Savelha // Twaite Shad (Alosa...
Photo by: Valter Jacinto / Portugal
OCast sávalo, L. Alosa, Ar. shābal, Eng shad, the “king of the herrings.” It is a herring-like fish that enters large rivers to spawn in the spring. When they return to the ocean, fishermen are unable to find them. Although first documented in 1335 in a meal for a French ambassador in Bailén during Lent, it would appear that shad could have been used to make garum, see allec. During the 15th-16th C, the shad industry was developed in Azemmour, at the mouth of Oum er-Rbia in Morocco, which attracted Andalusian vessels from Palos and Puerto de Santa Maria, Andalusia, in particular. Villena explains that it is very tender, salty and dry. It is so bony that it has been likened to a porcupine with fins. Villena instructed carvers to slice the meat into small pieces and to use a two-pronged fork to remove then. Spanish recipes include broiled, boiled and baked shad. Nola was against boiling it. He recommended baking it in a piecrust or grilling it and serving with an orange sauce. See aloja. [Castro. Alimentación. 1996:324; Nola 1998:lviii-3; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:38a:39a]
SHAD TURNOVERS WITH ORANGE SAUCE RECIPE
Photo by: Claudia_midori
5 c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 lb butter
¾ c ice water
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Flour for dusting and rolling
1 qt fish broth or water and wine
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
oil for frying
1 bitter orange
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp bitter orange marmalade
Beat the flour, salt and spices in a bowl. Cut the butter into 1” pieces and beat until mixed in with the flour. Make a hole in the center and set aside.
In a small bowl beat the egg. Add the water and vinegar and mix well.
Pour the liquid into the well. Turn the beaters on slow and mix the liquid into the flour and butter. Then knead all by hand. Divide dough in half and roll out into a disk. Place a sheet of wax paper over that. Roll out the second half of the dough and and place that on top of the first disk. Put another sheet of wax paper over this. Roll it up and put it in a plastic bag and tie or seal it shut.
Chill until firm. This can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days or frozen for a month.
When ready to prepare the fish, remove pastry and let sit in room temperature. Roll it out and cut into 4” squares.
Clean well removing the scales. Heat the broth and poach the shad. When finished save the broth. Cut the meat into small pieces and remove the bones. Pick towards the back of the fish, going with the grain, as the bones tend to face the tail. There are some 3,000 but it is worth it for shad is of the tastiest fish.
Place pieces of fish in a bowl and mix them with the pepper, ginger and salt. Place pieces on pastry, sprinkle with a little of the broth on each piece and fold the pastry over forming a triangle. Wet the edges and seal by pressing a fork around the edges. Prick the tops of the turnovers two or three times to let air in. Fry until golden brown. Serve warm. They should be eaten daintily with the index finger and thumb of the right hand in the medieval manner.
Squeeze the orange into a sauce pan through a strainer to prevent the seeds from falling into the pan. Separate the orange rind from the pith, the white part. Shed the rind. Add it to the sauce pan with the sugar and marmalade. Warm but do not boil. Place it in a bowl for eaters to spoon the sauce over the turnovers.