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Friday, August 31, 2012

CARNESTOLENDAS WITH 15TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR SHROVETIDE PANCAKES


DSC_1078 b
Combate de Don Carnal contra Doña Cuaresma 
en la Plaza mayor de Madrid
(Sir Meat against Lady Lent in Combat 
Plaza Mayor, Madrid)
Photo from: SamJF
L. canelevarium (abandoning meat), Eng. Shovetide, carnival, the three days prior to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, in Spain and throughout Europe, it is a festival of mascarades with practical jokes and gorging oneself with fatty foods above all parts of the pig. The Archpriest of Hita written by Juan Ruíz, who died in 1350, is an allegory portraying Don Carnival or Sir Meat against Lady Lent. During the entire poem the “meat army” consisting of partridge, roast capons, mutton, boar, etc. fights against halibut, herring, almond milk and other Lenten dishes. The fight continues for six weeks until the triumph of Easter, clearly showing medieval traits of gluttony, the constant worry about food and the Church’s attempt to curb sin.  During Shrovetide several traditional dishes were prepared to celebrate the days prior to the period of absentence culminating in Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day on which forbidden Lenten foods such as animal produces, milk, eggs and lard, are used up as well as sugar, a luxury in medieval times. [Ruíz/Brey. 1965: entire; and Tuña. 1996:roll]

SHROVETIDE ALMOND BUTTER FILLED PANCAKES ADAPTED
FROM NOLA’S RECIPE xliiii-3 EMPANADAS DE AZUCAR FINO

Ingredients

A Cardinal Sin Today is to buy ready made
Almond Butter when Homemade is Delicious!
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
For filling:
1 c unpeeled raw almonds
¼ c virgin olive oil1
½ c powdered sugar
1 tsp freshly ground ginger
¼ c rosewater

For Pancakes:
2 eggs
1 c milk
1 c flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp olive oil

For frying:
slices of butter



Save this Recipe for Favorite Guests
Its a Winner for Breakfast and Desserts!
Photo by: Lord-Williams


For garnish:
Red raspberry jam
Mint leaves

Preparation

For filling:

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and turn off heat. Add almonds. Let stand 3-5 minutes. Pop almonds out of skins.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Fry almonds and place them in a food processor without patting off olive oil with paper towels. Grind them thoroughly. Add powdered sugar and ginger. Dampen with rosewater. Place the paste in a dish for further use.

For the pancakes:

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor.

Heat butter in a frying pan. Add batter for one pancake. When the bottom side is golden brown flip it over. While the other side is cooking spread a layer of almond butter on cooked side. When the underside is golden brown, roll up the pancake.

Place pancakes on a serving dish plate adding touches of raspberry jam and mint leaves to give it color and serve.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CARNES AHUMADAS WITH 15th CENTURY RECIPE OF CREAMED SPINACH WITH SMOKED BACON

Palace Kitchen Smoke House 1
Photo from: Mr.J.Martin
Eng. smoked meats. These are of Greek origin, which Egyptians copied. In Spain, the best was cured in kitchens in northern regions during winter months. From the hood, throat and smoke chamber in fireplaces, meats were hung to be smoked. When the process finished, they were stored in the pantry adjacent to the kitchen. It was called meat ‘of war’ as it was consumed by troops while fighting. See botillo, cecina, chacina, chorimoci, chorizo bebrina, gallo, cerdo, lardo, lomo ahumado and postas. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:16; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:249; ES: Gutiérrez. Jun 1, 98; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:29]

CREAMED SPINACH WITH SMOKED BACON ADAPTED FROM NOLA xxxiii-1 ESPINACAS PICADAS
For 4 persons

Hickory Smoked Bacon
Photo from: moknits

Ingredients

1 lb spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices smoked bacon
1 onion peeled and chopped
½ c almonds
½ c broth
1 tsp duke’s powder[1]
½ c  fresh white cheese
½  c  raisins
2 tbsp mint
salt to taste

Preparation

Wash the spinach and put it in boiling water with salt for 3-5 minutes; strain and let cool. Press it between two cutting boards to drain off the water. Chop the leaves and stems them with a knife. Fry the bacon in olive oil. Set it aside and when cool crumble it.

