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Friday, September 28, 2012

CEBOLLA WITH A 13TH C SPICY BREADED MEAT AND ONION DISH


Onions
Photo by: Lord-Williams
L. Allium cepa, OCat seba, sebes, sabes, Cat ceba, Ar. bişal, Fr. oignon, ME cyuee, Eng. onion. The onion was one of the earliest cultured plants. It is known that it was first cultivated in Samaria and brought west by the Arabs. When Abu el Heiloukh ate onions in The Perfumed Gardens, his member remained erect for 30 days straight. The Arabs claim to have introduced the onion to Al-Andalus. It became very important in Andalusian cooking being ever present in the Anón Al-Andalus and Fadalat, even though frequently only the juice was used. Although it is more valuable eaten raw than cooked, it was strictly prohibited to consume it in that state. It was used sparingly. In León, onions were abundant by the 10th C. and sold in the market of Villavicenecio. They were considered food for the poor. There was a law stating that the lord must give them to villians with cheese and wheat and rye bread on the days that they labored in his fields. Medically, the onion has held a high place as it has been used as treatment for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatism, typhoid fever and many more illnesses. At one point, women used it purposely to make it appear that they were crying. It has been a basic household supply over the ages. See chalote and poriola. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:XXXX:65:XII:79: Apè III:236; Curye. 1985:178; Anón/Huici.1966:1:15-16:328:182:372:204-205 etc; Font. Plantas. 1999:638:890-892; Ibn Razīn/Granja. 1960:6:20:88:24:108:25 etc; Ibn Razīn/Marín. 2007:38; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:34:42; Stuart. 1987:148; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44]
2002:23a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44]

A SPICY BREADED MEAT AND ONION DISH[1] ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS 373. TORTA CON GUSTO DE VINAGRE Y CEBOLLAS ENTERAS, p 205
For 4 persons

Onions Added at Ending of Cooking Time
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients
1 lb beef
½ c virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp coriander seed
½ tsp cumin
1 garlic clove peeled and mashed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 whole onions
1/3 c leaven white breadcrumbs
¼ tsp saffron
½ c raw almonds 
1 c raw couscous

Preparation

Cut beef into cubes. Head a large pan. Add ¼ c olive oil. When hot seal beef on all sides. Add salt, pepper, coriander seed, cumin and vinegar and mix well. Add 4 cups water and  simmer 30 minutes.

Spicey Breaded Meat and Onion Dish
Photo by; Lord-Williams
Boil whole onions separately in water.

Blanch almonds in boiling water. Fry them in ¼ c olive oil. When gold brown remove them and slice them.

When the meat is almost cooked, add mashed saffron diluted in a little broth and mix well. Add onions.

Prepare couscous.

Remove the onion dish from heat when it has finished cooking. Add just enough breadcrumbs from white leavened bread to absorb the juices. Arrange all in a serving dish. Pour the couscous on it and sprinkle almonds on top.



[1] Perry titles this recipe as Tharîd Mudhakkar, stating the Tharîd means a meal prepared with meat and bread and Mudhakkar means “masculine,” which he thinks has something to do with the order of serving dishes as Mu’annanth, means feminine dishes, which were served first.  On the other hand, in recipe 53, which Perry titles  “The Making of a Dish of Pigeons, Doves, or White Starlings,” he states that mudhakkar is a dish with vinegar, murri, cumin, garlic, and saffron. What Perry calls mudhakkar in this recipe, Huici translates as "picante" (spicy) stating that if one wants a spicy dish, vinegar, murri, cumin, garlic and saffron are added. [Anón/Huici. 1866:53:42; and ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5, 02]

1 comment:

  1. I am really impressed with Abu El Heilouk in his perfumed Gardens... Please, is this a piece of typical male boasting or have you ever noticed anything particular about your guests? (only for information...)

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