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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MAYORDOMO WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR PICKLED FIGS


Elf Fanatsy Fair 2012
Mistress Sanguineness and the Butler Dick
Photo from: Eric
mayordomo mayor, OCast villicos,villicus Eng Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household, Chief Bulter. This position was held by trustworthy nobles, who spent various months per year living with the royal family. It is the highest position in the household under the lord. The chamberlain was the general coordinator of the royal staff.  It was not necessarily a political position.  He deals with and issues orders to all the servants and those holding other positions in court and sees to it that they are carried out. The chamberlain is economically responsible for reporting ordinary supply costs to his lord or king, his supervisor, and to keep him informed of the prices of all purchasable articles. In England, aristocratic positions in royal and noble households could be held by more than person in order to provide time for the individuals to return to their manors to take care of their estates.

Rose Petals for Pickling Figs
Photo by: Lord-Wlliams
The Mayorodomos mayores of Henry IV (1455-1474) were Beltran de la Cuenca, Duke of Alburquerque, Miguel Lucas de Iranzo, Constable of Castile and Andrés de Cabrera, Maruqes de Moya (husband of Beatriz Bobadila, the most influential woman in Isabel I’s court).

Lord Chamberlains of the Royal Household during this period were: Thomas Stanley, Richard Neville, the Earl of Salisbury (father of the Earl of Warwick) under the rule of Henry VI and Lord Hastings under the rule of Edward IV.

[Alonso Luengo. 1994:48; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:59 Nola. 1989:”Del officio de mayordomo”; and Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:40:130: ftn 99:134 etc]

A sideboard was located at the side off the banquet hall. Cheeses, cold cuts and sweets were laid out for the household to nibble between meals. The Mayordomo might have ordered this dish for sweet tooths!

A BASIN OF PICLKED FIGS ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S xliii-1 BURNIA DE HIGOS
For 4 persons

Ingredients


21 black or white mature figs
1 heaping c sugar
½ lb roses pedals (colored if possible)
Preparation

Cut off the stems of mature figs. Slice the figs in half.

Select a glazed earthenware basin or pot, which used to be called búrnia or albúrnia (see alboronía). Line it with a layer of rose petals. Sprinkle with sugar and add layer of figs, followed by another of rose petals, sugar and figs. Repeat until there are no more figs.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Secure with masking tape if necessary. Place the lid over this. Let it sit 15-20 days.

The figs should become sticky with the syrup they give off during this time and the petals will become impregnated with the aroma of roses. Then this mixture is ready.

The preparations can be made with dried or fresh figs. The latter are recommended.





Monday, May 2, 2016

MAWLID WITH 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR FRAGRANT ROYAL RAFÎS


mawlid
Photo from: mawlid.cac
Maulud al-Nabi. The birthday celebration of the Prophet Muhamad, founder of the Muslim Religion. This takes place on the 12th day of the third month of Rabi’ al-a
wwalin the Muslim calendar celebrations commence on the first day of the month.

Although Benavides-Barajas claims it is of Maghreb origin, other sources state it is Egyptian from the Fatimid dynasty of the 11th C. In Granada, it was first documented in the 13th C. at the Alhambra as a counter measure for Muslims celebrating Christmas with Christians.

Boiling sugar, ground almonds and water
for sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
During this time poets presented eulogies to the Emir as if he were the Prophet himself. It was celebrated also with prayers, food and dancing. As this was an elaborate celebration, plenty of food was available for all classes. The most traditional food served was ءasīda, basically a semolina pottage. According to Wright, ءasīda  “reminds the believer that the holy Koran was recited to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel near Mecca in 610 AD.” 

Other foods which could have been served were the other four typical Islamic dishes during the Middle Ages: harīsa (frumenty, boiled wheat stew), tharāda (bread soup), tharīd(a) (macaroni or a dish of bread moistened with meat juices) and rafis (wheat flour with dates, honey and butter). Other dishes must have included eggplant, couscous and legumes. Masses of sheep, goats and cows were slaughtered. The Anonymous Al-Andalus manuscript provides numerous recipes and variations for these dishes.   

[Anón/Grewe. 1982:CVIII:137; Anón/Huici.1966:393-396:215-217:398:218-219:420-423:231-233; Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:55; ES: Clifford A. Wright Com. Mar 13, 16; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:78:89; Nola. 1989:xxi-4:lxxi-2 and Weeks. 1984:I:276]

FRAGRANT ROYAL RAFÎS OR HARCHAS (round cakes) ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #421 “RAFÎS” AROMATIZADO REGIO, p 232[1]

Ingredients

Rolling out Paper-thin dough
Cutting harcha using a lid to a jar
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Step 1 for syrup:
½ c almonds
½ c sugar

Step 2 for harchas:
2 c fine semolina flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp yeast
¼ tsp salt
½ c soft butter
¾ c milk

butter for frying

Preparation

Step 1 for syrup:
Place almonds and sugar in a small pot. Add 1 c water. Heat until a syrup forms and the desired thickness is reached, abou 200ºF/93ºC.