CREAMED SPINACH WITH SMOKED BACON
A Refreshing Change from the Old Recipe to an Antique One!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Add more olive oil if needed to fry the onion. When translucent, drain off extra oil and add the spinach. Fry it gently. 
Put the almonds in a food processor with the  and ½ c broth. Chop it and strain through a cloth. Add this to the spinach and onions. Add the cheese and raisins and mix thoroughly. When warm and ready to serve mix in the mint leaves and sprinkle the bacon over the top.



[1] See blog titled cardamomo published August 16, 2012 for recipe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CARNERO WITH A 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR ROASTED RAM WITH FENNEL AND ONION



Cañada Real Soriana Occidental(Royal Sheep Path in Eastern Soria)
Photo from:
 Peluchines
mutton, ram. This was one of the preferred meats in Al-Andalus. In Christian Spain it was the most common and the most consumed. The meat is divided into several cuts and pieces: breast, steaks, legs, neck, loin, flank, stomach, hooves, blood and entrails. By the 10th C, at least, legs of lamb were sold in the markets of León. Villena, in the 15th C, describes how to carve different cuts of lamb: breasts, ribs, backs, legs, neck, lion, flank, feet, heat, tripe, innards how to carve each of these. A special Christian dish was mutton roasted whole stuffed with small birds. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:239; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000: 39; Tapiello. 1994:137; and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b; 33b-35b]

ROASTED RAM WITH FENNEL AND ONION ADAPTED FROM HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF  ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #219 PLATO DE “AUḤAŠA[1] DE CARNERO GORDO, p 135

For 4 persons

Ingredients

1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp murri
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rue leaves
1 tbsp cilantro
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 garlic clove
1 onion
1 fennel bulb
1 lb mutton
salt to taste

Adding the Breadcumb Topping
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
Topping
1 c breadcrumbs
2 eggs

Garnish:
1 tbsp lavender
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper

Preparation

Cut the meat up into small pieces.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325ºF/160ºC

Chopped cilantro and rue leaves. Grind cinnamon, pepper and cumin. Mash garlic. Chop the onion and fennel together mashed garlic. *[2] Mix all these ingredients together with vinegar, 1 tbsp oil and murri.[3] Chop the meat into small pieces and mix it with the onion, fennel mixture.

A Delicious Surprise for the Palate!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Spread 1 tbsp olive oil over the surface of an earthenware dish. Cover this with the onion-meat mixture. Roast in oven for ½ hr.

Prepare breadcrumbs.* Beat eggs and mix with breadcrumbs.*

Remove the meat from the oven and mince ½ c of the meat. Mix this with the breadcrumbs and over the dish with them. Roast 15 minutes or until the coating solidifies and browns.

Sprinkle with lavender, Chinese cinnamon and pepper, and serve.


[1] Huici marks this word as sic. The Arabic word ausāţ refers to rolled up like canapes in a bread filling. Although there is not mention to rolling the meat in the bread it could have something to do as the final step in roasting, which consists of covering the dish with a breadcrumb mixture with some of the meat.
[2] Starred procedures can be performed in a food processor or thermomix.
[3] See blog titled almorí published August25, 2011 for recipe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CARNE MAGRA DE ESPALDA WITH 13TH C RECIPE OR VEAL BUTT SOPES


DSC_0906
Photo from: JAMankin
butt (of meat). Aymeric Picaud, 12th C author of the first pilgrim’s guidebook on the Way of St. James, praised the veal butts from Mansilla de las Mulas in the province of Leon. It must be remembered that the only recipes surviving from the Middle Ages are those for the nobility. The other classes ate lesser cuts of meat if at all. Even slaves were classified with entrails as rewards and the poorest of all received coarse bread in sopes and lard. [Pacho. “Cocina.” 1994:156]

A DISH PRAISED IN SRINGTIME FOR THOSE WITH FULLNESS OF HEART AND ARDENT SPIRITS ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #156. PLATO ALABADO EN PRIMAVERA PARA LOS QUE TIENEN TENSIÓN Y LOS DE SANGRE ARDIENTE,[1] p 102
for 8 persons



Ingredients

2 lbs rump of veal[2]
1 bunch cilantro
1 c vinegar
Veal and Apples Cooking in Cilantro Broth
Photo by: Lord-Willliams
1 lb cooking apples
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp Chinese cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger scraping
1 tsp white pepper
16 egg yolks

Garnish
1 tsp Chinese cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground cloves
½ tsp ginger scraping
1 tsp white pepper
4 sprigs cilantro

Preparation

Cut meat into bite-size pieces and put in a pot. Coarsely chop cilantro and place in a food processor with 1 c water, chop and strain reserving the juice. Add the juice to the pot with the meat. Add enough vinegar to cover the meat.

