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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CÁÑAMO WITH 14TH C RECIPE FOR CHICKEN WITH CHEESE STUFFING

Cannabis Sativa
(Hemp)
L. Cannabis sativa, Eng. hemp. It is a strong smelling aromatic herb. It is a native of the Caspian and Black Seas. From there it spread to Persia and in 800 B.C. was imported to India. It was prohibited to cultivate it in Al-Andalus, except under the Nasrid Dynasty (1230-1492). This plant is cultivated for the fiber extracted from it.  There is no mention of hemp in Hispano-Jewish records although it is mentioned in the Talmud. 

Hemp contains 250% more fiber than cotton and is stronger. The plant reinvigorates the soil, is resistant to pests, pushes out weeds, grows quickly and uses less water than other crops such as cotton. Every part of the plant is utilized. It is used to string, very strong rope, nets and fabrics.

The string was used to sow up cavities of stuffed animals when preparing to cook them and to tie sausages when making links. The rope was exported to Venice and other areas.  The nets, which Ruíz calls cañamones, were used to catch wild fowl for consumption. Columbus used hemp rigging as it does not shrink when wet.

It was woven with silk to make a fabric or alone to make burlap.   The first flag of the United States was made of hemp cloth. Hemp does not rot or fade.  This industry was one of the most developed industries under Nazari rule in Granada, Spain.

The Chinese invented hemp paper in the 2nd C A.D. By the 10th C hemp paper was being produced in Muslim, Spain. The Declaration of Independence of the United States was written and signed on hemp paper. Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Unlike paper made from trees, toxic chemicals are not required to make it and its production saves forests and trees from deforestation It is used today also in blodegrable plastics and automobile parts. Building materials made with it are twice as strong as wood or concrete. The plant is used as fertilizer and fuel. Hemp seeds and oil are health foods. Today, it is legal in Spain and Almeria produces 90% of Spanish hemp, especially in Huerta de Orihuela.


Cannabis Indica(Marijuana)
Photo from:
 farmer dodds
Hemp should not be confused with its brother marijuana, Cannabis indica, which contains Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). This creates the high when smoked and from the resin hashish oil is produced. As hemp does not contain THC not even the Marx brothers could become high from smoking hemp rope. See encañar. [ES: Bennett. Oct 18, 02; Font. Plantas. 1999:59:127-129; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:199; and Stuart. 2000:II:1783]

CHEESE STUFFING FOR CHICKEN ON A SPIT ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ #VIIII Qui parla con se ffercexen capons e guanines en ast a b fformatge. pp 68-69

For 6 persons

Untitled Photo from: princess lottie and wayne
Ingredients

2 lb chicken
gibblets, liver, heart and gizzard
1 c lean meat and fat
1 shaving of fresh ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
¼  c saffron
1 c grated cheese
salt to taste
2 tbsp  lard

For Puriola (onion) Sauce adapted from Sent Soví #LXXII Qui parla con sa deuen donar guanines en asta b puriola, p. 113:

2 tbsp lard
3 onions
2 roasted chicken livers
1 tsp black pepper
                   
Preparation

Clean the chicken, the intestines and belly. Scorch the chicken. Cut off claws and neck. Boil the giblets and then chop them into small pieces with a little lean meat and fat. Add spices. Mash saffron and dissolve it in a little water used to boil the gibblets. Add them to the mixture with grated cheese and mix well. Add salt to taste.
           
Use the lard to grease the chicken inside and out. Then salt it. Fill the abdomen with the stuffing first and then the area between the flesh and the bone in the legs and the wings. Sew up the cavities with strong hemp thread and put it on a spit to roast.

For the puriola sauce:

Parboil the onions in boiling water for 5 minutes. Put the lard in a frying pan and heat it. Thinly slice the onions and add them to the pan. When the onion is sauteed drain off the grease. Chop it with the roasted livers and black pepper and dilute the mixture with one cup of water. Put it in a pot. Pour the grease that is left in the frying pan over the onion sauce. Cook until all is well blended.

Once the chicken is almost done, remove the hemp strings and place the stuffing in the puriola sauce. Carve the meat and put that in the sauce. Slowly finish cooing the chicken over low heat. Add salt to taste.

