Tag Archives: historic cooking

Recipes Associated with an English Summer

Another post from our guest blogger THL Johnnae llyn Lewis, CE

Now welcome, somer, with thy sonne softe,
Chaucer. The Parliament of Fowls. c. 1381

Among the oft-repeated instructions for carving and serving of various dishes and meats, Wynkyn de Worde’s The Boke of Keruynge (Book of Carving) of 1508 contains suggested menus, which divide the season of Summer into two parts. The first part is from the Feast of Pentecost until Midsummer with the second being from Midsummer to Michaelmas. For those us living in the 21st century who commonly think of Summer as the season between Memorial Day to Labor Day or more formally the days between the Summer Solstice to the Autumnal Equinox (or quite frankly those days between the end of the school year to the start of the school year), it might seem odd to think of Midsummer as being a specific date, but it is and was. Midsummer is also known as St. John’s Day, celebrating the nativity and feast day of St. John the Baptist. The solstice may vary between June 20th and
2 book of hours 141, seasonal activitiesJune 22nd. St John’s Day is June 24th with St. John’s Eve being June 23rd. So yes, Midsummer occurs just a few days after the Summer solstice! By tradition Midsummer was a time of revelry and bonfires. Shakespeare even has Olivia in the play Twelfth Night say, “Why, this is very midsummer madness,” knowing his audience would be well aware of the merriment of a Midsummer eve and day.

Among the foods for late Spring until early Summer mentioned in the 1513 edition of The Boke of Keruynge, we find “befe, motton, capons” (which might be sodden or rosted), “Iussell charlet or mortrus with yonge geese, vele, porke, pygyons or chekyns rosted with payne puffe. …Here endeth the feest from Pentecost to mydsomer.” The suggested foods for “the feest of saynt Iohn̄ the baptyst vnto Myghelmasse” include

“ potage, wortes, gruell, & fourmenty with venyson and mortrus and pestelles of porke with grene sauce.” Then follows: “Rosted capon, swanne with chawdron.” There follows “ potage,” “rosted motton, vele, porke,” and a selection of fowl, including “chekyns or endoured pygyons, heron.” Then come the “fruyters or other bake metes.”

The Boke of Keruynge. [London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1508, 1513.]

This advice regarding serving and carving of various foods along with the menus given in The Boke of Keruynge would be repeated in later cookery English books well into the late 17th century. Thomas Dawson in the late 16th century would repeat the same advice in The Second Part of the Good Hus-wiues Iewell. Dawson also includes this “goodlye” recipe which mentions summer.

A goodlye secret for to condite or confite Orenges, citrons, and all other fruites in sirrop.

 Take Cytrons and cut them in peeces, taking out of them the iuice or substance, then boyle them in freshe water halfe an hower vntill they be tender, and when you take them out, cast thē in colde water, leaue them there a good while, thē set them on the fire againe in other freshe water, doo but heat it a little with a smal fire, for it must not seeth, but let it simper a litle, continue thus eight daies together heating thē euery day in hot water: some heat ye water but one day, to the end that the citrons be not too tender, but change

the freshe water at night to take out the bitternesse of the pilles, the which being taken away, you must take suger or Hony clarified, wherein you must the citrons put, hauing first wel dried them from the water, & in wīter you must kéep thē from the frost, & in Sommer you shal leaue thē there all night, and a daye and a night in Honie, then boile the Honie or Sugar by it selfe without the orenges or Citrons by the space of halfe an hower or lesse with a little fire, and beeing colde set it again to the fire with the Citrons, continuing so two morninges: if you wil put Honnie in water and not suger, you must clarifie it two times, and straine it through a strayner: hauing thus warmed and clarified it you shall straine and sette it againe to the fire, with Citrons onely, making them to boyle with a soft fire the space of a quarter of an houre, thē take it from the fire & let it rest at euery time you do it, a day & a night: the next morning you shall boyle it again together the space of half an how¦er, and doo so two morninges, to the end that the Honie or suger may be well incorporated with the Citrons. All the cunning consisteth in the boyling of this sirrope together with the Citrons, and also the Sirrope by it selfe, and heerein heede must be taken that it take not ye smoke, so that it sauour not of the fire: In this maner may be drest the Peaches, or Lemmons Orrenges, Apples, greene Walnuts, and other liste being boiled more or lesse, according to the nature of the fruits.

Dawson, Thomas. The Second Part of the Good Hus-wiues Iewell. London: 1597.

Also printed in the 1590s was The Good Huswiues Handmaid, for Cookerie in her Kitchin in dressing all maner of meat, with other wholsom diet, for her & her houshold. &c. This work offers a recipe for summer chicken pies.

To bake chickins in Summer.

CVt off their feete, trusse them in the coffins. Then take for euerie Chicken a good handfull of Gooseberries, and put into the pie with the Chickens. Then take a good quantity of butter, and put about euerie chicken in the pie. Then take a good quantitie of Sinamon, and ginger, and put it in the pie with salt and let them bake an houre, when they be baked, take for euerie pie the yolke of an eg, and halfe a goblet full of vergious and a good quantie of sugar, and put them altogether into the pie to the chickens, and so serue them. Page 20

Contrast with

To bake chickens in winter.