A Dish for those with Fullness of Heart
and High Spirits
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Peel and core the apples. Cut into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot with chopped cilantro spices.  Bring this to a boil and simmer for ½ hr.

Preheat oven to 350ºF/160ºC.

Pour ingredients with broth into individual oven-proof soup bowls. Beat egg yolks and cover the top of the dishes with them. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks have solidified and have browned on top.

Garnish and serve.



[1] Noblemen were served this recipe because they had to fight wars and needed strength to perform their duties as the nobles of their race.
[2] This recipe can be made quail, partridge or chicken instead of veal. Fowl was held in high esteem by nobles. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

CARNE EN ESCABECHE WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR SIKBĀJ, PICKLED STEW

Preparing Lamb for Pickling
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Per. Ar. sikbāj (vinegar stew), zirbâ, Eng meat in escabeche, pickled meat. Pickling food dates back to Apicius. It is a sweet and sour dish, appearing several times in various forms but always with vinegar. It was consumed like chicken broth for its nutritional value as it was believed to regulate the humors. The Arabs made this with lamb in most cases. In Knights' Hunchback cycle, “The Tale of the Tailor,” it is mentioned as an imaginary dish at the Barmecide feast. When the King of Persia asked his chefs to make the most exquisite dish, they all produced sikbāj. In the 10 C Kitāb Al-Tabīkh, it is a soup with fatty meat and one of the 30 sikbājs offered to the King of Persia. It was taken to Andalusia during the 8th C. The Anon Al-Andalus provides recipes for a meat and vinegar dish, chicken and vinegar stew and a veal and vinegar soup. During Arab domination in Cordova, sikbāj, was frequently served at banquets. Escabeyg appears in Sent Soví for fish. Corminas believes that the Catalans introduced this to the rest of Europe. Nola gives a recipe for sweet and sour rabbit, another for eggplant and another for pandora or dentex. See escabeche. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:CCIII :207:CCIIII:207; Anón/Huici.1966:43-44:36-37; Arjona. 1983:29; ES:Anon/Perry. Sep 5 02:ftn 10 and 11; ES: Nola/Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 96; Nola. 1989: xli-2 xlix-3: lxv-3; and Perry. “Mistakes.” 2001:40: and Perry. “Thousand.” 2001:490]

A NOTE ABOUT CURED AND FERMENTED DISHES RECIPE FOR VINEGAR STEW RECIPE FOR VINEGAR STEW ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUZ #43 NOTICIA DE LOS CUAJADOS Y DE LOS FERMENTADOS RECETA DE LA ZÎRBÂŶA[1], pp 36-37

A Dish that Regulates the Humors
Photo by: Lord-Williams

This dish regulates the humors; its nutritious power is praised, it is good for the stomach and the liver; it possesses the advantages of a stew – sikbâŷa[2] – of meat in vinegar and of – salika[3] –sour cream. Sheikhs of Bagdad heard of the praise for this dish through a friend of Hanin ibn Ishak who explained: “One day I was accompaning Hanin, when he saw a man and commented: “Oh you came to me and desribed the case of a sick person in your house; then I did not see you again; what was the cause of your delay, for I have not ceased to be worried about you?” The man answered: “When I came to my lord, I described my mother’s illness; you advised me to give her zîrbâŷa to eat; I did that and she was cured and I do not want to bother you again; God shall reward you.” Hanin replied: “That dish is neutral[4] There are two kinds of sikbâŷa,” and I told you about one of them, which is the ‘camoline[5]’ of the kitchen, as it never goes sour.


THE RECIPE ADAPTED FROM LA RECETA #44 p 37

May its Nutritious Power be Praised
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1  lbs lamb, diced in 1” cubes
¼ c oil
salt to taste
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp saffron
1 c vinegar
1 c parsley pureed
1 garlic clove pureed
1 onion pureed
½ c  almonds
½ c  sugar
½ c rosewater

Preparation

Heat oil in a pot. Seal and brown the meat in it. While it is browning, remove the water from the meat sweating and save. Add freshly ground salt to taste, pepper, coriander, cinnamon. After mashing the saffron, dissolve it in some of the liquid from the meat sweating. Return that with the saffron to the pot.  Add the vinegar and continue cooking.

