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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CERDA WITH PORK IN ALIDEM, A CREAM SAUCE



This Sow was Sacrificed by Mistake
the Slaughterman did't know she was pregnant
Photo by: Lord-Williams
guarra de cría, sow, female destined for breeding. [Pers. Memories. Slaughters Mostoles. 2000-2001:2003]

ALIDEM [CREAM SAUCE] WITH COOK’S CHOICE OF MEAT ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ CXXVIIII QUI PARLA CON DEU FFER ALIDEM EN CARN DE QUALSEVULLA CONDISIÓ[1], pp 151-152

Ingredients

1 lb pork
2 c meat broth
1 egg
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp saffron
Straining Alidem
Photo by: Lord-Williams
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 c verjuice[2]
3 egg yolks

Preparation

Boil the meat in broth for 20 minutes or until broth is reduced to ¼-1/2 c. Add spices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer.

Remove meat from the pot. Beat the yolks, mix them with the verjuice and add them to the pot stirring continuously until thick.  Strain this into a serving bowl or gravy boat. Serve hot with the meat as a sauce or a soup.

Alidem Sopes with Pork
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Also, this sauce can accompany kid chicken and small birds, fried eggs and pies.   


[1] See blog titled alidem published on August 2, 2011, which was adapted from Sent Soví’s recipe CXXX and Nola’s #xxxi-2 and blog titled arca published on January 9, 2012, which gives another adaption of the recipe above using chicken instead of pork.  from Sent Soví’s CXXXIIII for another version of alidem also using chicken.
[2] 100% grape juice with no sugar was used.

Monday, October 29, 2012

CERCETA WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR DUCK



male and female:
Teal - 310111_MG_2603x
Photo from: KK Hui
OCast. çerceta, certeta, L. Anas crecca, Eng common teal. It is the smallest of the duck family measuring 13-17” in length and weighing around 12-13 oz. It is a migratory bird, wintering in the Middle East, central Africa and southern Asia. Normally, it just flies through Spain en route to the north in the spring but it has been known to stay around Donnana National Park, the Albufera (Valencia), and marshes and lakes in southern Spain. It has been recorded also in Aragon, the Baleares, Cantabria, Navarra and La Rioja. Villena mentions their presence. Villanova claimed that their meat is best when eaten in autumn. Villena instructed that they be carved like the peacock except that the sternum and pelvis are not cut into two parts. [ES: Birdguides. Mar 16, 01; and Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:192; and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b:26ª

WIGEON, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS A SPARROW HAWK[1] ADAPTED 
FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS,
#227 PLATO DE CERCETA, CONOCIDA POR EL HALCÓN, p 138
For 4 persons

Removing Innards and Tongue
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

For the ducks:
4 wigeons
2 tbp olive oil
½ head of garlic
1 stalk of thyme
½ tsp caraway
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
½ tsp coriander
1 tsp white pepper
1 onion quartered

For the meatballs:
1 small onion
1 garlic head
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
4 widgeon gizzards
The Serenity of the Evening Air Tenderizes the Fowl Hung Overnight
Photo by: Lord-Williams
!/2 lb  chicken gizzards
1 tbsp murri[2]
1 stalk of rue
1 stalk of thyme
½ tsp caraway
1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
½ tsp dried coriander
1 tsp pepper
2 raw eggs
½ c breadcrumbs
½ c flour

Garnish:
5 eggs
1 c  sifted flour

Preparation

For the ducks:

Kill the ducks. Put them in a pot and pour boiling water over them. Remove feathers by hand as much as possible. Pliers may be necessary for those on the wings. Cut off the beaks and pull out all the innards and tongue through the cavity between the breast and tail. Wash the innards and save the gizzards, livers and other parts used in broths and gravies. Tie the claws of each bird together and hang them by their feet over night.

Crumbs Made with Flour and Egg
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Joint the birds. Wash them and put them in a pot with the other ingredients and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour or half hour is using a pressure cooker. Remove the meat from the pot and put it in a large serving bowl.

For the meatballs:

Chop the onion. Mash the garlic. Gently sauté in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Remove and set aside.

Clean the gizzards and soak them in water with vinegar for 1 hr. Mince them. Put them in bowl with the onion, garlic, murri, chopped herbs, pepper and onion.  Add 1 egg slightly beaten. Mix with breadcrumbs and refrigerate until ready to cook.

The Final Reward - a Dish to Please All Gods
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Garnish:

Mix one slightly beaten egg with 1/2 c  flour to make crumbs.  Beat vigorously until crummy. Add the crumbs to the broth beating it vigorously with a ladle to prevent large clumps from forming.

