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Friday, November 28, 2014

GINESTADA WITH 15TH C RECIPE FOR GENEST, BROOM FLOWER PUDDING


Ginster/broom (Genista)
Photo from: HEN-Magonza
genest. An almond based pottage
named for the yellow color of broom flowers. The Spanish versions do not contain broom, while English recipes call for yellow broom buds as decoration but as the Spaniards, the English use saffron to color the pottage. The English version, dating from the 12th C, consists of milk, egg yolks, saffron and yellow broom buds. Henisch explains that Irish fairies ate neither fish nor meat but thrived on messes of milk and saffron.

Some versions of the pudding use goat’s milk thickened with rice flour. Sent Sovi’s is an almond milk pottage with rice flour, raisins and pine kernels. Nola’s recipes are basically an almond milk pottage with dates and nuts. When the dish was consumed during Lent, egg yolks were omitted.

Mashing Saffron
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Nola’s second recipe for broom flower pudding is more complicated than the first as cinnamon, ginger and cloves are soaked in rosewater the night before the pudding is made. The following day while cooking, pine kernels, quartered blanched almonds and dates are added with rosewater.
It was commonly eaten on fast days in the summer. 

The name "Plantagenet" was originally spelt Plante Genest or Plantegenest and later Plauntegenet or Plantaginet. Orginally, it was a nickname for Count Geoffrey of Anjou, father of King Henry II who ascended the English throne in 1154. This name has traditionally been taken to mean a ‘sprig of broom,' which the count wore in his bonet.

See iniesta, piorno,  piorno amarillo, piorno serrano and retama negra. 

[Anón/Grewe. 1982:LVI:100; Henisch. 1976:105; Hieatt. Curye. 1985:II:39:70; and Nola. 1989:xxi-2:xxxviii-4:lxix-2]

GENEST. BROOM FLOWER PUDDING ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S lxix-2 GINESTADA 
five servings

Stirring While the Pudding Thickens
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 tbsp small raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece of ginger, about 1 tsp
1 tsp whole cloves
rosewater for soaking and diluting
1 c almonds
1 qt chicken broth
1/3 c rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ c peeled almonds cut into quarters[1]
½  c chopped dates
½ c pine kernels
1 ½ tsp saffron mashed and diluted in liquid
5 egg yolks (optional)


Garnish:

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Preparation

The night before:
            soak raisins in water for 5 hours
            soak cinnamon, ginger (skin removed) and cloves whole in rosewater overnight


Blanch and peel almonds if goat milk is not available, which is better. In the former case, grind almonds in a food processor. Add chicken broth. Strain through a cloth into a saucepan and add flour little by little to avoid clumping and add sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly with a wooden spatula.
Truly Unique and Delicious
Photo by: Lord-Willliams

Grind the spices in the rosewater in a mortar or food processor. Add them to the pudding.

When half-cooked set aside. Quarter peeled almonds and gently fry them in a little olive oil. Add pine kernels. When toasted remove from heat and wrap in paper towels to remove the excess olive all.

Quarter the dates. Mix them together with the pine kernels and slivered almonds and add them to the pot. Mash saffron well and dilute it in liquid. Add this to the pot making the dish colorful. It should be as yellow as broom flowers. Add more mashed and diluted saffron if needed.

Cook for a while until thick. If serving this on a meat day, add beaten egg. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. If serving on a fish day, eggs are not added.

Garnish with sugar and cinnamon.



[1] As dates were not in season when the recipe was made, chopped prunes and dried apricots were used.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

GIGOTE WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR BOILED AND FRIED LAMB


Image from page 286 of "Wild oxen, sheep and 
goats of all lands, living and extinct" (1898)
Photo from: Internet Archive Book Images
OCast jigote, xigote. Eng gigot, 1. leg of lamb, veal or goat, etc. prepared for dinner. 2. slice, small piece. 3. minced meat or sausage. 4. a dish of chopped meat mixed with lard. 5. any dish with finely chopped ingredients.

As Geoffrey Chaucer in Canterbury Tales, Miguel Cervantes in Don Quijote commented on many popular medieval dishes particular to his country during his time. The title of the book alone makes one wonder if this is not a play on words for the work is a composite of the finely selected ingredients forming the Spanish character especially in the 16th C and prior periods.

