffing: Blanch almonds, peel them and coarsely chop them. Remove seeds from raisins and cut them in half if large. Mix them with 2 tbsp grease, cinnamon and cloves. Stuff the roast with this and tie it closed. 


PREHEAT OVEN TO 325ºF/160ºC

To attempt to reproduce this recipe, the meat should be roasted on a spit. When tender, add a little salted water and grease it with a stick, covering it to prevent it from burning as is done with pork.[3] When half roasted paint the skin with eggs beaten with seasoning[4] and cover it with a chicken feather[5] as is done with pork.
A Nice Presentation when Carved
Photo by: Lord-Williams



[1] This is the same stuffing as that used in the blog titled enlardar published March 21, 2014.
[2] Beef  was used.
[3] This should be done every ½ hr.
[4] The seasoning is the Medieval Spanish Chef’s addition as they are not specified in the original recipe.
[5] A paintbrush was used.