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Monday, November 21, 2016


Coccyx of a Chicken
Photo by: Lord-Williaams
1. coccyx of fowl, see rabadilla de las aves. 2. a big black pudding. It consists of a large blood sausage made at the time of the slaughter. It consists of coagulated blood from a pig, sheep o cow. It is mixed with fat, rice or onions and spices. It can be eaten raw or coasted. It is a typical breakfast item in England where it the sausage contains oats and barley instead of onions or rice.  3. boy-bishop, little bishop. [Nola/Iranzo. 1982:170]



A Beautiful Beast
Photo by: Lord-Williams
For Stuffing:
1 chicken deboned
entails from two chickens
10 hard boiled egg yolks
salt to taste
spices such as 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, ½tsp nutmeg
½ pepper
3 tbsp olive oil (not needed today)

1 whole chicken

6 egg yolks
rue or other herb
powdered spices

Debone chicken and grind. Add entails and hard boiled egg yolks. Mix with salt, spices, pepper and oil.

Select a very large chicken and stuff with the ground chicke mixture.


Delicious Sliced Chicken & Stuffing
Decorated with Egg Yolks and
Garnished with Thyme
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Roast chicken for 45 minutes or until browned on the top side. Turn and roast upside down 30 minutes or until browned.

Turn top side up and dot with raw egg yolks. Turn off heat and let sit until yolks are set.

Remove from the oven and carve. Garnish with cooked egg yolks, herbs and spices.



Friday, November 18, 2016


Otter (Lutra lutra) Captive
Photo from: Fly~catcher

L. Lutra lutra OE otor, Eng. Eurasian otter. With the exception of Australia and the Antarctica, the otter has lived everywhere else in the world during the last 30 million years. Of the 13 species still surviving, the most common in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia is the Eurasian otters. In general, they reside around streams, rivers and lakes in holts, a type of den with a private entrance into the water. As natives of Great Britain, they live in fresh and salt water on the coasts of Scotland and in freshwater pools in the Shetlands.

Before water pollution reached its height in Spain, they inhabited areas adjacent to streams in the Catalonia, Aragon, Basque Country, Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa, Asturias, Galicia, León, Castile, Estremadura, western Andalusia, Almeria and Murcia.

Baby Otter
Photo from: Hermes Rios
Otters have been noted to be the first ecologists as they will not go near any polluted water. They are semi-aquatic carnivorous mammals with milk glands. They are unique, being the only marine mammals with waterproof fur on top and an undercoat providing insulation instead of blubber. The coats are a glossy chestnut brown on the back with a white patch on the throat, in many cases, and lighter underneath.  When the otter dives underwater, the ears and nostrils are closed off and are concealed almost completely by the coat. Their whiskers are sensing organs that monitor the movements of their prey. Their appendages enhance their swimming ability such as webbed feet with five toes and small claws and a rudder-like tail almost two feet long that is used for propulsion in the water. On land, they use rocks to pry open mollusks shells. They are about three feet long and weigh no more than 35 lbs.

They rest in their holts during the day. At dusk, these nocturnal animals start to become active. They are solitary, except during mating season, which can be any time of year. Gestation takes a little over two months after which two or three blind babies, covered with gray or dark downy fur are born. They open their eyes a little after a month and continue living in a nest made of weeds or straw and nurse for a total of two to three months. They live as a family for about a year. Adulthood is reached between two and three years. Their lifespan is some 10-14 years.

Otter holt
Photo from: Stuart Brabbs
Otters eat fowl, particularly water birds, and invertebrates, especially fresh water crayfish, fish, frogs and occasionally insects. Not only do otters appear to be brighter than their cousins, the badgers, minks, ferrets and weasels, they are among the most playful animals. In the 13th C St. Albert the Great noted their capacity to play. They love sliding through the snow and down muddy banks like children. From time immemorial until the 1970’s when the otter began to run the risk of extinction, man has hunted them for their fur and meat. See untos. [ES: BBC. Jan 03; ES: Cuéllar. Nov 1, 99; ES: Euasisan Otter. Sep 21, 01; ES: Otternet. May 17, 03; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:139; and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b]

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

NUEZ (literally any nut but not so in Spanish) WITH 14TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR MEAT PIE

Photo by: Lord-Williams
 L. Juglans, Ar. jawz, jauziyya, Fr. noix, Eng walnut.

