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Monday, July 13, 2015

JEREZ WITH A DISH OF SIKBÂJ, A VINAGRETTE

A Bottle of Sherry with Sherry Glass
Today and Sherry Raisins
Photo by: Lord-Williams
OCast sheris, MCast xerez, Per. sherisch, Eng. sherry. The vines producing grapes used to make sherry reportedly were imported from Chiraz, Persia to Spain when Phoenicians were thought to have founded a colony at Jerez in 1,100 BC. Jerez was one of the first cities dominated by the Arabs following their invasion, beginning in 711. The Arabs gave the city the Persian name Sherisch and the name was applied to the wine. This was corrupted to Sheris and by 1053 it was spelled “Xerez” (pronounced Sheris).

In spite of the prohibition to drink alcoholic beverages, the Arabs did not dare destroy the grapevines for they found the raisins delicious. They, therefore, continued to cultivate the vineyards to add the raisins to salty or sweet dishes.

When the English started importing sherry, they kept the old spelling due to Al-Idrisi’s The Book of Roger and to insure proper pronunciation of the wine. By Shakespeare’s day, it was being spelled Sherris, which by the 19th C. at least became today’s sherry. In the 17th C Spanish several words beginning with “x” or the “sh” sound were changed to “j,” which in turn changed the Spanish town and drink to Jerez. See Idrisi, Al-.

[Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:326-327; Bolens. 1990:45; Clair. 1964:65; Espasa. 1988:28 2ª Parte:INT:2654-2664; GE de Andalusia. 1979:5:2144-2157; and González Gordon. 1970:12-13:58:75]

Cooking Mixture with Jerez Raisins in Vinegar
Photo by: Lord-Williams 
157.[1]A DISH OF SIKBÂJ, PRAISED FOR ITS NUTRITIVE VALUE ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF AL-ANDALUS #157. PLATO DE “SIKBĀŶ,” ALABADO POR LO NUTRITIVO, p 103

Ingredients

1 lb meat
1 c vinegar  and 1 c water [2]
 ½ c raisins
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp coriander
1 onion
1 tbsp cilantro
½ tsp salt
1 garlic clove
6 boiled egg yolks
½ c breadcrums

Preparation

A Delicate Dish
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Dice meat from any animal. Put it in a pot. Cover with vinegar. Add raisins. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. When half cooked (after about 10 minutes) add pepper, coriander, onion mashed in a food grinder with cilantro, salt and a garlic clove. Continue cooking until the meat is tender (about 10 minutes more).

Remove from heat and strain off the broth. Boil eggs in water. When done, remove shells and whites. Put the yolks in a food processor with flat bread and the broth. Make a paste.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 410ºF/210ºC

Mix the paste with the meat and onions. Grease a pie tin with olive oil and dust with flour. Add the paste mixture.  Stir until well mixed. Let sit. Turn it out onto a serving plate.




[1] Perry’s document explains: ‘[67]According to al-Shaquri this is called "al-mukhallal"--"vinaigrette"--in al-Andalus. Al-Bagdadi, p.9, gives a recipe and Rodinson cites it in his "Recherches," pp. 134 and 137. (HM)’
[2] The author personally found covering the meat with 2 c vinegar  too strong and recommends 1 c vinegar to 1 c water.


ANÓN AL ANDALUS
#157. PLATO DE “SIKBĀŶ,” ALABADO POR LO NUTRITIVO, p 103AMBROSIO HUICI’S TRANSLATION
FROM HISPANO ÁRABE TO CASTILLAN
Se toma carne joven, se corta y se pone en una olla y se le echa de vinagre lo que la curva, se ponen con ella pasas, en el grado que se quiera de acidez y se hierve con ellas; luego se le echa pimienta, cilantro seco en la cantidad necesaria, cebolla majada con cilantro verde, sal y un diente de ajo; se cuece hasta que esté en su punto; luego se toman yemas de huevo hervidas y se rallan con trozos escogidos de pan limpio empapado y se llena con ello la olla, se deja hasta que esté bueno, se verte y se presenta.

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