Serve in gresals, earthernware or metal bowls.

Monday, July 30, 2012

CAÑAMAZO WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR "DOUBLADURA" OF VEAL

Close-up of Hemp-Tow Sack for Dry Goods in Bulk
 Photo by: Lord-Williams
tow-hemp, tow cloth, a course fabric made from hemp. Nola rubbed it on almonds to peel off the skins. It is the cloth used for embroidering and has been used from time immemorial to store dry goods in bulk such as nuts, grains, coffee etc. The plant was cultivated in medieval Spain to make the ropes and fabric. Gázquez maintains that after stuffing animals for roasting the cavities were sewn closed with hemp cord (bramante). The Archpriest of Hita relates that bird catchers required fertile land (vicioso ero) to grow hemp. With this, they made cords and subsequently nets to catch their prey.  [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: ftn 73:glos; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:199:224;  Nola. 1989: xxxv-3:xxxix-1:xl-2 etc; and Ruíz/Buey.1965:746a-c:752a:131]

DOBLADURA OF VEAL ADAPTED FROM 
NOLA xxxix-1 DOBLADURA[1] DE TERNERA
For 4 persons

Rubbing Off Almond Skins with a Scrap of Hemp-Two
Photo by: Lord-Williams
 
1 c almonds
1 meat bullion cube
2 c meat broth
1 lb veal
1 onion
1 slice toast
¼ c vinegar
¼ lb bacon (not sliced if possible)
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
1 c Malmsey or Port wine

Garnish
1 tbsp ea of parsley, mint and marjoram

Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325ºF/160ºC

Put almonds in water to soak overnight. The following day rub them with a scrap of hemp-tow to remove  skins.

Dobladura of Veal
with Sweet Wine Giving it a Heavenly Taste
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Make a broth by heat 2 c water with the meat bullion cube and set aside.

Roast veal on a spit, if available, if not in the oven, for about ½ hr or until half-roasted. Remove the meat and cut pieces into 1” squares. Peel an onion and cut it in quarters. Place the meat and onion in the broth. Bring it to a boil and simmer uncovered for ½ hr or until done. Strain the onion and meat reserving the broth.

Soak bread in 2 tbsp vinegar. Make almond milk bt grinding the almonds in a food processor and add 1-1½  c broth and bread and continue grinding until all is well mixed and has the consistency of a thick sauce.

Coarsely chop the onion. Cut the bacon into cubes or squares if already sliced. Heat a frying pan. Add the bacon. When the fat begins to melt add the meat and onion. Fry until all is browned. Put this in the pot used to boil the meat and onion. Heat it adding the spices well ground. Stir them into the mixture. Pour in the wine, the remaining vinegar and the almond milk. Bring to a boil stirring until all is warm and well mixed. Taste for sweet and sourness. Rectify if necessary.

Serve in soup bowls and garnish with parsley, mint and marjoram.


[1] Double system of half roasting, half boiling to make the meat tender, which is served in a sauce. See blog titled asador, published December 1, 2011 for a variation of the same recipe.

Friday, July 27, 2012

CAÑADA WITH 14TH C APARAGUS IN WINE SAUCE RECIPE

Wine Barrels
Photo from:
 s_plus_d
1. (Ast) cauldron, wine measure of more than one arroba or 32 pints. In Villafranca de Brezo (León), it consists of nine cartillas (although measurements vary for different commodities and types of wine, nine gallons are estimated in this case) but in Galicia it is a measure of two full pitchers. 2. water measuring barrel. 3. ravine, gorge or stream. 4. cattle or sheep path. 5. today, a milk pail for milking cows. [Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:33 ftn 58]

ASPARAGUS IN WINE SAUCE ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ #CXVIII QUI PARLA CON SA DEUEN APERELLAR ESPÁRECHS AB SALSA p 142
For 4 persons

Asparagus in Wine Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

2 bunches of asparagus, medium size (20-24 stalks)
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c sherry[1]
1 tsp tried tarragon leaves
1 tsp salt

Preparation

Peel the stems of the asparagus and wash them. Boil water in a deep pan in which the asparagus can be cooked standing up without doubling over. Boil until crunchy. Save the water.