Put the rest of the flour in a soup bowl and roll the meatballs in it. Then add the meatballs to the broth. When cooked, remove the meatballs and set aside.

Separate the white and yolks of 4 eggs. Beat the egg whites into peaks and add them to the broth to make tiny snowballs.

Pouch the yolks in a small fry pan with a little water.

Pour the broth from the pot over the ducks then decorate the dish with meatballs and egg yolks. Add a few sprigs of rue for color.

And serve if it pleases God![3]



[1] Perry translates cerceta as a wigeon, both he and Huici translate that this is also known as a “sparrow hawk.” The Scientific name for wigeon is Anas Penelope and that of the sparrow hawk is Accipiter nisus. Wigeon is from the Anas family, the same as the teal, This makes it is plausible that the former be used in this recipe. Further, less wigeons are required to feed 4 people as they measure 19-20“ in length and weigh 1 ¼ -1 ¾ lbs. Wigeons are in between mallards and teal in size. If serving teal 2 would be required per person. As neither widgeons nor teal were available at the time of making this recipe, one mallard was used instead. 
[2] See blog titled al-morí published on August 25, 2011 for recipe.
[3] It should be noted that these recipes were dictated by cooks to scribes who did not know how to cook. This recipe is so confusing both in Huici’s translation into Spanish and Perry’s into English that the only person who could figure it out, who could “please God” and who could totally gratify all eaters of this dish was Maria Bernardita Benitez Garrido of Los Angeles, Chile! Thanks to her, this recipe is now available in a useable sense to all readers of this blog. Perry's translation of the recipe is on line. Huici's is as follows:


PLATO DE CERCETA, CONOCIDA POR EL HALCÓN

Corta la cerceta por todas las articulaciones en dos y ponla en una olla; se toman las mollejas de las gallinas y de la cerceta y se limpia y corta lo más aplastado que se pueda; se echa en  la olla con una cucharada de almorí, una cabeza de ajo y dos cucharadas de aceite dulce, un tallo de ruda, otro de tomillo, pimienta, alcaravea, cilantro seco y verde, un poco de cebolla y la clara de cuatro huevos, se bate bien batido y se echa una cucharada de ello en la olla y con el resto se hacen albóndigas y se parta algo de ello para la levadura; se cuecen las albóndigas en la olla y se remueve la olla por sus lado suavemente hasta que se iguale su grasa; entonces se toma la clara de cuatro huevos y se bate con el resto del relleno, migas de harina cernida y algo de pimienta; se espesa con ello la olla y tú habrás cocido las yemas de los huevos antes de esto, luego se vierte en la fuente y se adorna con las albóndigas y las yemas y se presenta, si Dios quiere.


Friday, October 26, 2012

CEPA WITH 14TH C SLOPPY JOES!


Cepa de Vid (Vid strain) 2
Photo: from CANONIGACepa 
OCast çepo, Eng vine-stalk, grape vine. Avenzoar claims that from time to time he prepared grapevine tendril syrup and verified its beneficial effect to combat nausea and vomiting and, in this sense claimed that it produces an evident and marvelous effect.  It moderately cools and dries and for its astringent power, cleans and cuts acidity. The substance has a fundamental property: it stops vomiting and nausea as no other prepared electuaries and other syrups prepared with this ingredient. [Berceo. Libro. 1983:271:2555; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:108; and Sas. 1976:130]

A SAUCE FOR ALL BOILED MEATS ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ LVIIII QUI PARLA CONSE  FFA SALSA A TOTA CARN pp 103-104  

Gently Boiling Meat, Spices  and Broth
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

2 tsp mixed spices
½ lb meat[1]
2 c broth
1 c sour grape juice[2]
¼ c virgin olive oil
1 onion
3 sprigs parsley
2 egg yolks
1 slice of toast
¼ c vinegar

A Meat Sauce that could be 
Medieval Sloppy Joes!
Photo by Lord-Williams
Preparation

Grind spices with meat. Put this in broth to dissolve the spices.

Chop the onions and sauté in olive oil until translucent. Add chopped parsley. Then add this to the broth. Boil gently, uncovered for ½ hr.

Remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks and add them to the sauce with the grape juice. Gently stir all together. Add bread soaked in vinegar and serve.


