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Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Clarified Lard
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Bie manteiga, Heb Sp mantéka, 
Eng animal fat, lard, pork fat melted for clarified lard, butter. Lard is clarified by cutting the fat into thin slices. These are placed in earthenware jars, which in turn are put into a long shallow pan of water. This is boiled until the fat dissolves. It is then filtered into storage jars, which are tightly sealed.

It was first mentioned in Mozarabic texts of 12 C. but it is assumed that it came from slaughtered livestock in general (excluding pork) for lack of olive groves prior to that time. In Léon, clarified fat is called butter if it is from a cow. It was so well known that even Nola called for it in a fritter.

As milk and eggs, lard was strictly prohibited by the Christian church in the Middle Ages during Lent and some other fast days. If a dispensation was issued by the Church, butter could be
permissible during Lent. Nola’s recipe Grey Mullet Caserole, therefore, is a mystery as he calls for lard when preparing a Lenten day meal. Normally the cook would use olive or another type of oil for such meals during fasting seasons. 

[ES: Carroll-Mann.Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 140:glos; ES: “Gastronomia.” May 2, 03; García Rey. 1934:108; Nola. 1989:xlvii-2:xlvii-3:xlvii-4 etc; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:45; Serradilla. 1993:69; and Trapiello. 1994:140]


Frying Fritters in Lard
Photo by: Lord-Williams

1 c goat milk
1 c almond milk
5 c self-raising flour
1 tbsp rosewater
¼ sugar
2 raw egg yolks
⅓ c hazelnuts
⅓ c pine nuts
4 yolks of hard boiled eggs
4 whole eggs
¼ c sugar
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger scrapings
lard for frying

¼ c rosewater
¼ c honey
1 tbsp sugar
1tsp cinnamon


Drizzling Fritters with Honey
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Combine goat’s milk and almond milk. Add flour little by little. Add rosewater, sugar and egg yolks. Mix well to form a paste that is neither soft nor hard. Make little cakes.

Grind hazelnuts and pine kernels with yolks from hard boiled eggs. Add raw eggs and blend them into the nut mixture until neither thin nor thick. Add sugar, rosewater, cinnamon and ginger. Blend this mixture with the milk and flour paste. Let rise 2 hours  or overnight.

Make small cakes. Heat lard with fresh melted pork fat in a copper or bronze pan. When hot fry the cakes. When done 
remove them with a skimmer and put them on a platter.  Sprinkle with rosewater and drizzle 
with honey; when ready to serve sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

[1] Carroll-Mann relates that Leimgruber claims that this is an adaptation of the Italian word ravioli. This is documented in Italy from the 14th Century. The English Forme of Cury
calls them rauioles. These were normally filled with cheese, making Nola’s recipe unique as there is no cheese in the ingredients. As ravioli was homemade until recently, it did not necessarily have to be squared and the stuffing was up to the cook.

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