1. At one point it was called Jovis glans, Jupiter’s nuts, as it was thought that gods lived on them. The Persians ground walnuts into powder and used them as a thickener in stews and sauces. In the 10th C. walnut oil produced by the nuts was used in cooking. Although uncommon, this practice has continued. Besides eating walnuts raw, they can be baked and candied.

The Archpriest of Hita not only ate them raw but drank a walnut liquor or electuary. The Anón Al-Andalus includes walnuts in turnip, meat and chicken dishes. There is a recipe for a walnut paste and walnut

Avenzoar claimed walnuts are hot and dry; they provoke nausea and soften the abdomen. If abused, they make one deaf and dumb. The taste is very agreeable and they can be eaten alone, fresh or dry, or with figs, sugar and rose jam. Eaten with rose jam brings excellent results, although they are not recommended for youths or those with a hot nature, especially in summer; nevertheless, they are permitted for the elderly and in cold seasons for they are barely harmful for anyone.

Further, as a medicinal herb, young leaves were placed in white wine to remove worms from the stomach when imbibed. Older leaves were thought to cause bad headaches and cholera. Eaten with honey, salt and onions they were consumed to relieve dog bites and poisonous bites. The leaves boiled with honey proved to be a good gargle for a sore mouth, throat, stomach ulcers and internal inflammations.

The bark, dried and powdered, was used as a purgative. During the era of fainting women, the root and bark were taken to prevent swooning, gout, flatulent colic, hysteria in women and jaundice. Avenzoar recommended rubbing on the body with walnut oil to alleviate pain caused by cold. Externally it was applied to skin ailments as eczema, smallpox, varicose veins, herpes, scrofulous infections, gangrene and leprosy. Nursing women used it to relieve soreness of the nibbles.

Filling Turnover Dough
Photo by: Lord-Williams
William Coles, a 17 C. English doctor, likened the nut to the human brain and to comfort headaches prescribed dipping the nut in wine and laying it on the top of the head.
Covarrubias claimed that it ‘takes away and corrects bad breath, clarifies the sight, comforts the stomach, digests the meal, expels the gases and diminishes spots on the face, fortifies the liver, softens abscesses and hardness in the spleen, provokes urine and restricts the stomach, it is dry in the second degree’.

Walnuts are used also in soap, furniture polish and in the preparation of paints for artists and lamp oil. Leaves from walnut trees were kept in the home as a flea and fly repellent. They were put in cupboards and closets to keep the moths away.

2. nuégado, L. nux, nucis, (Cast. nuez, Eng walnut), Eng. honey nut bread, dough baked in the oven made of flour, honey and walnuts. Pinenuts, almonds, hazelnuts or hempseeds can be used instead.
[Anón/Huici.1966:277:160:303:170:434:239-240 etc; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:302; Covarrubias; 1998:832:a15; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:27; Ency Brit . 1998:12:Trudeau:475:3a:19:Excretion:135:2b; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:77; Macura. 1979:5777; Ruíz/Brey. 1962: 1273a: :198:1334b; and Sas. 1976:434]

Meat Pie 
Photo by: Lord-Williams


1 lb meat finely chopped 2 raw eggs[2]
2 small onions
spices such as 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg
salt taste
2 tbsp oil
½ c raisins
2 tbsp vinegar
¼ lb turnips
½ chopped walnuts[3]
½ tsp saffron mashed and dissolved in water
3-4 hardboiled eggs
dough for pie or about 24 turnovers
olive oil if frying turnovers


Chop meat. Put it in a pot with 2 raw eggs, onions sliced, spices, salt and oil. Put raisins into a food processor. Pour vinegar over this and grind. Pour this over the mixture in the pot. Cook until almost done. Add enough water to moisten.

Dice turnips and add them to the pot with pine kernels and saffron.