[Cervantes. 1947; Chaucer. 1952; Delgado. 1985:115; Groundes-Peace.1971: 115; Martínez Montiño. 1974:24:26:33 etc; and OXF Eng Dict. 1989:VI:Follow:507-608]

ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD LAMB BREAST ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #34 OTRO COSTADO EXTRAORDINARIO, p. 32

Ingredients

A Dish Lamb Lovers Can't Resist
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 lb breast of lamb[1]
2 ½ qts vinegar
6 sprigs cilantro leaves
6 sprigs mint leaves
12 sprigs thyme
1 onion sliced
oil for frying
1 tbsp murri[2]

Garnish
1 tsp ground cloves

Preparation

Boil the lamb in vinegar until done. Remove it from the vinegar and let dry.

Heat a frying pan and fry the onion. Chop the leaves of the herbs and add ¼ c vinegar and ¼ c water. When the onion is translucent add the herb mixture. Simmer for a few minutes until the onion acquires the taste of the herbs. Remove these and put them in a serving bowl and cover so that they stay warm.

Add a little more oil to the frying pan if needed. Brown the lamb on all sides. Sprinkle with murri and ground cloves and carve it. This can be done in the oven.









[1] An arm was used.
[2] See blog titled almorí published August 25, 2011.

Monday, November 24, 2014

GIGORZA (OCast) WITH 4TH C RECIPE FOR MUSSELS

red zircon (Jacinth) ring with tsavorites
Photo from: Dr. Stefan Hammer 
Cast jacinto OCast gironça, gorgorça, gorgorza, MEng. jacinete, jacynet, jacnynth, Eng jacinth, hyacinth, a reddish-orange gem, a variety of zircon or other stones called the same and having the same color but defined as sub-species of topaz and garnet. It is not clear whether Avenzoar explained that wearing a jacinth ring brought success in litigations and won men the esteem of others for being a worthy man or not.

Villena stated that it was worn on the right ring or baby finger during meals. It is said that like diamonds it was worn to prevent death due to poisoning due to rotten in meat and blood. It was also claimed that jacinth warded of fever and dropsy. It disperses evil spirits and influences. It protects against plague and other epidemics. It aids digestion. See manos, comer con

[Alonso Luengo. 1994:44; Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:158; Ency Brit. 1998:6: Holderness: 183:1b; García Sánchez. 1992:150; and Villena/Calero. 2002:16:11a; and Villena/Navarro. 1879:18]


Jacinth rings must have been used by Christians to ward off food poisoning especially in mollucks. Their reputation was so bad that the Jewish and Islamic religions prohibit the consumption of mollusks to this day. 

Mussels a Summer Delight
Photo by: Lord-Williams
MUSSELS ANOTHER METHOD ADAPTED FROM APICIUS/FLOWER CH III:XX:2, p 89

Ingredients

2 lbs mussels
1 bottle white wine
1 tsp white pepper corns
6 sprigs fresh cilantro

Preparation

Wash mussels well and scrap off any debris with a knife. Put them in a pot with the other ingredients and bring to a boil. When the shells open, remove from heat and strain. 

They can be served warm or cold. Today lemon is squeezed over them just before serving but lemon does not appear in Roman culinary works.







Friday, November 21, 2014

GERARD DE CREMONA (1114-1187) WITH A 15TH C ALMOND MILK DISH FOR THE VERY WEAK

Toledo. Restuarant at
Hotel del Cardenal
(Former y the Translators School)
Photo by: jsjones 89
He was born in Lombardy. He learned Arabic in order to become a translator in the internationally famous Translators School of Toledo founded by Archbishop Raimundo, which existed between the 12th and 13th centuries. There, works were officially translated not only from Arabic but also from Hebrew and Greek into Latin.

Gerard joined the school in 1150 and spent most of his life in Toledo. His translations were numerous including astronomy, mathematics and medicine. Gerard’s medical translations were not only his best works but the most prolific. He translated at least twenty-one medical writings, among them Ibn S’na’s Canon, and numerous works by al-Rāzī. 