Looks like a pancake
Its not a pancake
But it is Delicious!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Step 2 for harchas:

Mix dry ingredients in a food processor.  Add butter and milk and blend until dough forms. Knead it for 10 minutes. Cover and set aside for 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen, roll it out very thin and cut circles like pancakes. Preheat griddle and fry in butter until all the harchas are cooked.

Pour the almond/sugar syrup on them and serve warm.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/180ºC to reheat harchas if desired. They can be frozen.


[1] See blog titled Cocina de boca published April 5, 2013 for a simular recipe titled “Royal Rafîs.”

HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #421




Friday, April 29, 2016

MATARIFE WITH 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FAKE BURGERS MADE WITH CHICKPEA FLOUR

Spanish Slaughter Man Taking a Deep Breath
before Severing the Aorta with the Sped of Lightening
Photo by: Lord-Williams
jifero, Est matachín, Heb shojet, Eng slaughter, a man who “sacrifices” livestock, a slaughter who does the actual killing and directs the entire operation. The position is more respected than that of a butcher. As in bull fighting, it is an art requiring strength, speed and precision to cut the aorta cleanly with one thrust of the dagger for the death to be painless.

Traditionally the slaughter takes place on the street in front of the owner’s home for all to see the ‘sacrifice’ and to observe the art of cutting up the carcass, such as removing the bile, chopping off the hooves and separating the meat from the lard and fat. It does seem ironic that Protestant England slaughters or butchers its animals but in Spain animals, especially pigs, are “sacrificed”.

Pope Gregory III prohibited sacrifices in the name of the RC Church. The local Spanish priest, however, continues to be given the best cut after the slaughter. Not fulfilling this tradition would be unthinkable. At the end of the three days during which the slaughters are performed and the meats prepared, the local priest says mass to bless the slaughter in return for the meat he receives.

The Jewish rabbi did not wait for his portion for it was in his hands. He was the matarife of the Jewish community. In Tetuan, he was called the Wiseman. The animal was killed with one blow; it died two or three minutes after that. All the blood was drained from its body, as it was unclean to eat that.

Slaughter Man Removing the Head
Then the Tongue in One Piece
Photo by: Lord-Williams
The law prohibited Jews from purchasing meat killed by Christians but not the other way around. In Trujillo, Estremadura, Christians bought meat from the Jews and even the king ate meat prepared by them during his visits there as reportedly Jews were the best slaughters in the area and sold the best meat. Still in the 21th C the rabbi kills cattle and oxen.

Muslims in Spain had their own slaughter-man and to this day, “sacrifrice” their animals instead of animals instead of killing them. As the Jews, they slit the throat of the animal rather than the aorta as Christians do. The blood from Jewish and Muslim beasts is let to run out on the ground as it is not considered consumable and the animal is purified with prayer. Further, Jews soak meat in water five or six times with salt to insure there is no blood left. They also removed the sciatic vein from the joints. Larding meat is unheard of in Jewish communities as all fat is removed from the beast.

At midday, the slaughter was served a humble dish but one of his favorites. Groats were popular.

[Camba. 1995:41:91;
Ares. Gastronomía. 2000:71; Gitlitz. 1999:110:147:157 etc; Martínez Llopis. Historia.1981: 130; Sanz. 1967:18-21; and Serradilla. 1993:34:35:37 etc]


A VERY SPECIAL DISH FOR THE SLAUGHTER MAN COULD BE:

FAKE BURGERS MADE WITH GARBANZO FLOUR ADAPTED FROM HIUCI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #7 LA “ISFIRIY” FALSIFICADA DE GARBANZOS, p18 PLUS SAUCE BELOW

Ingredients

1 ¼ c raw chickpeas

 Chickpea Mixture
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For burgers:
1 c raw chickpeas
1 onion + ¼  onion for sauce
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ c aromatic herbs such as basil mint, oregano and parsley + more herbs for sauce
1 garlic clove mashed


Preparation prior to frying:
½ c chickpea flour
1 egg
olive oil for frying

Sauce, see below

Preparation

Grind chickpeas in a food processor until ground into a fine flour. Remove ¼ c 

Soak the second cup of chickpeas overnight. Rinse and boil the following day. When soft let cook.

Peel and chop onion. Sautée in olive oil.

Grind pepper and mix with chopped herbs and garlic clove. Mix with chickpeas.  Add 1 tbsp chickpea flour and mix well. Make burgers with this mixture.

Put the remaining chickpea flour in a bowl. Roll burgers in the flour.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add burgers. Turn when browned and remove.

Make a humus sauce.