[1] 4 oz ground beef and 4 oz sausage meat were used. If the amount of meat is doubled the result is something like a medieval Sloppy Joe!
[2] Sherry or red wine would give the sauce a pleasant flavor.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CENTOLLA WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR CRAB IN GOLDEN SAUCE


Fresh Spider Crab at the Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid, Spain
Photo by: MRSamper  
Cat cabra, OCat cabre, L. Maja squinado, Eng spider crab, southern king crab. It is found on the coasts of west and southwestern England. It is well known in Spain on the Atlantic coast. It can grow to 20 cm. and weighs from two to four and a half pounds. It has long spider-like claws with no large front claws lik the Dungeness Crabs The spider crab also has sharp spikes on each side of its body. It is common to find it covered with algae. It is popular in France and Spain for its sweet delicate flavor. During Avenzoar’s time (1090-1162) it was said that to relieve the pain of someone whose eye hurts, one should remove the right eye of a spider crab and place it on the eye. Andalusians also used crab as an antidote against poison. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:CLXXXXIII:197:Apè III:241; Benavides. Nueva 1995:196; ES: “Common Spider.” Nov 3, 05; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:124]

TO MAKE A DISH OF CRABS, ADAPTED FROM CAPITULO C AFFARE MAGNARE DE GRANGIE LIBRO B, OF ANONIMO MERIDIONALE: DUE LIBRI DI CUCINA, EDITED BY INGEMAR BOSTRÖM AND TRANSLATED BY REBECCA FRIEDMAN<[1]
The Sauce Turned Golden Yellow with the Saffron Addition
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For 4 persons

Ingredients

2 spider crabs[2]
1 c almonds
¼ c virgin olive oil
2 raw eggs
1 slice bread
¼ c vinegar
3 c fish broth
¼ tsp saffron
1/2  tsp cumin
2 tsp mixed spices[3]

Preparation

Fill a pot with seawater if available otherwise use fish broth. Bring to a boil and add the crabs. Cover and bring to a boil again. Cook the crabs 10-15 minutes until they float. Continue boiling 2-3 more minutes. Then remove the crabs and let cool. Extract the meat and set aside.
Spider Crab Swimming in Golden Sauce
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Scald almonds and remove skins. Fry them in olive oil. When golden brown, grind them with eggs and bread soaked in vinegar. Add fish broth and strain into a pot. Add saffron and cumin. Bring to a boil and add the crab. Turn off heat and let stand  2-3 minutes to warm the crab. Add mixed spices and serve.


[1] Note that the text is from Southern Italy which was part of Aragon during the 15th C.Found at David Friedman’s website:
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Due_Libre_B/Due_Libre_B.pdf

[2] It is estimated that the amount of crabmeat is 25% the crab’s weight and that each crab weighs about 2 lbs although they can weigh as much as 4 ½.

[3] See blog titled cardomomo published on August 10, 2012 for an example.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CENTENO WITH SOUR DOUGH RYE BREAD RECIPE


rye
Photo from: xmu
L.  Secale cereale, Eng. rye. It is the first grain harvested in the summer before wheat and barley. The grain is a basic secondary supply in Castile and Andalusia. It was ground into flour and make into bread for lower classes as it was cheap. Porridges and alcoholic drinks were made with rye. Herrera calls it cold and claims that the bread is harmful for the stomach. Pliny claimed it made good turnovers (empanadas). As it is cold, it prevents them from spoiling. If eaten warm, he continued, it would glue to sores of those spitting up blood. Herrera maintains that if wild animals drank water after eating it, they would become sick and die. It is good for fattening pigs. When Rodrigo de Borgia, papal legate and future Pope, visited Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña, Archbishop of Toledo, the latter tried to entice him with the purchase of plenty of rye to feed up his sheep, calves, peacocks, capons and other rye eating birds served at corpulent meals planned to sway his guest’s will. It was a basic supply in fortresses, as seen Iranzo’s experiences in Jaen. Oven brooms and tough thatched roofs have been made with the stalks. The English have been known to use broken stalks as packing for ceramics. Also, they are used as hay. Rye is a good cover crop preventing erosion. It stands cool moist climates, flooding and snow. It does not survive in temperatures over 81o F (27o C). See ergotísmo and pan de centeno. [Castro. Alimentación. 1996:174:204:251 etc; ES: Rye. Feb 22,05; Hartley. 2003:528; Laza. 2002:113-114; and Mata. 1940:350]

RYE BREAD RECIPE COURTESY OF THE SPANISH MEDIEVAL CHEF

Ingredients

Centeno Dough Ready for Baking
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For sourdough:
1/3 c water
½ pk yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp honey
½ c rye flour[1]

For bread dough:
1 ½ c water
2 pks yeast
2 ½ c white flour[2]
2 ½ c rye flour
2 tsp salt

Preparation

For sourdough

Mix all the ingredients for sour dough together. Pour this into a bowl and cover with water. Leave until the mixture floats. Then it is ready to be used in bread dough.