Meat Turnovers Fresh from the Frying Pan
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Grease and flour a pie dish. Line it with dough.  Sprinkle with raw chickpeas. Bake 15 minutes. When slightly browned, remove from heat and discard chickpeas.

Remove from the meat mixture from heat.
If making a pie: pour it into the pie shell. Slice hardboiled eggs and arrange them over the top of the pie like apple slices. Cover this with dough. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

If making turnovers: Place a spoonful of meat mixture on each turnover. Put one slice of hard boiled egg on the meat mixture.

Paint the edges of the turnovers with raw slightly beaten egg. Close the turnover, dividing it in half. Paint the outer edges of the turnover with raw egg. Press down the edges with a fork or the handle of a spoon. Prick the dough with a fork.[4]

Heat plenty of oil in a frying pan and fry the turnovers until golden brown. Serve immediately.

[1] This can be interpreted to mean pie or turnovers. In the latter case they can be baked or fried in olive oil.
[2] 4 raw eggs if making turnovers.
[3] Huici calls for pinillo, which is Ajuga chamaepitys, popularly known as yellow bugle or ground-pine. It is assumed that this is a typographical error and that Huici means piñones
 (pine kernels), which seems to indicate that nuts in Arabic, like in English, can mean any kind of nuts. Because of the Spanish translation of the title ". . . nueces," walnuts were used instead of pine kernels. Walnuts were used by the Medieval Spanish Chef instead of pine kernels.
[4] The turnovers and pie can be refrigerated or frozen until ready to eat.


Monday, November 14, 2016


With Ziryab Came the First Euopean
Crystal Factory outside Cordova
Photo by: Pedro Pablo Montero
New-Classical Al-Andalus Cuisine. At first it was greatly influenced by Damascus and Baghdad but the majority was based on Mozarab and Muladi recipes passed drown from Roman traditional cuisine. This was combined with some Muslim techniques, Sephardi influence and that of invaders from Maghreb, who also were affected by the Romans and  Greek-Persian-Indus style brought by them and the cuisine which resulted from adopting dishes in accordance with the seasons.

Hippocrates, Galen and Dioscorides, the Ancient Greek Philosophers, were thoroughly studied by the Islamic court in Al-Andalus for their medical knowledge concerning nutrition. In the beginning of the 9th C, Ziryab brought culinary art from Persia, which was adapted. This made Al-Andalus the first  territory to have refined cuisine in Europe consisting of etiquette at the table, a tablecloth and a professional staff, trained through apprenticeship, which was the equivalent of today’s hotel management schools.

Meat Chopped in a Mortar
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Nutritional customs of the Muslims progressed from the beginning of the 7th C but during Ziryab’s time,
Mesue provided more nutritional knowledge that society needed to know concerning balanced diets. This was expanded by Rhazes in the 10th C and later by Avicenna, Averroes and Maimonides and Cordovan natives, during the 11th and 12th C and in the 14th C by Isaac Israeli in Toledo and others. As demonstrated by recipes found the 13th C manuscripts: Fadālat Al-Jawān (Delights of the Table) by Ibn Razīn and Anón Al-Andalus, Al-Andalus cookery was characterized by originality and creativeness.

See Averroes, Avicena, Dioscorides, Galeno, Hippocrates, Ibn Razīn, Israeli, Maimonides, Mesue, Razes and Ziryab.  

[Anón/Huici. 66; Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:11-15:20:22; 
Lord-Williams Susan. Culinary Abundance. Mar 4, 08; and Lord. Cocina. 06]



An A-Andalus Patty
Waiting a Sauce of the Chef's Choice
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 lb ground beef
3 ½ oz sour dough
1 large egg
salt to taste
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground and dissolved saffron
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seed
oil for frying


Grind red meat. Mix sour dough dissolved in egg.  Season with salt, pepper, saffron, cumin, and coriander seed. Knead well.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan. When the oil begins to boil, dip a meat patty, as big as a serving spoon, into the oil in order for it to form a thin cake. Repeat until all the mixture is fried.

Make a sauce[2].

[1] This recipe is a famous example of how Indian spices were adapted in Western Europe.
[2] No recipe is provided.