Put the tarragon leaves in a small saucepan with the sherry and cook until the liquid is reduced. Then add 2 c of the water used to boil the asparagus and let it boil 2-3 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the flour, stirring it until it becomes a paste. Add the tarragon and sherry with salt little by little. Stir until a creamy texture is obtained. (More water from boiling the asparagus may be added as needed.) Let cook for a few minutes.

Reheat the asparagus in the water that is left over from boiling them and cook until done. Heat the sauce and pour it into a bowl.  Finger bowls might be necessary.

[1] Vintners from Jerez de la Frontera keep cañadas of sherry on hand in their kitchens for various uses.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CAÑABOTA WITH 15TH C SWORDFISH EMPANADA RECIPE

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark,...
Photo from: toadlady1
boquidulce, L. Hexanchus griseus, Eng. blunt nose six gill shark or L. Hexanchus perlo, Eng. sharpnose seven-gill shark. Both are found in the Atlantic on the Biscay Coast but are more abundant in the Mediterranean especially around Granada and Malaga. Although the Hispano-Arabs upper class frowned on fish, when the Christians reconquered southern Spain, they thought highly of this fish. [Castro. Alimentación. 1996:327 and Corbera. 1998:40-41]

SWORDFISH EMPANADA ADAPTED FROM NOLA'S  lviii-4 EMPERADOR EN PAN


Ingredients

Preparing the Empanadas
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 lb swordfish
1 onion chopped
empanada dough
1 tsp pepper
1 shaving ginger
salt to taste

For the Sauce:
½  c orange juice or verjuice
½ c rosewater
1 tbsp sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350º F/175º C


A Deliciously Unique
500 Year Old Recipe!
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Clean and wash the swordfish. Slice enough for 1 lb. Fry until done. Cut the fish into bite size pieces. Chop the onion and fry until translucent mix it with the fish with salt and spices. 

Make or buy ready made dough. Roll it out and cut  into desired sizes and shapes for turnovers. Add the fish, cover and seal the dough shut with the tip of a spoon. Place them on a greased baking sheet with olive oil and paint the tops of the turnovers with a little olive oil.


Bake 15-20 minutes.


For the Sauce:
Squeeze 1 orange. Put it in a measuring cup. Add rosewater until 1 c liquid is obtained. Heat this in a saucepan with sugar.


Serve the empanadas while warm with sauce on the side.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CAÑA WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR SULAIBIYAN FRITTERS

Stirring
Photo from:
 namashiman
1. n. cane, stick, wooden stirring utensil or haravillo. It was found in all village kitchens. It was thrown out after using for hygienic purposes and because it was worthless. In the king’s kitchen where Nola cooked a cane beater was used because it was thought that wood did not create acidity, work as dissolvent or reduce the flavor as other cooking utensils. See see azúcar and haravillo. 2. n. rolling pin. 3. n. bone marrow. v. to beat or to stir. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:VII:67:XIIII:70-71:CXXVII:157 etc; Anón/Huici. 1966:141:95-96:161:105-106:181:118; Ibn Razīn/Granja.1960:72:22-23; Nola. 1989:xlv-3:l-2:lxi-4; Nola/Pérez.1994:98:120:191; and Villena/Saínz. 1969:133]

SULAIBIYAN[1] FRITTERS
ADAPTED FROM FADALAT [72] PREPARACIÓN DE LA ZULABIYYA, pp 22-23

Frying the Dough
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 pk yeast
1 c water
1 c flour
1 c virgin olive oil
½ c honey


Preparation

Dissolve yeast in 1 c water. When dissolved, add fine sifted flour and stir with a cane until it has a medium, semi-liquid consistency. Pour it into a small pitcher.

Yummy Sulaibiyan Fritters
Guaranteed No Leftovers!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Drizzle the  dough over it making patterns as desired in the pan. When it solidifies and is golden brown quickly remove it. Let the oil drain off and soak it in boiling honey that has been skimmed until drenched. Remove it from the honey and place it on a cane rack[2] to drain and dry out. 