The 'Camoline' of the Kitchen
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Purée the onion with the parsley and garlic. Add this to the pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for ½ hr or until the meat is done.

Peel the almonds and chop them.  Mixing them with the sugar, add rosewater. Pour this in the pot without straining and bring it to a boil.

Turn off the heat then leave it on the burner about 10-15 minutes until the fat rises. This dish is recomended for temperamental eaters.

Serve hot or cold as an appetizer with pita bread.
This dish can be made with hens, pigeons or doves.



[1] Huici explains that in the Baghdad Cookery Book there is a recipe on p. 13 of the text and p. 36 of the translation. Rodinson’s Recbercbes arabes relatifs a la cuisine, p 134 and 137, cites two more recipes in the unedited MS Waṣla ila al-ḅabīb. 
[2] As-sikhāŷa, Huici continues, is escabeche in Spanish. The Baghdad Coolery Book reads sikbāŷ and has two recipes for this, pp 9 and 56. Al-Šaqūrī states that in Al-Andalus it was called mujalal, vinaigrette.
[3]  According to Huici, in Siria it simply means boiled vegetables.
[4] Perry explains that it is neutral because it does not stimulate any of the humors.
[5] Sikanŷabīn. Perry states that this is the name of a sweet-sour drink.

Friday, August 24, 2012

CARNE DE VACA WITH 14TH C SARACEN WAY OF COOKING MEAT

moo
A cow capital from the facade of Santissima Trinità di Saccargia, Sardinia
(Sardinia was part of Aragon from 1420 until the beginning of the 18th C)

Photo from: antmoose

beef. This is a prime example of how weather conditions affected the cuisine of the peoples in the Middle Ages. Beef was not as popular in medieval Spain as that of sheep and goats, which were kept alive for shorter periods. Cows were maintained as long as they produced milk for cheese making and gave birth to calves that could be raised to work in fields, in contrast to northern Europe where horses were more economical fare for this purpose. Beef in Iberia, therefore, was tough fare for toothless consumers of the Middle Ages. Cows were more difficult to feed because of the long dry summers in central and Southern Iberiaas opposed to greener pastures in northern Europe. Sheep and goats, on the other hand, being transhumance, continue to be herded to northern Spain in summer and back to more temperate climates in the winter along routes providing enough shrubs and grass for the animals’ feed. 

Medieval authorities favored sheep by regulating sheep path laws, allowing them to travel throughout Spain. Nobles encouraged sheep production as they owned passes where herds were taxed when migrating from region to another. Too, nobles owned ships to take wool to Flanders to be woven into cloth and to bring that back for sale in Iberia. 

During that period, cows were about six inches shorter than their counterparts today making them the size of todays’ cattle dog. Normally, cows were slaughtered on St. Martin’s Day, November 8th. Contrary to popular belief, even in England beef was roasted only long enough to seal it. Then it was boiled for long periods of time. Villena instructs that beef should be carved in the same manner as oxen, see buey. Hams were salted, hung and eaten during winter months but they did not last as long as pork. See vaca. [Gitlitz. 1999:146-147:187; Martínez Llopis. Historia. 1981:169; Ritchie. 1981:66-67; Santich. 1995:3; and Villena. 1989:22b:31ª]
Sealing Beef in Bacon Fat
Photo by: Lord-Williams

A SARACEN WAY FOR COOKING MEAT ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVI #CLXXXI QUI PARLA CON CUYNARETS CARN A LA SARREŸNESCA[1]
For 4 persons

Ingredients

1 lb beef[2]
2 medium onions
4 slices of bacon
2-4 tbsp olive oil for frying
½ c vinegar
a few sprigs of parsley, oregano and thyme
1 tsp Duke’s powder[3]
salt to taste
4 slices of toast

Perfect for a Cold Winter Day!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

Cut meat into equal pieces as that for stew. Thinly slice the onions. Fry the bacon. When done remove it from the pan. When cool crumble it and set aside. Seal the meat in the bacon fat and set aside. Add olive oil to the pan as needed and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the meat, vinegar and chopped herbs. Cover with 1 qt water and cook slowly for 1 hour. When half done add Duke’s powder.

Toast the bread and tear it into pieces putting the equivalent of one slice into each soup bowl. Spoon the broth, meat and onions over the bread.  Garnish with crumbled bacon and sprigs of herbs. 

