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Friday, July 22, 2016

MILANO WITH THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF'S RECIPE FOR GURANARD


Harris Red Gurnard
Photo from stephmcallister74
(fr. L. miluus), 1. Aspitrigla cuculus, Eng red gurnard. These spindle shaped saltwater fish are normally 25 cm long but can reach 40 cm. They are the smallest gurnards in Europe. They are red on top. The head and sides have silvery pink rows of large scales. As all gurnards, they have strong spines and protective bony plates on the head. The pectoral fins contain sensory organs, which are used to feel for food consisting of crustaceans, small fish and other invertebrates living at the bottom of the sea. The gurnards live in sand, rocks, mud, and gravel seabeds in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to the west coast of Scotland, but are rare along the Norfolk coast. See milano real.

2. L. Milvus, Eng. kite. This bird of pray has a long tail, usually forked, and long wings. It has no teeth in the bill. It is prevalent throughout western and part of northeastern Spain but rare in England today. In medieval Al-Andalus, it was thought to be as noxious as the crow but eaten to cure mange
. See halcón.  

[Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:199; ES: Aspitrigla cuculus. Dec 9, 02; ES: “Milvus.” Nov 29, 03; ES: “Red.” Nov 28, 03; ES: Trussell. 27 Nov 03; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:234; Jutglar. 1999:179; OXF Eng Dict. 1989:VIII:Interval:469; Villena/Brown. 1984:34: 54: 83: 84:172; Villena/Calero. 2002:b and Villena/Saínz. 1969:139]

If you like fish, this is for you
If you don't like fish, you will break your rule!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

4 red gurnard/1 per person[1]
olive oil to seal
6 tbsp olive oil
zest from one orange

Sauce:
½ c fish broth
2 tbsp olive oil
juice from one orange

Garnish:
8 artichokes
2 ½ c mushrooms

Preparation

Have the fishmonger scale and gut the fish and remove the head.

Wash the fish and pat dry. 

Mix 6 tbsp olive oil with zest from one orange. Let sit 1 minute and pour it over fish.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400ºF/200ºC

Put fish in oven. Pour 1 c white wine over the fish when half done.  Continue cooking until done.

Cut tops off of artichokes. Remove outer leaves. Boil in water until soft.  Remove from water and turn bottom sides up on paper towel to let the water run off.
Sautée onion. Slice mushrooms and add to the onion.  When the mushrooms are almost done pour ½ c sheery over them and add artichokes cut in half.

When the fish is cooked, remove from oven. Brush a coat of the sauce over it. Pour pan juices and sauce into a frying pan with the mushrooms. Fry until mushrooms are done. Add artichokes to heat.

Prepare a sauce combining 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 c fish broth using pan juices and juice from one orange.

Place the fish on a platter. Garnish with artichokes and mushrooms.

Serve immediately.


[1] For lack thereof turbot was used.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MIJO WITH A RECIPE FOR MILLET FLAT BREAD

Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica)
Photo from: HEN-Magonza


L. Setaria italica, Eng. foxtail millet. It was cultivated in Asia, India and Indonesia by 6,000 B.C. at the latest and in Europe for the last 3,000 years. The plant has dense cylindrical, bristly flower clusters, resembling fox tails, and flat leaf blades. The seeds are small and pointed. When ground into flour, they become almost black. It is the only plant of its species with edible seeds. It is planted in March or April. As it grows, it is cut two or three times and new shoots appear. Today it is used as bird fed but in Medieval times it was feed to livestock as well. During famine, Spanish Christians and Hispano-Muslims made bread with it.

Peral Millet, 
which is peeled as opposed to bird seed
Photo by: Lord-Williams
When justifying the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1612 Father P. Aznar de Cardon wrote that Moors were different because they ate millet, see pan de mijo. Foxtail millet is confused with proso millet. All millets are referred to as “corn crops,” which misleads one to believe that American corn existed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Corn crops are not maize containing kernels but cereals or the grain of a cereal plant. They also include wheat and barley. See panizo.

[Barajas-Benavides. La Albambra. 1999:96-97; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:201:205:255-256:286; ES: Castro. “The Role.” Aug 3, 03; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:69; and Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:115]

A RECIPE FOR MILLET FLAT BREAD ADAPTED BARAJAS-BENAVIDES' 
LA ALHAMBRA RECIPE FOR PAN DE MIJO[1], p 96

Fried Millet Flat Bread
(which cracked)
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 cup pearl millet 

¼ cup water

salt to taste

sesame seeds
ground anise
olive oil for frying

Preparation

Preheat olive oil in a frying pan.