[1] Sulaibiya is a city near in Kuwait City.
[2] Today, it would be metal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CANTUESO WITH 13TH C STUFFED EGGPLANT RECIPE

Spanish Lavender
Photo from:
 janruss
Ast. atayo, Madrid hierba de San Juan, L. Lavandula stoeches, Eng. French lavender (in Europe), Spanish lavender (in America). Cantueso is derived from L. chamoetŭsiuso, which in turn comes from Gr. chamai thyos. It is thought that this means “incense of the land.” It is debatable whether this ancient Mediterranean flower is native of Spain or the Hyères Islands, called Stoichades by the Greeks. These islands are SW of Toulon in the Mediterranean. In Spain, they are found in almost the entire peninsula and the Balearic Islands, growing up to 1,000 m. in altitude. They are rare in the north and northwest. As the Romans put a few drops into their baths, it is thought that the word “lavender” stems from that for the L. lavand meaning washing.

Spanish/French lavender flowers have been used since time immemorial to perfume chests and wardrobes. The leaves have been used as much as the buds. Dioscorides prescribed a lavender drink or lavender added to baths to purge the phlegm and melancholy and to relieve all head cold illnesses. Arabs concurred with him and cultivated for these purposes.

Honey Bee 
Photo from: alasam
Avenzoar recommended lavender syrup as a laxative, to fortify the internal organs and to help those suffering from prostration, hemiplegia and plethora. Until the end of the Middle Ages, lavender from Arabia, which was called sticas arabica, was thought better.

In Christian Spain, lavender has been used as an antispasmodic and was recommended for asthma, cramps and pulmonary diseases. It was added to medicines against poisoning. It was found useful to treat epilepsy and to relieve head colds. Beverages and liquors have been made with it. In cookery, it is added to salads, soups, eggplant, fish, fowl, lamb, cheese, pickles, sauces and quince.

The addition of Spanish/French lavender honey (see miel de cantueso) always has been a special treat. Since 1826, stoechas oil has been distilled to make lavender water. The seeds are not used for the bush to multiply, but it is divided down to the roots and replanted. It was said that if the seeds were kept in a warm spot, they would turn into moths. In Madrid, the hierba de San Juan (St. John’s Herb) is sold in the area between the Plaza Mayor and Santa Cruz parish on the eve and day of this saint (June 25th, which coincides with Midsummer’s Night).

Lavender is not used as an ingredient in Sent Soví or Nola. The 13th C Anón Al-Andalus calls for lavender frequently which Huici translates as spike lavender and Perry as lavender. It seems quite possible that French/Spanish lavender was the lavender used in Hispano-Arab dishes.

(Note: Names for lavender are confusing and contradictory and the common names are sometimes inconsistent. For instance, Lavandula angustifolia, usually referred to as English lavender, grows wild in southern France. Lavandula stoechas, which grows wild in Spain, is referred to as French lavender, above.  Additionally, Lavandula spica is thought to be a non-specific name. It is possible that it is a form of angustifolia. To eliminate confusion as few common names of lavenders as possible are included in this text.) See espliego. [Anón/Huici.  1966:511:278-279; Ency Brit.1988:7:Krasnokamsk:199:1b; Font. Plantas, 1999:457:657-659; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:89:102; Silva. 1994:174; Stuart. 1987:212; and Usher 1974:346]


STUFFED EGGPLANTS ADAPTED FROM ANÓN AL-ANDALUS
#73. HERVIDO DE BERENJENAS RELLENAS, pp 52-53[1]



Salting Essential to Eliminate Bitterness
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

4 eggplants
1 onion
2 tbsp - ¼ c cilantro juice
salt to taste
1 garlic clove
1 c breadcrumbs
1 tbsp sifted flour
1 tbsp Byzantine murri[2]
1 tsp peppercorns
½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1 tbsp lavender
6 eggs

Garnish:
leaves which can include coriander, citron, mint and/or rue
1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar



Stuffed Eggplant
Photo by: Lord-Willams
Preparation

Cut medium-sized eggplants in half. Rub the flesh with salt and turn face down on paper towels for 10 minutes at least to let the bitterness to run off. Bring water to a boil and add the eggplants. Watch carefully, pricking with a fork to check to see if the flesh is soft. It takes about 10 minutes. When cooked put them in cold water.