[1] This indicates the Muslim influence on Catalan cuisine.
[2] The recipe does not specify the kind of meat to be used but the beef is very good.
[3] See blog titled cardamono published August 16, 2012 for the recipe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

CARIOFILATA WITH APPLE PUDDING RECIPE

Herb Bennet,Troutsdale,North...
Photo from: 
Juncea
benedicta, hierba de San Benito, hierba del clavo, sonamunda, L. Geum montanum or Geum urbanum, MEng auans, auence, auance. Eng. 1. avens, apline avens, wood avens or bennet. This perennial herb grows in the Alpine mountains and the Pyrennes. It can be found along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in Spain. It is a member of the rose family. The large flowers may be yellow, white or red. The English used it to make black pottage using the root as a substitute for cloves. 2. an aphrodisiac clove drink imbibed to “enliven the heart,” as per Brey and Singleton in their interpretations of the Archipriest of Hita. Ruíz’ use of the word could possibly mean a wine infused with bennet root which tastes like cloves. The root has been infused in wine as a tonic since time immemorial. Actually it has been customary to make an infusion of 2/3 c wine and ¼ c mashed roots and leaves. This is left to sit over night. Then it is strained and given to a patient to relieve fever by making him sweat. In the kitchen, herb bennet leaves are prepared like spinach. They are included in vegetable stews and soups. The English used it to make black pottage in which the root substituted cloves. The English used it to make black pottage using the root as a substitute for cloves. [Curye. 1985:170; ES: FitzMaurice. Mar 18, 02; Font. Plantas. 1999:205:322-323; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:248; Ruíz/Brey. 1965:1336b:206; and Ruíz/Singleton. 1975:127]

APPLE PUDDING

Ingredients

Photo from: Neil Bromhall
Complete Gardens
2 lbs apples (4-5 apples)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
zest from ½ lemon peel
1 c flour
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 packet dry yeast
1 c milk
½ tsp cinnamon
½ oz or 3 tsp herb bennet root, cleaned, sliced and crushed (or 6 whole cloves)
1 splash of brandy
butter to spread on mold and to dot apples

Garnish:
1 c marmalade apricot and/or other
strawberries
mint leaves

1½ qt casserole dish

Preparation

A Wonderfully Rich Apple Pudding
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Peel the apples. Cut all into chunks.  Pour the lemon juice over them. Cut the zest off half a lemon peel and make little pieces. Mix them with the apples.

Spread butter on the bottom and sides of the casserole. Add the apples with juice and zest.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350ºF/175ºC

Mix the flour, sugar, eggs, yeast, milk, cinnamon and herb bennet. Pour this over the apples. Dot apples on top with tiny pieces of butter to prevent burning.

Cover with aluminum wrap for ½ hr-45 min. Then remove it to brown the top. Cook for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool. Cover the top with marmalade and garnish at will. It can be eaten warm or cold.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CARGUILLA WITH 15TH C TUNA CASSEROLE RECIPE

tuna in a basket
Photo from:
 gusinasia

1. a small load (of fish or other items). 2. Leon basket. [Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:42]

TUNA CASSEROLE ADAPTED FROM
NOLA #lxii-5 ATUN O TOÑINA EN CAZUELA
For 4 persons

Ingredients
¾ c raw almonds
2 oranges (bitter if possible)
¾ c raisins
¼ c pine nuts
1 lb tuna fish
1/3 c olive oil
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp mint leaves
1 tsp marjoram[1]
1 tbsp sugar
¾ c honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Nola's Tuna Casserole
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Garnish:
orange zest
whole nuts and/or raisins
parsley

Preparation

Boil water in a saucepan. Add almonds and let sit a few minutes. Pop the almond meat out of the skins. Squeeze the oranges. Soak the almonds, raisins and pine nuts in this while preparing the other ingredients.

If using fresh tuna, soak it for 1 ½ hrs. Boil it in cold water. When tender and almost cooked remove from heat and put it in cold water again. Save a little of the water used for boiling.  Cut the fish into small pieces and fry in a frying pan with olive oil. If using canned tuna omit this step but save the juice from the pan in case more liquid is necessary when preparing the rest of the recipe. 

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425ºF/220º C.

Chop the herbs. Strain the nuts and raisins, saving the orange juice. Fry them in the frying pan with olive oil. Reserve a few for garnish and chop rest and dilute them with the orange juice; add the herbs, honey, sugar and a little cinnamon. Once this is mixed add the tuna. If too dry add a little of the water from saved from the fish. Then pour the mixture into a casserole greased with the olive oil. Garnish with orange zest, nuts and/or raisins.

Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until piping hot. Remove from oven, add parsley garnish and serve.


[1] Substitute with oregano if not available.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CARDO SILVESTRE WITH THISTLE RECIPES FOR THE IMPRACTICAL AND THE PRACTICLE

Cardoon
Photo from: quisnovus
cardo arrafiz, cardo arrazife, cardo de arrecife, arrefiz, OCast. cardo arreçife, cardo arraçife, L. Cynara cardunculus, Ar. kharshaf,  Eng. cardoon, thistle, artichoke thistle, wild artichoke. It is a very large thistle with edible stalks and leaves. It is a native of the Mediterranean. The artichoke was developed from this plant. In Anón Al-Andalus there is a recipe for “Preparing a dish with Artichokes,” but as there are no instructions for preparing the leaves or the choke. Perry believes that it is actually a recipe for cardoon as he does not think that the artichoke had been developed by the time the manuscript was written. Columela, however, maintains that the artichoke did existed in Al-Andalus in the 12th-13th C. Huici appears to support this as he translates the al-kharshaf as artichoke, not “little cardoon.” Cardoon has been cultivated for the leaf stalks, which are blanched and eaten as a vegetable in Europe particularly. The taste is like a bitter and sweet cross between artichokes and celery. They are so filled with flavor that they can be eaten raw with garlic, an olive oil sauce and anchovies. They provide calcium, potassium and iron. Anón Al-Andalus gives a recipe for thistle syrup in which it is recommended to drink during one’s bath for a better effect but the recipe does not state for what ailment it was imbibed. Cardoon looks like long gray celery stalks. It has been especially popular in Spain, Italy and France. In the Middle Ages, Jews and Hispano Arabs thought highly of them but Christians thought they were peasant food buthey were included in dishes boiled for nobles. Villena provides detailed instructions on how to cut the stems, to remove the prickles from the leaves and to remove layers that are not tender with the back of a gañivete (a 25 cm curved knife). [Anón/Huici.1966:161:280:162:281:516:282:516:281; Capuano. 1988:90; Espasa. 1988:11:CANAL.866-867; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5 00:ftn 104; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:114:116:117; Usher. 1974:194; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:40a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44]

SYRUP OF THISTLE SYRUP ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S 
TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #516 JARABE DE CARDO, p. 281

Using Gloves to Cut off Thorns
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients[1]

1 cup black chickpeas
1 ½ lb cardoon, leaves and stalks
1 oz bay leaves
1 handful orange leaves
½ oz anise
½ oz wild carrot seeds
½ oz keckies (conium seeds)[2]
1 oz  bitter almonds
1 oz sweet almonds
1 lb sugar
1 lb honey

Herb Sachet:
½  oz English lavender
½  oz cardoon
½ oz cloves

Preparation:

Soak chickpeas in 3 qts water for 24 hours.

Grind all the roots, greens and seeds and almonds. Put them in a pot and cover them with water from the chickpeas.  Cook until the water is reduced by half, then strain it through a cloth into another pot.

A Novel Drink that Costs Nothing!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Add sugar and honey. Make an herb sachet of English lavender, cardoon and cloves. Add this to the pot. Cook until the mixture becomes a syrup.  

Drink 2 tbsp syrup with 6 tbsp warm water and above all if drunk while bathing the effect is better if it be God’s will.

[1] Due to the impossibility of finding ingredients, this recipe was not tried. The juice was made instead: The sharp thorns are cut off of a bunch of thistle and the stalks and leaves are put through a juicer. Then strained this though a cheese cloth.  Add juice lemon from ½ a lemon and 1 tsp sugar. The taste is reminiscent of celery and artichoke stocks mixed.  This juice is free as thistle is collected growing wild in the country.
[2] Probably dried, as they are not as poisonous if dried.