Serve warm with sauce on the side.  

THE SPANISH MEDIEVAL CHEF'S VERSION OF A HUMMUS SAUCE 

An Exquisite Way to Compliment 
A Hard Day's Work
Photo by: Pedro Pablo Montero
Ingredients

½ c broth from boiling chickpeas
¼ c leftover burger filling
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp herbs such as: parsley, basil, marjoram and mint

Preparation

Combine all ingredients except ½ tsp of the herbs. Put in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until it thickens. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining herbs.

Serve "Fake Brugers" with sauce on the side.


HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #7





Monday, April 25, 2016

MASTUERZO WITH 14TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR RISSOLES WITH AROMATIC HERBS

Watercress
A Delight in Salad and Rissoles
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCat moritort, Cat morritort, L  Lepidium sativum, Eng. garden cress, watercress, peppergrass. The plant traveled from Babylonia to Egypt in the times of the pharaohs. Pliny knew it. It came to Andalusia where it is picked around June, just before or after the flowers open. Since Roman times, it has been used as a salad herb with its white flowers, dry fruit with two seeds. It was common in English medieval herb gardens. The greens have a biting peppery taste. The more mature the plant, the hotter the leaves. In Andalusia it was also used to flavor salmuera (salt brine [see almorí de pescado]), marinades and pottages.

Generally, it is not used medicinally, although it contains a natural antibiotic. In Al- Andalus it was used as a diuretic for stomach pain.

[Anón/Grewe. 1982: CLXVIIII:181-182:ftn 6: Apè III:239;ES: FAO. Ch 29. Feb 2, 98; Henisch. 1976:109; Martínez Llopis. Historia. 1981:108; and Pullar. 1970:104.]


RISSOLES[1] WITH AROMATIC HERBS ADAPTED FROM GREWE’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN SENT SOVÍ CLXVIIII QUI PARLA CON SE FFA FFREXOLS[2], pp181-182

Ingredients

½ c mixed green herbs[3]
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 ¼ c water
2 c flour
¼ tsp salt

olive oil for frying

Preparation

Perfectly unique hors d'oeuvres that can be made 
ahead of time and fried at the last minute
Photo by: Pedro Pablo Montero
Wash and chop herbs. Set aside.

Sift flour and yeast. Add water little by little until smooth. Add herbs and mix well. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for one hour.

Heat oil in a frying pan. When hot drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. When browned remove from oil and place on paper towels. Serve warm with dip.

Mint and Yogurt Dip by the Medieval Spanish Chef

1 individual natural yogurt
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 raw mashed garlic clove
1 tbsp honey

Preparation

Mix all ingredients. Place in a small serving bowl, cover and refrigerate over night. Serve at room temperature.


[1] This is a forerunner of croquettes.
[2] The Forme of Cury, p. 189 calls this “fritters” or “fried cakes” and lists the recipes for this in the manuscript. The one calling for herbs, IV:156, p 132 drizzles the fritters with honey when done.
[3] Sent Soví calls for “all good herbs:” all good herbs such as watercress, mint, cilantro, hyssop, parsley, sage, savory, fennel, rue, cumin and anise. The Medieval Spanish chef used what was available.  These included ¾ c of watercress, ¾ c mint, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, 2 tbsp parsley flakes, ½ c sage leaves, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tbsp anise stars. Items that were not chopped were put in the food processor with water and then strained and mixed with the other herbs.


GREWE’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN SENT SOVÍ 




Friday, April 22, 2016

MASADOR WITH TANTALIZING 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR FLAKY BREAD ROLLS

Kneaded Dough Rolled into a Square
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 dough mixer, egg beater. During the Middle Ages this referred to the baker not a machine.

FLAKY BREAD ROLLS ADAPTED AND ELABORATED ON FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #145 EMPANADA DE HOJALDRE, p 98

Ingredients 
for about 2 ½ dozen rolls

For dough:
2 eggs
Buttering Center Half of Rectangle
Photo by: Lord-Williams
5 ¾ c flour
2 c water
7 tbsp goat milk powder
½ c butter or oil
2 ½ tbsp. yeast

Other:
½ c butter or oil for spreading on dough
2 tbsp oil for frying (optional)


Garnish (optional)

A drizzle of honey
½ tsp white pepper

Preparation

Mix eggs, flour and other ingredients knead until smooth from 20 to 25 minutes. Make a ball with this and cover with a cloth. Put in a dark place and let rise (this can be 15 minutes or overnight).

Slicing Dough for Bread Rolls
Photo by: Lord-Williams
If using butter for spreading on the dough, put it in a warm place to allow it to soften.

Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a square about ½” thick. Cover with a towel and let rest 15 minutes.