Chop onion and fry until translucent. Remove the onion from the pan and put the pan aside for further use. 

Make cilantro juice by putting cilantro in a food processor with water. Grind it three or four times. Strain reserving the leaves and the juice separately. The leaves can be dried stored with other herbs and spices. Left over juice can be frozen.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º F/175º C

Peel garlic and mash it in a food processor with a pinch of salt, cold breadcrumbs, sifted flour, Byzantine murri and cilantro juice.  Squeeze water out of eggplants and remove the flesh reserving the skins. Add the flesh to the food processor with ground peppercorns, cinnamon and lavender.

Beat 6 egg whites and fold them into the eggplant mixture. Place the mixture in the eggplant skins and put them in an ovenproof dish. Bake them in the oven until browned on top about 20 minutes.

Boil the yolks and then lightly fry them in the olive oil left over from the onion. 

Put the eggplants on a platter. Cut up the egg yolks or leave them whole and garnish the eggplants with them.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.



[1] See blog titled beregeneros published on March 2, 2012 for a different version of this recipe.  
[2] See blog titled almorí published August 25, 2011 for recipe.

Monday, July 23, 2012

CANTIDAD WITH 15TH C CORIANDER POTTAGE RECIPE

Varanasi Soup Kitchen
Photo from:
 travfotos
OCast quantidad, Eng quantity. Several words in Nola’s text, which now begin with the letter “c”, are written with a “q” such as: cual (who, which), cualquier (any), cuando (when), cuaresma (lent) and cuatro (four). [Nola/Iranzo.1982:171]

A FIRST RATE CORIANDER POTTAGE ADAPTED FROM  NOLA xix-1 
POTAJE DE CULANTRO LLAMADO PRIMO


Ingredients

1 tbsp coriander
1 c almonds
1 slice of bread
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 c chicken broth
1 lb chicken breasts
A Rich Coriander Pottage
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 bouillon cube
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 shaving ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp mace
¼ tsp cloves

Garnish:

corriander leaves
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

Preparation

Chop the coriander in a food processor with water. Add almonds and grind well. Add a slice of bread without the crust and soaked in vinegar and grind again. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth into a saucepan. Add water to make 2 cups liquid.  Remove the breast from a hen and slice it into bite size pieces. Add it to the saucepan with the sugar and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to boil gently until the chicken is cooked.
When cooked remove it from the heat and cover as done with rice. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Serve in soup bowls with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top.

Friday, July 20, 2012

CÁNTARO WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR GOOD FRENCH MUSTARD SAUCE

Cántaros
Photos from:
 Andrés Lozano
canter, large earthenware wine or water jug measuring 2.5-4 gals as the measure varied from one region to another. Still wine canters are used in homes where wine is made. Today, water canters continue to be kept in a cool place in the home during the summer months. Further, they are still used in rural areas of Spain where there is no running water in homes. During the 12th C a beggar in Cordova begged Avenzoar to make him well. To the beggar’s horror, Avenzoar broke his canter and out jumped a frog. Avenzoar told the man that now he would get well. [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: ftn 125; Nola. 1989:l-2; Nola/Pérez. 1992:145; and Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:46]

GOOD FRENCH MUSTARD SAUCE ADAPTED 
FROM NOLA’S #1-2 MOSTAZA FRANCESA BUENA

Ingredients

Making Good French Mustard
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 c mustard seed
1 qt must or grape juice, red or white
1 slice of day old bread soaked in must
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 shaving of ginger

Preparation

Grind the mustard in a food processor. Add the must and bread. Grind again and then strain it though a cheesecloth. Return it to the food processor add spices and blend for 5 minutes. Pour it into a canter or a wine bottle and stir it 7-8 times with a cane. Place this in a canter or a wine bottle. Stir it daily with a cane 7-8 times for one week. On the seventh day bring it to a boil and serve. It will keep for one year. Give roast beef and pork sausages an added zip by serving this mustard sauce with them.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

