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Friday, July 12, 2013


Delights of a Banquet
Photo by: PP Montero
OCast combite, Eng feast, treat, banquet. Miquel Lucas Iranzo, Constable of Castile, during the 1460’s was noted for lavish feasts in his home in Jaen. Banquets consisted of five to eight courses during which some 30 separate dishes could be served. 

The order of the dishes established by Ziryab following his entrance into the Hispano-Muslim court in Cordoba in 822. It was based on easily digested foods or bland to those more difficult or strongly flavored dishes and finished with items to “Seal the stomach” to prevent “the vapors from rising” and to put hot and cold and wet and dry into balance. Too, the humors had to be balanced between dry and wet and hot and cold. 

The first course, according to Anón Al-Andalus could consist of cooked vegetables or a tafaya, a stew with meatballs. The dish was liquid or semi-liquid like a pottage, which was served in soup bowls and eaten with a wooden spoon. Items in the first course were to act as laxatives. They should be light, not filling. Apples, pears, lettuce and eggs could be served. The second course could be boiled meats or fish. Iranzo was famous for offering roast peacocks and other fowl. Another course consisted of roasted meats or fish which were the most difficult to digest. These dishes were strongly flavored with murri and the next dish with vinegar followed by a dish made with honey and finally another honey based dish. The food offered in the final course is to “seal the stomach,” to keep “the vapors from rising” Foods could be cheese, apples or radishes. See Ziryab. [Gitlitz. 1999:104-106; Lord. Cocina. 2006; Martínez Llopis. Historia. 1981:162:163; and Mata. 1940: 46-47:52:54:etc;]

Browning Kid in Frying Pan
Photo by: Lord-Williams

For 4 persons


1 kid liver
½ c milk
1 lb kid
1 sm. onion
¼ c lard
2 garlic cloves minced
1 slice of bread with the crust removed
¼ c white vinegar
8 egg yolks
¾ c toasted almonds
1/2 tsp white pepper
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp basil
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp tarragon
1 tbsp parsley
¼ c brown sugar 

Kid Janete Fit for a King
Photo by: Lord-Williams


Soak the liver in milk ½ hour. When done, wash in water and pat dry.

Take a forequarter of kid and a skinned and quartered onion and boil gently in a pot for 20 minutes. Remove it from the broth and cut the meat into pieces the size of a walnut.  Chop the onion and save the broth.
Heat a frying pan and add the lard. When melted brown the kid fry the onion until translucent. Remove the meat and onion from the frying pan and add the liver. Fry until cooked, about 5 minutes[1]

Grind the liver with the bread that has been soaked in vinegar and egg yolks. Blend this with the broth and strain it through a woolen cloth. Put this in a heavy saucepan. Add the kid and spices.[2]. Heat very slowly. When it starts to thicken briskly whisk until ready. Add chopped parley and sugar. Taste to insure a good balance between the sweet taste of sugar and sour taste with vinegar.

[1] The recipe states that the liver should be roasted but it is easier to fry it.
[2] As Nola does not specify which spices to use, this is left up to the chef’s election.

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