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Monday, April 1, 2013


Kneading Batter for Noodles
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1. kitchen, 2. cuisine. The cuisine of a territory in the Middle Ages was influenced by the weather. Scots ate oat bread as it is difficult to grow wheat there, while Castilians had wheat. Beside its own products, the cuisine was influenced by the territories bordering it. Navarra, for example, was heavily influenced by French, Catalan and Aragonese cooking and somewhat less by Al-Andalus and Castilla.  It is interesting to note that out of the five spouses the kings and queen of Navarra between 1350-1600 three were French. One from Aragon and one from Castile. Foreign consorts of kings and queen have been known to bring their cooks with them when they married. Also foreign aristocrats traveling to abroad took their cooks with them as well, which influenced native cooks as they exchanged recipes. Pilgrims on the Way of St. James introduced dishes from their countries and visa versa. Due to the Roman invasions, Islamic occupation and Spanish domination in parts of what is Italy today, Iberian cuisine was the most sophisticated in Europe between the 13th and 15th centuries. [Serrano. 2008:365:368-369]



Rolling out the Dough
Photo by: Lord-Willliams
1 lb semolina flour
sheep’s fat from the tail
salt to taste
1 onion chopped
1 lb lamb
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly scraped ginger

Homemade Noodles with Lamb
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Dip hands in fat vigorously knead one pound of semolina with water and salt. Place it in a covered bowl. Roll out the dough like a jelly roll slice it widthwise. Roll out the strips. Cut them and shape them like very thin wheat grains with the tips thinner than the center; when done place them in a basket. When all the dough is shaped, dry the noodles in the sun. Make more semolina dough and more batches of noodles until needed is made.

When ready to cook sauté chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Select the best parts of lamb from the breast, loin, tail and other areas; cut them into medium size pieces. Clean them and put them in a big pan with plenty of water, salt, oil, pepper, cilantro and onion and heat. When cooked remove the meat from the pan.

Gently boil the noodles in the broth over low heat. When cooked, remove the noodles reserving the broth. In the meantime, fry the boiled meat in a pan with fresh or salted fat until browned. Place the noodles in a tureen and put the meat on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and ginger on top and serve.

If noodles with a robust chicken are preferred prepare as above.


  1. If you are in Madrid this weekend, don't miss the small food fair in Orense St. near H&M and Zara. They have delicatessen from the old medieval kingdoms: from Navarra to Galicia, and of course Castilla and Aragon (the Baleares island to be precise). Artisan vegetables and fish preserves, rye bread, empanadas, and a very good selection of cheeses, ham, chorizo, salchichón and other pork delicacies...

    Pay attention if you miss this fair, because it rotates and you can find in other streets, specially in Fuencarral St. near Bilbao.

  2. Sounds like a lovely break from the kichen! - Many thanks for the tip!

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