CANGREJO DEL RÍO WITH 14TH C CRAYFISH BLANCMANGE RECIPE

Crayfish
Photo from:
 
Credit Valley Conservation
crayfish, river crabs. Avenzoar related that shellfish are cold, earthly and irritable. Crayfish are more humid and colder than a crab. He did not think the meat useful. He advised that it is good to mash it and use it as an eyewash. Further, he instructed that crayfish should be put in a new clay casserole covered with a lid, containing small holes, for the vapor to escape and left on the fire until well toasted, almost burned, then the shell should be ground with the meat until drinkable (adding liquid). It was ground to relieve dog bites. The recipe for toasted crayfish was thought to be among the best electuaries that act as antidotes against poisons. Avenzoar continued to state that physicians claimed that if crayfish is cooked and ground, it relieves consumption but he never tried it. Benavides-Barajas reports that river crabs cooked in juice or broth eaten to improve the physical state. In England, crayfish were eaten on the coasts but seldom sent inland. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva Clásica. 1995:196; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:68:123; Villena. 1989:23ª; and Wilson.


blancmange
Photo from:
 
Daphne Ann
CRAYFISH BLANCMANGE RECIPE ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ #XXXXVIIII QUI PARLA CON SA DEU FFER MANJAR BLANCH pp 93-94
For 6 persons

Ingredients

3 lbs unshelled crayfish
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
½ c peeled blanched almonds, ground
3/4 c rice 
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ginger
pinch of salt

Garnish:

claws and dill

Beware Cats Love this Blancmange!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

Start a broth by boiling the crayfish for a few minutes until the meat is cooked. Shell them, extracting the meat from the body and claws and refrigerate. Save a few shelled claws for garnish. 

Heat olive oil in a pan, fry the shells for a minute. Add 2 c water used to boil the crayfish and simmer for 45 minutes. Put the stock and shells in a food processor and grind the shells. Strain and discard the shells.

Grind the almonds in the food processor. Add 1 ½ c broth and continue to grind. Let sit 20 minutes. Grind again and strain though a cheesecloth into a pot.

Grind the rice in a food processor to make flour and add it to the pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Shred the crayfish meat. Add it to the pot with sugar, salt and ginger. Simmer 5 minutes more until it thickens. Pour out into a pie or pudding mold. Garnish with claws and dill and serve warm.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CANGREJO DEL MAR 4TH CENTURY WITH CRAB CROQUETTE RECIPE

Crab
Photo from: 
bee happy123
ME crabbe, Eng crab. During Muslim domination in southern Spain, crab was boiled often and then could be ground and wrapped in lard, butter or a sauce. During Lent, Christians used crabmeat as a substitute for cheese. Villena explained that crabs are not nutritious but tasty. In England, crab was shipped inland rarely but eaten on the coast. It was boiled, shelled, mixed with vinegar and spices and eaten cold or reheated. Andalusians consumed crab for ocular cures and as an antidote against poison. Avenzoar reported that during his time it was advisable to remove the right eye of a crab, place it over someone whose eyes hurt to relieve the pain. [Benavides- Barajas. Nueva-Clássica. 1996:196; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:124; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:260; Sass. 1975:133; Villena. 1989:23ª:39ª; and Wilson. 1973:43]

CRABMEAT CROQUETTES ADAPTED FROM APICIUS ISICIA DE SCILLIS VEL E CAMMARIS AMPLIS BOOK II:I:3:61

For 8 persons unless a glutton is present! - These are sooo good!!!



Rolling Crab Croquettes in Breadcrumbs
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

¼ c fish broth[1]
1 lb crabmeat
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 shaving ginger
½ tsp cloves
1 egg
1 c flour
1 c breadcrumbs
¼ c olive oil

Preparation


Prepare a fish broth by boiling the crab with a shellfish bouillon cube. Freeze that which is not used.

Make a spice mixture by pounding the mustard with peppercorns, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in a mortar.

Remove the meat from the crab. Shed it and add the spice mixture. Lightly sprinkle with broth to dampen the mixture. Freeze the remainder for another occasion.