Monday, August 20, 2012

CARDO MARIANO WITH 4TH C STUFFED ARTICHOKE RECIPE

MARITISTEL Silybum marianum ...
Photo from Svein Erik Larsen
cardo borriquero, caña del cardo borriquero, tovas, OCast, touas, tobas, atovas, L. Silybum marianum, Eng holy thistle, milk thistle. It is a cultivated plant of the Mediterranean. Salads are made with the young leaves and flowers, while the older leaves are used for infusions. Villena instructs to prepare them in the same manner as artichokes. It has been known to help spleen complaints, dropsy, coughs and jaundice. As a coffee substitute, the seeds are roasted. The berries, ground into powder, were used to stop excessive loss of blood during the menstrual period and for hemorrhages. The roots and stems as well as the leaves have been used to elevate liver complaints. These are administered in a juice or in infusions.  [Font. Plantas. 1999:608:845-847; Usher. 1974:540; Villena/Brown 1992:177; Villena/Calero. 2002:23a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:44]

STUFFED ARTICHOKES ADAPTED FROM FLOWER’S TRANSLATION
OF APICIUS III:XIX:1:86-87 CARDIU/ARTICHOKES[1]
For 4 persons
Gently Boiling Stuffed Artichokes
Photo by: Lord-WilliamsFor 4 persons

Ingredients

4 hardboiled eggs
12 artichokes
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp melted butter
½ c virgin olive oil

Garnish:

12 sprigs of mint
4 lemon twists

Preparation

A New Twist 1600 Years Old!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Boiled eggs. Peel and set aside.

Remove all the leaves from the artichokes leaving only the bottoms. Put them in cold water and let stand.

Chop the herbs and eggs. Make a mixture of this adding salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Melt the butter and add them to the mixture. Drain the artichokes and when the filling well mixed, fill the artichokes with this.

Put the artichokes in a large pot. Add a little salt, ½ tsp pepper and ½ c olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add about 1 cup wine and cover the saucepan tightly with a lid. Take care that wine level does not reach the stuffing.

Boil gently over low heat frequently checking the amount of liquid. Slowly add up to 1 cup water but never letting the liquid go over the top of the artichokes. When that evaporates, leaving only the oil, it will have finished cooking. This will take about 1 hour.

Remove the artichokes from the pan and garnish with mint and lemon twists.
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[1] It is odd that Flower labels this recipe as artichokes taking into account that Spaniards claim they invented them. Huici says before the 13th C, while Perry thinks they came about later.  Apicius does name this recipe cardiu, thistle. As milk thistle was not in season with this publication, artichokes were used. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

CARDO BURRERO WITH 13TH C HONEY ALMOND MERINGUE RECIPE


Bumble Bee (Bomber Jonellus) on...
Photo from:
 saxonfenken
L. Cirsium arvense, Eng. creeping thistle, Canada thistle. In spite of its name, it is native to Eurasia. In Spain, bees use the nectar from the flowers to make honey which is light amber colored and of good quality. [Silva. 1994:174]

HONEY MERINGUE WITH ALMONDS[1] ADAPTED FROM HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #164. TRABADO DE MIEL, p 107

Ingredients

1 c  almonds
1/4 c sesame or canola oil 
1 c honey
4 egg whites
1 pinch of salt

Garnish:
Mixed berries without sugar
Sprigs of mint
Slivers of sliced and fried almonds

 Preparation

Berries on a Thin Layer of 
Creeping Thistle Honey and Almond Meringue
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
Boil a cup of water and put almonds in it for a few minutes. Peel the almonds and fry them in sesame oil. When golden brown wrap them on paper towels to remove oil. Put them in food processor and grind them. When done, set aside.

Heat honey over moderate heat until it dissolves and strain it. Bring it to a boil.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 300ºF/150ºC

Whip egg whites until stiff.  Drizzle hot honey over them very, very slowly as if making mayonaise and mix until stiff.

Fold in the almonds. Shape meringues on a baking sheet lined with aluminum wrap or cover a pie with this. Meringues are not for fast food eaters, but mellow cooks with time to let the meringue cook according to its will which can take an hour to turn solid and golden white. When done turn oven off and leave the door ajar. Once cool, if not crowning a pie, serve with berries or other fruit to offset the sweetness of the meringue. 


[1] See blog titled brecina published on April 23, 2012 for a different version of this recipe. Perry titles this "Mu'aqqad of Honey." A makkuk is a measurement between 7.5 and 18.8 liters depending on the locality. Huici's translation calls for a kail of honeycomb. A kail is a measure between 6.5-22 liters depending on the locality. The recipe also calls for 25 egg whites if using a honeycomb, 30 if using regular honey and one ratl of peeled almonds which in 13th C Al-Andalus was 468.75 grams. Today this recipe is found on internet with the title “Honey Frosting” but it calls for half the honey and 2 egg whites. No almonds are added.