While Europe was in the dark ages, under the patronage of the early Abbasiyyah caliphs, pharmacists were formally separated from physicians. Al-Rāzī was one of the few pharmacists who added very valuable contributions to medicine, pharmacy and culinary art. In his  Mnafi' al-Aghthiyyah he emphasized general regulations for healthy living. He discussed breads, waters, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, and fishes. He explained in detail different species, methods of preparation, physical properties,  therapeutic action, and when they were useful and when not. He described the disadvantages of frequent consumption of wines leading to alcoholism, which he thought often causes many serious diseases as epilepsy, paralysis, senile tremor in older people, cirrhosis, hepatitis, mental disorders, visionary distortions, obesity, debility, and impotence.

Escribano
Photo from: Lamson Library
Gerard translated all of Avicenna’s works including Al-Qanun fi'l-Tibb (“The Canon of Medicine”) and Kitab Al-Shifa (Book of Healing), which recommends chicken broth as an excellent food and a medication. The former work was published around 1150. The latter is an immense medical encyclopedia of five volumes and over one million words on ancient and Muslim theories. 

As a result, Gerard’s translations had an immeasurable impact upon Latin medicine of the Middle Ages. Thanks to the advanced state of Islamic Medicine, many of Cremona’s translations became medieval texts in medical schools and still are highly regarded by the medical profession today.


[ES: “Abu’l ‘Ali al-Husayn.” Dec 24, 02; ES: Kaf. Oct 26, 14; and Metlitzki. 1977:36;]

ANOTHER ALMOND BASED DISH FOR VERY WEAK SICK PEOPLE ADAPTED FROM PEREZ’ TRANSLATION OF NOLA #96 OTRA ALEMENDRADA PARA DOLIENTES MUY DEBILITADOS, p 120


A Treat for the Healthy
as Well as the Ailing
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

½ lb blanched and peeled almonds
seeds from a melon (optional)
1 chicken breast
¼ c rosewater
¼ c sugar

Preparation

Roast or boil a chicken breast. Boil almonds and peel them. Put them in a food processor with melon seeds, if using them, and rosewater. Add the chicken breast and grind them with the rosewater[1]

Add chicken  broth. Mix well and strain the mixture though a metal strainer several times as the liquid is very thick. and finally through a cloth.

Add sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Serve warm or cold.



[1] The original recipe calls for mashing the almonds and chicken in a mortar and dipping the pestle in rosewater frequently while mashing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GELATINA WITH A 15TH C RECIPE FOR GELATIN

Beef Trotter
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast geladea, gelata, giladea, hiladea (fr. Cat), Nav geleas, Ar ŷeld (ice) OEng gely Eng gelatin, dry gelatin, jelly, isinglass. Gelatins called for in medieval Catalan cookery and in others recipes can have different uses. The first is the preservation of foods covered with jelled broth made from meats and/or antlers of male deer. They can also be made with fish bones and heads, which produce the same results as trotters. Further, gelatin was made with air bladders of sturgeon.


Gelatin also serves as decoration for various dishes, cutting it in pieces with various sizes or to cover foods and make them shiny. They can be colored with vegetables to give it a more showy presentation.


See adobo, aguasal and sal. [Aguilera. 2002:50; ES: Renfrow. Jun 16, 04; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:186; Nola. 1989:xxii-2; Pullar. 1970:92:247; Villena/Brown. 1984:170; and Villena/Calero. 2002:35b]


JELLY WHICH IS CALLED GELATIN ADAPTED FROM NOLA xxii-2 HILADEA QUE SE DICE GELATINA[1]

Ingredients

1 beef trotter
4 goat trotters
½ chicken
2 l dry white wine

spices: 1 tsp ginger peeled, 1 slice dried galingale , a cinnamon tube, 1 tsp white peppercorns, a few shavings of nutmeg, a few pieces of mace, a few grains of anise, 1 tsp saffron
Chicken in Jelly
Photo by: Lord-Williams


Garnish
bay leaves

Preparation

Cook trotters and chicken covered in wine and water. Add spices and let cook slowly.

The meat should be cooked in three hours. Remove the trotters and the chicken and let the broth cool. Cut the trotters in pieces and remove the bones and dice the chicken. Put them into a deep serving dish. Place bay leaves around the edges.


Heat the broth, bring it to a boil and let cook slowly. The impurities will rise to the surface. After ½ hour, filter this with a woolen cloth. The broth should be clear and clean. Pour it over the chicken and trotters until covered. It should take two or three hours to gel.



[1] See blog titled cuajar published September 25, 2013 for a different version of this recipe.
[2] The Medieval Spanish Chef’s addition.