Delicious!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Add it to the crabmeat and fish broth. When mixed well, make small cakes with the meat. Add flour little by little until the consistency is like dough and no more. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Grind bread in a food processor. Put it on a plate. Shape the crabmeat into little cylinders or balls and roll them in the breadcrumbs. Freeze if in hopes of not eating all.

Heat a frying pan. Add the oil and when hot quickly fry the croquettes. Serve warm.

[1] If using canned crab this is not necessary.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CANELA DE CHINA WITH 13TH C PIGEON OMELETE RECIPE

Cassia
Photo by: Lord-Williams

cassia, cañafístula, Gr. kasia, L. Cinnamomum cassia, Ar. darseen, kerfee, OE ME candel, kanel(e), sinamone’ (“flour of canel” is thought to be cassia bark), Eng. cassia, Chinese cassia, bastard cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon. Cassia, with turmeric, ginger and cardamom, were essential items imported from the Far East to the Middle East. Cassia originated in Burma and was first documented in 2700 BC, when Shen Nung, a Chinese, included cassia in a medical discourse placing it in the same plant group as cinnamon. At least by 2,000 B.C., cassia was exported to the Middle East. Arabs carried on lucrative trading of cassia by 600 B.C. In their attempt to obtain the monopoly of the trade route in the Far West, including the Malay Archipelago and the Spice Islands, they created legends to discourage others from invading their territories. They claimed winged animals guarded cassia growing in shallow lakes. 

Cassia bark was imported to Egypt from China and used in mummification mixtures for pharaohs and in witchcraft. Israel too received it. It is mentioned in the Bible, EX 27:19, EZ 30:23-4; and Ps 45:8 as an ingredient in holy anointing oil and to scent garments. From 40 AD the Romans became the principle traders of spices until the fall of the Empire. Due to its availability in the Arab world, it was introduced in Al-Andalus dishes after 711. It was first documented in Spain around 1250 in the  Libro de Alexandre and the 13th C Anón Al-Andalus cookery manuscript. In the former, it is described as having the branches and trunk covered with thick bark and the leaves are similar to those of pepper. There are several species. The best is purple, the narrowest and longest. The fistulous when bitten off tastes good, aromatic and smells  somewhat like rancid wine. It was thought useful for many illnesses and was used to season food and drinks. Castro cites an herbal manuscript stating that when ground, it comforts the stomach and resolves winds, it takes away bad mouth order and is used as an important remedy for the stomach and it gives color to the face. When cooked in foods, it has the same effect. It provokes purgation in women. It is warm to the third degree and dry in the first but with notable comfort for its astringent properties.

From left to right: Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Until the end of the 13 C, however, it was not in general use in Europe. It should be noted that spices in the Middle Ages were essential for health and healing. For this, they were incorporated into regional cuisines in tonics and food. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves were absolutely basic in medieval cookery.

Cassia's flat, bitter taste is in contrast to the sweet bite that Ceylon cinnamon has. The aroma of Ceylon is warm and sweet while Cassia is harsh. It is thick and hard while Ceylon cinnamon is soft, thin and brittle. Ceylon is tan while cassia is reddish brown. Cassia double rolled and has a hollow tube while Ceylon is rolled and filled like a cigar. Cassia contains high levels of coumarin, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots and blocked arteries, while Ceylon has low levels. Cinnamon in general symbolizes spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust and protection. [Anón/Huici. 1966:17:23:26:28:33:31 etc; Cambridge. 2000:II:1757; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:290; Curye. 1985:175; ES: Collins. Apr 1, 96; ES: Gavalas. Sep 23, 02; and ES: Herbs. Oct 8, 02]



PIGEON OMELET ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #17. TORTILLA DE PICHONES, p 23


Mashing Reddish-brown Cassia in a Mortar
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 pigeon or a whole chicken breast
½ c virgin olive oil
1 tsp murri Byzantine[1]
1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp cassia
1 tsp thyme
8 eggs

Garnish:
1 tsp cilantro

Preparation

If pigeons are available clean one, otherwise a chicken breast. Heat a frying pan. Add olive oil. When hot, brown the meat. Remove from the pan and let cool.