Take flour and, little by little, work in water to make dough by hand. Make a very thin circular disc with the dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and ground anise.

Fry immediately. When brown underneath turn over and brown the other side.

Continue making pieces of bread one by one and frying immediately to prevent the dough from crumbling or cracking. This does take practice.

The recipe states that the bread can be baked. The Medieval Spanish Chef's attempt resulted in bread as hard as rocks!

[1] This appears to be Bajri No Rotlo, an Indian flat bread. The difference is the Medieval Spanish Chef’s lack of experience in making it by hand.

BARAJAS-BENAVIDES, LA ALHAMBRA, p 96




Monday, July 18, 2016

MIGAS DEL PASTOR WITH GUITIÁNS' RECIPE FOR LEONESE SHEPHERDS' BREADCRUMBS

Frying Breadcrumbs in Suet
Photo by: Lord-Williams
a variation of migas (breadcrumbs) consisting of two garlic cloves, 300 grams suet from the area around the kidneys, onion, a bay leaf, milk and one to two pound loaf of bread soaked in milk. The suet is heated in a pot. Add the onion, bay leaf and seasonings are added. Then the bread is stirred into the mixture until it is dissolved in the suet. It is served hot. This is common in the León. [Misc. Conversations. Manuel María Vías Guitián. Feb 3, 2003]

MANUEL MARÍA VÍAS GUITIÁN’S RECIPE FOR SHEPHERD’S BREADCRUMBS IN LEÓN

Ingredients

Absolutely Delicious!
Breadcrumbs decorated with
fried egg and slices of Serrano ham
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 - 2 lb loaf of bread
1 ¾ - 2 c milk[1]
10 ½ oz/300 gr suet
1 onion chopped
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves mashed
1 tsp mixed spices[2]
salt to taste

Optional[3]:
sausages
fried eggs
serrano ham or chorizo


Preparation

Put bread into a food processor and make breadcrumbs. Let sit overnight. The next say, soak them in milk.

Put suet in a food processor and make grease out of it. Heat. Once dissolve, add onion and bay leaf. When translucent add mashed garlic, seasoning and salt. Stir in bread until dissolved in suet.

Add optional additions if desired.

Serve hot.


[1] The amount varies due to the amount of breadcrumbs used.
[2]  see blog titled dárselo published November 29, 2013 for recipe. 
[3] The Medieval Spanish Chef’s addition.

Friday, July 15, 2016

MIGAS WITH AN ESTREMANIAN RECIPE FOR FRIED BREADCRUMBS

Mixing Breadcrumbs with Water
and Other Ingredients
Photo by: Lord-Williams
fried breadcrumbs to which lard or salt pork is added. It is gachas in which day old bread is crumbled and fried. Throughout Spain, this is a method to take advantage of left over bread, which is served for breakfast. Today it is considered a luxury and it can be served as an entrée to a hardy dinner. In Estremadura, it is fried with garlic and crispy bacon, salt pork or lard. It is a winter breakfast in rural areas of the Mancha, Estremadura and Andalusia. A variation is to use flour instead of breadcrumbs.

Each region, district and family has a particular recipe. Hispano Arabs used mutton or other meats instead of pork and sometimes added milk instead of water. They seasoned the dish with chopped onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Other ingredients could be green favas, lettuce and dill. Sometimes sugar was sprinkled on top before serving. Traditionally, it is a typical dish of nomad shepherds. See pan cueza and blog titled migas del pastor published July 18, 2016.

[Anón. Al-Andalus. 1966:371:396; Benavides-Barajas.  La Alhambra. 1999:96:98:107 etc;
Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:79; and Serradilla. 1993:11:39]

JOSÉ CORTES FATHER’S ESTREMANIAN RECIPE FOR MIGAS (FRIED BREADCRUMBS)

Ingredients

Just the Way Cortes' Father Made Them!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 loaf of white bread
2 oz slices of bacon
3 chorizos
7 garlic cloves
½ c olive oil
1 tsp white pepper
½ c water
salt to taste

Preparation

The night before put the loaf of white bread into a food processor. Made breadcrumbs. Add water, 3 garlic cloves and ½ tsp pepper. Grind well and let sit covered.

The following day, heat olive oil in a frying pan.  Fry 4 whole garlic cloves until the oil has absorbed the flavor. Remove cloves.

Lower heat and add bacon and sliced chorizo. Fry until browned. Add breadcrumb mixture. Turn breadcrumbs constantly until toasted and loose, not lumpy.