For bread dough:
Mix the sourdough with all the ingredients for bread dough. Knead well for about 10 minutes. Put this in a large bowl and cover with a cloth. Let sit 2 hours until double in volume.

Divide the dough in half. Form balls with each piece. Place them on a floured surface and squash them until a ¾” round loaves are obtained.  Place each loaf on a greased and floured cookie sheet and let sit for 30 minutes until doubled in size.

Sour Dough Rye Bread
Photo by: Lord-Williams
PREHEAT OVEN TO 425º F / 220º C

Make 1/3” incisions in the form of a square with a knife or sissors on the top of the dough. Bake loaves 20 minutes then reduce heat to 375ºF / 190ªC and bake 20 minutes more.

This is a tough dry bread. To make it more crunchy, place a small heat resistant bowl fille with water in the oven and from time to time spray the bread with water. 

It is a sin to serve this bread cold. As with Jewish Passover Bread, see blog titled cenceño published October 17, 2012, rye bread is broken by hand never with a knife.



[1] Rye flour could not be found. Whole grain flour was used as a substitute.
[2] Due to the density of whole rye bread, the addition of white flour helps to lighten the loaf a little. A "peasants'" bread resulted, which  is good with "sopes" dishes like pork and beans.

Friday, October 19, 2012

CENIZAS WITH 14TH C LAMB STUFFING RECIPE


Cookin'
Photo from: massmatt
OCast enisas, MEng. askes, Eng. ashes. Avenzoar advised that the best bread was oven baked in a tandour while the second best was baked in ashes. Jews made an unleavened bread called torquendo, which was toasted in the ashes. The Anón Al Andalus relates that Syrians preferred bread baked in ashes and served at weddings. In Iraq there was a bread baked in the ashes, which Huici translated as milla (sic, the correct word is al-malla). This was preferred by desert inhabitants but detested in cities. Villena relates that white carrots (orange did not exist during the Middle Ages) were roasted in ashes. It was common to add eggs at the end of cooking a dish. Then the pot was moved from the fire to the ashes to prevent the eggs from curdling. It was also a slow cooking method, which was diffused by the Arabs.  [Anón/Grewe. 1979:VIII:67-68:XXXXVIIII:93-94:CVII:135-136 etc; Anón/Huici. 1966:120:82-83:134:92:280:161-162 etc; Berceo. Libro. 1983:272:2565; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:262; Curye. 1985:170; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:47; Nola. 1989:xvii-3:xlii-1;Villena/Calero. 2002:39b]


The World's First Crock-Pot
in a Medieval Oven
Photo by: Lord-Williams
A VARIATION OF MUTTON STUFFING – ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ VIII SE HABLA DE RELLENAR LA ESPALDA DE CARNERO DE OTRA MANERA, p 67-68



Ingredients[1]

1 whole mutton

Stuffing:
2 sausage links (about 5 oz.)
2 tbsp lard
1 c raisins
1 lb ground mutton
2 tsp Duke’s powder[2]
1 garlic clove mashed
2 raw eggs
salt to taste

Garnish:
chopped parsley and mint leaves

Preparation

Lamb Stuffing with a Hint of Mint
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Clean a mutton and put it in a pan. When partially done, remove it and strip it of the sternum and ribs.

Fry sausages in lard. When done, let cool and chop them. Chop the raisins and remove the seeds.

Make the stuffing with the sausages, the lard from frying them, raisins, raw ground lamb, spices, garlic, and eggs slightly beaten. Roll the stuffing up in the back of the mutton and sew the incision up with twine. Place it over the ashes[3] and roast for about 1 hr.

When cooked, cut it and remove the twine. Scoop out the stuffing into a bowl add salt and herbs to taste. Serve on a platter with carved mutton.



[1] As whole mutton was not available, the stuffing was made into a meatloaf. Sausages were used to replace 15 slices of bacon to give the stuffing more flavor. Raisins were added to give it more moisture. Sent Soví instructs to garnish with parsley but not mint leaves.
[2] See “cardamomo” blog published on August 16, 2012 for formula.
[3] If a fire is not available preheat oven to 325º F/160º C.







































































Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CENCEÑO WITH UNLEAVENED PASSOVER BISCUIT RECIPE



Unleaven Dough Ready for Kneading
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast çençeño, Hisp Ar fatîr, Eng  unleavened, as unleavened bread, which was also called Jewish bread. It is curious that Anton Montoro’s Cancionero calls for unleaven bread during the Festival of Booths when it is traditionally made while celebrating the Passover but not for the former.[1] Jews prepared this in remembrance of their flight from Egypt when they could not wait for the bread to rise. Due to this, the Inquisition punished Jews caught eating unleavened bread during that time of year. Christians did eat unleavened bread during Lent and Christians and Muslims ate it during times of famine. See ácimo. [Autoridades. 1979:I:A:263; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5, 02:ftn 150; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:187:255;Montoro/Ciceri. 1991:203:102]