Spread softened butter or oil on ⅔ of the square[1]. Fold the side without butter or oil over the center ⅓ of the dough. Fold the remaining ⅓ of the dough over this. Put dough on a baking sheet and place this in the freezer for ½ hour.

Melt the remaining butter, if using butter.

Remove the dough from the freezer and flatten into a rectangle about 24” long and 1/4″ thick.


Baked Rolled Roll with a Drizzle of Honey
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Brush melted butter or oil on the center half of the dough. Fold one fourth of the unbuttered part over half of the buttered part. Do the same with the other unbuttered part. Flatten this with a rolling pin.

Brush half of the dough lengthwise. Fold half the dough over the other half, lengthwise. With a rolling pin flatten this strip to be about 1” thick and 3” wide.

Cut the dough into ½ to ¾” pieces. Place each piece flat on the cutting board. Roll from top to bottom.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/175ºC

Heat olive oil for frying. Roll the bread rolls in the oil and place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven. Half way through baking turn the rolls bottom side up to prevent burning. When done place the rolls in a serving dish. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt.




[1] Today instead of butter a jam maybe used or mashed garlic can be added to the butter.

HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #145


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

MARTA CEBELLINA

Image from page 127 of
"The animal kingdom "
From: Internet Archive Book Images
L. Mustela zibellina Eng. sable (‘sable marten’). This flesh-eating animal, feeding on small animals, eggs, fish, seeds, honey and fruits, is a member of the weasel family. According to Benavides-Barajas, it is of Turkish origin, while other sources claim that it is a native of artic and sub-artic regions of Europe and Russia. 

Today, it only exists in Kamchatka (northern Russia) between the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. Sable in America is another larger species. The fur of Spanish and Portuguese sables was treasured particularly in the 15 C and exported to England but the meat went to Iberian pots, especially in Al-Andalus. Most sources state that the color of the fur varies from brown to black while the Oxford English Dictionary claims it is brown but dyed black.

[Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:220; Espasa.1988:33: MARI:426; OXF Dict. 1989:XIV:Rob:322-323; and Webster’s New Geographical Dict. 1992:584]

Monday, April 18, 2016

MARRANA

A Little Lady with a History
Photo by: Lord-Williams
female swine. When she gives birth, she should have 12 piglets, one for each nibble. The babies suck the same one as long as they breast feed. See cerdo and guarra. [Cerdo. n/d: 42]

The pig in the photo was sent to the slaughter by mistake. No one knew this at the time. When hurling her onto the slaughter block,  she slipped out of the slaughter man's hands in her desperation to live. She showed super woman power, knocking down a metal fence and racing to a river below.

The slaughter man and his assistants chased her and lassoed her on the bank. It took eight of them to drag her to back to her death. When opening the uterus, to their horror, they found 12 piglets.

Everyone was very sorry for her but she did provide sweet and sour meal.

BARBARA SANTICH’S ROAST PORK WITH SWEET-SOUR SAUCE ADAPTED FROM ROSTO IN CISAME BONO E PERFECTO OTIMO (LIBRO PER CUOCO, VENETIAN 14-15 C)

Ingredients

1 boned loin of pork, crackling removed, about 1 k (2 lb)
10 dates (preserved, but not the seeded and compressed kind)
2 tbsp currants
½ c muscat or cream sherry
½ c wine vinegar
1 tsp ginger
good grinding black pepper
1 egg
1 tbsp pine nuts

Preparation

An Excellent Sauce for a Tender Lady
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Roast pork at 200ºC (400ºF) for about 1 hour or until cooked through (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat). Allow to rest in warming oven while preparing sauce.

Remove stones from dates and chop roughly. Add dates and currants to wine and vinegar and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. The dates will soften and become pulpy. Add ginger and pepper. Take out a few spoons of the liquid and allow to cool. Beat egg thoroughly, then gradually beat in lukewarm wine and vinegar mixture. Return this to the pan, and stir constantly until sauce thickens to the consistency of a thin custard. Remove from heat. Lightly toast the pine nuts, wither under the grill or in a lightly oiled pan, and add to sauce. Carve meat, and offer sauce separately.

Spinach cooked with pancetta and currents (pp 128-129)[1] make a harmonious accompaniment to this dish.


[1] Recipe – Ingredients: 1 k (2 lb) spinach, 2 tbsp currants, 60 g (2 oz) pancetta. Preparation: Wash spinach and trim stalks. Cook in a large saucepan without Add additional water, turning spinach over from time to time to allow it to cook evenly and prevent it burning on the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes after it begins to steam. Drain, cook and squeeze dry.

Meanwhile soak currants for 5 minutes in hot water to cover, roughly chop pancetta and fry in a lightly oiled pan until the fat runs. Roughly chop the spinach, and add to the pan with the drained currants. Toss spinach with pancetta and currants until heated though, and serve. (Recipe adapted by Barbara Santich from Libre del Coch.)