Pigeon Omelette
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Make a mixture of murri, vinegar, cilantro, cassia and thyme. Add this to the frying pan, Chop the meat into bite size pieces and return it to the frying pan, cover and simmer until the meat is done.

Beat 8 eggs. Add the meat mixture. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the frying pan and heat. When hot pour the meat and egg mixture and cook over moderate heat until the liquid solidifies and is easily detached from the sides of the pan. Place a dinner plate over the pan and flip the omelet out onto the plate. Slid the omelet back into the pan and cook the other side.

Serve warm garnished with cilantro. If any is left over do not store in the refrigerator.

[1] See blog titled almori published on August 25, 2011 for recipe of Byzantine murri.

Monday, July 16, 2012

CANELA WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR GREASED HEN




Cinnamon from Sri Lanka
Photo by: Lord Williams

canela de Ceylán, Gr. kinnámomon, L. Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Ar. qurfa, Heb. quinamom, ME candel, kanel(e), Eng. cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon (today Sri Lanka). It is one of the oldest spices known, obtained from the bark of evergreen trees and shrubs growing in Ceylon (today Sri Lanka), Taiwan and Indonesia. Today, it is cultivated as an evergreen shrub. It grows in wet areas along sandy riverbanks. During the rainy season, the bark is stripped off easily in single strips. It is then rolled and left to dry in the shade and then put in the sun. When taken to market this light brown, soft bark looks like cigars.  It has a delicate taste. When ground, it must be used immediately for it looses its flavor quickly. Although not shown on the labels, store bought ground cinnamons contain preservatives with gluten. 

The Arabs imported Ceylon cinnamon to the Mediterranean where it was worth more than gold and essential for food flavoring, as seen in Al-Andalus dishes. It was the third most used seasoning in Fadalat after pepper and cilantro. It was not only used to flavor desserts but all types of foods. Also it was added to pickles, relishes and preserves. Medicinally, it has antiseptic properties and stimulates digestive and gastric juices. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:XXXVI:82:ftn 4:XXXXIIII:87:XXXXV:89 etc; Anón/Huici. 1966:1:15-16:2:16:3:16-17 etc; Cambridge. 2000:II:1757; Curye. 1985:175; ES: Collins. Apr 1, 96; ES: Ibn Razīn/Lord-Williams. Aug 15, 08:6:60:70 etc; Ibn Razīn/Marín. 2007:39; Nola. 1989:xii-1:xii-2:xii-3 etc; and Simonetti. 1991:36]

GREASED HEN ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSPATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #23. GALLINA QUE SE LLAMA ENGRASADA, p 26

Ingredients

Grinding Cinnamon in a Mortar
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For the hen:
1 whole hen or chicken
1 tsp cinnamon
12 sprigs lavender
1 tsp pepper corns
½ tsp cloves
1 shaving ginger
½ tsp saffron
½ c virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp Byzantine murri[1]

For the sauce:
2 slices day old bread
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp pomegranate arils
1 c chicken broth

Preparation

A Hen that Melts in Your Mouth!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For the hen:
Clean hen, inside and out. With a knife make holes in the breast and thighs.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375ºF/190ºC.

Grind the cinnamon and the lavender in a mortar then add the other spices in the same order as above. Pour this into a food processor with the olive oil and Byzantine murri and grind until it takes on a saffron-orange color and the mixture is smooth. It tastes terrible! Take a spreading knife and smear the hen inside and its back. Flip it over on aluminum wrap and spread the sauce on the breast, wings and legs. Tightly close all sides of the aluminum foil and roast.

Roast about 1 hr. Open the aluminum wrap the last 15 minutes to brown the breast and thighs. Now it tastes heavenly and the meat is as tender as butter.

For the sauce:

Scrap all the drippings from the roasting pan and aluminum foil into a saucepan. Soak bread in vinegar and add it to the saucepan. Stir to blend the bread into the drippings. Add 1 c broth and continue stirring until all is combined. Boil gently to obtain the desired thickness.


[1] See blog titled almorí published August 25, 2011 for recipe.