MARÍA ÁLVAREZ’ ROLLILLOS, PASSOVER BICUITS FROM GITLITZ’ DRIZZLE OF HONEY, p 296
Makes enough for 8 servings

Dough Ready for Pressing into a Loaf
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

8 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp pepper
6 tbsp honey, warmed
4 eggs, beaten
3 ½ c flour, sifted

Preparation

 Preheat the oven to 375º F (190º C). Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Beat the first five ingredients together in a small bowl.
The Addition of Pepper an Honey Make this Uniquely Yummy!
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
 Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the flour all at once using a fork, beating as little as possible. If necessary to get the dough to form a mass, add more water, a tablespoon at a time.

Preheat oven to 425ºF / 220ºC

      Put the dough on a floured cutting board, press the dough into a ¾-inch thick round loaf.[2]

Bake them on a prepared cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º/190º C and cook 20 minutes more.[3] Serve while still warm.


[1] Montoro (1403-1483) was a Jewish convert.
[2] Gitlitz instructs to cut the dough into 4 equal portions for make round loaves. Neither Jews nor Spaniards did this. All the dough was cooked as one round loaf. When ready to eat bread the loaf was passed from one eater to the next. Each person broke off a piece by hand. Cutting bread with a knife was considered bad luck.
[3] Gitlitz instructs that the bread takes 20 minutes to cook at 375º F/190ºC. This is not so even if dividing the dough into 4 equal parts. At that temperature, it takes 40-60 minutes if the dough is split into fourths. If not it would take well over an hour for uncut dough.

Monday, October 15, 2012

CELIDONIA, A POISONOUS MEMBER IF THE POPPY FAMILY


Greater Celandine
Photo by: _smadsen
Gr. Chelidonton (fr. chelidòn), L. Chelidonium majus, Fr. schelikraut, MEng sellandine, Eng celandine, This is an herb of the Papaveraceas or poppy family having yellow flowers and blooming from late winter or early spring through the summer, if there is sufficient humidity. It is a native of Europe and S. Asia found in rocky, shady and temperate regions in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. In England, it was cultivated in hedges. It emits a disagreeable odor and produces a hot, stinging sensation and bitter taste.

In ancient times, the plant appeared in late winter or early spring and disappeared at the end of summer with the migration of swallows. It was thought, therefore, that they brought it because after hatching their young and they began to see the mothers pecked at their eyes making them blind again. Then the babies were given celandine and recovered their eyesight quickly due to the magic yellow or orange juice contained in the flower. Actually the nestlings recuperated their sight naturally but that was not discovered before it became the general belief that celandine helped eyesight following Pliny’s recommendation. The juice from the plant has been used to remove film from the cornea.

As Andalusians followed Nabatean agriculture as a model, celandine was cultivated particularly in Seville i between the 11th and 13th centuries and used for its aroma with parsley, oregano, eight varieties of celery and rue.  They were synonymous with luxury and exoticness. These herbs were systematically included in dishes with mastic. They were chewed to prevent bad breath and to cure epilepsy.   

A 14th C celandine drink was thought good for the blood. The leaves and flowers were mixed with oil to make a plaster, which was applied to human eyes for this. Since, applications of this mixture have been found to increase the healing process of ulcers and sores and to diminish warts and freckles. The English, also, used it to help sore teeth. Discorides recommended drinking the liquid or latex from the root, boiled in water for liver ailments and to excrete humors in the urine. The oil from the seed was drunk with hydro-honey to purge the stomach.

Discorides did admit that the liquid can be deadly poisonous as it produces narcotic effects like opium. Today, it is recommended for external use only unless administered under a doctor’s prescription. The latex contains alkaloids chelidonine, chelereythrine and protopine. For internal uses, it is dried and used as a sedative, purgative, expectorant and diuretic. Specifically some of the ailments for which it is used are hepatitis, jaundice, gallstones, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Further, patients who have depressive or lethargic tendencies are treated with it.

[Bolens. Cuisine. 1990:210; Castro. Alimentación. 1994:295; ES: “Chelidonium.” Jan 6, 04; ES: Glos Medieval. Jun 16, 04; ES: Grieve. “Celandine” Jan 7, 04; and Pullar. 1970:105]