CVt of their feete, and trusse them, and put them in the pies, take to euerie pie a certaine of Corrans or Prunes, and put them in the pie with the Chickens. Then take a good quantity of Butter to euerie chicken, and put in the pie: then take a good quantity of ginger, and salt and season them together, & put them in the pie, let it bake the space of an houre & a half, whē they be baken, take sauce as is afore said, and so serue them in. Page 20

The Good Huswiues Handmaid also includes this recipe for a manchet, which notes differences between summer and winter baking.

The making of manchets after my Ladie Graies way.

Take two pecks of fine flower, which must be twise boulted, if you will haue your manchet very faire: Then lay it in a place where ye doe vse to lay your dowe for your bread, and make a litle hole in it, and take a quart of fair water blood warme, and put in that water as much leauen as a crab, or a pretie big apple, and as much white salt as will into an Egshell, and all to breake your leuen in the water, and put into your flower halfe a pinte of good ale yest, and so stir this liquor among a litle of your flower, so that ye must make it but thin at the first meeting, and then couer it with flower, and if it be in the winter, ye must keep it very warm and in summer it shall not need so much heate, for in the Winter it will not rise without warmeth. Thus let it lie two howers and a halfe: then at the second opening take more liquor as ye thinke will serue to wet al the flower. Then put in a pinte and a halfe of good yest and so all to breake it in short peeces, after yee haue well laboured it, and wrought it fiue or sixe tymes, so that yee bee sure it is throughlie mingled together, so continue labouring it, til it come to a smooth paste, and be well ware at the second opening that ye put not in too much liquor sodenlie, for then it wil run & if yee take a litle it wil be stiffe, and after the second working it must lie a good quarter of an houre, and kéep it warme: then take it vp to the moulding board, and with as much spéede as is possible to be made, mould it vp, and set it into the ouen, of one pecke of flower ye may make ten cast of Manchets faire and good. Page 51-52.

The good Huswiues Handmaid. [Sometimes cited as: A Booke of Cookerie, otherwise called the good huswiues handmaid.] [London] : [E. Allde, 1597]

The 1598 Epulario, or The Italian Banquet also includes a few recipes which mention Summer. Here we find a recipe for a sweetmeate and a recipe for the color blue.

To make a kind of Leach.

Take the yolkes of foure egges, halfe an ounce of Sinamon, foure ounces of Sugar, two ounces of Rosewater, and foure ounces of the iuice of Orenges, beate all these thinges together, and boile them and make it somewhat yellow, this is common in summer time.

 To make a skie colour sauce in summer.

Take wild mulberies which grow in the Hedges, and a few stamped Almonds with a little Ginger, temper all this with Veriuice and straine it.

 Epulario, or The Italian banquet. London: 1598.

Likewise, John Partridge offers up a seasonal recipe for a rose vinegar.

To make Uineger of Roses. Chapter. viii.

IN Sommer time when Roses blowe, gather them ere they be full spred or blowne out, and in dry wether: plucke the leaues, let them lye halfe a day vpon a fayre borde, then haue a vessel with Uineger of one or two gallons (if you wyll make so much roset,) put therein a great quantity of the sayd leaues, stop the vessell close after that you haue styrred them wel together, let it stand a day and a night, then deuide your Uineger & Rose leaues together in two parts put the in two great Glasses & put in Rose leaues ynoughe, stop the Glasses close, set them vpon a Shelfe vnder a wall syde, on the Southside wtout your house where the Sonne may come to them the most parte of the daye, let them stande there all the whole Somer longe: and then strayne the vineger from the Roses, and keepe the vinegre. If you shall once in .x. dayes, take and strain out Rose leaues, and put in newe leaues of halfe a dayes gatheryng, the vyneger wyll haue the more flauor and odour of the Rose.

You may vse in steede of Uinegre, wyne: that it may wexe eygre, and receiue ye vertue of the Roses, both at once. Moreouer, you may make your vineger of wine white, red, or claret, but the red doth most binde the bellie, & white doth most lose. Also the Damaske Rose is not so great a binder as the red Rose, and the white Rose loose th most of all: wereof you may make vinegre roset.

Thus also, you may make Uinegre of Uiolets, or of Elder flowers: but you must first gather & vse your flowers of Eldern, as shalbe shewed hereafter, when we speake of makyng Conserue of Elderne flowers.

Partridge, John. The Treasurie of commodious Conceits.1573**

 Although his works are published in the early 1600s, the author John Murrell is worth mentioning because this work distinctly mentions “Summer” on the work’s actual title page. It reads:

  “A NEVV BOOK OF COOKERIE.

Wherein is set forth a most perfect direction to furnish an extraordinary, or ordinary-feast, either in Summer or Winter.”

 Then on page one, we are told:

 “BY reason of the generall ignorance of most men in this practise of Catering. I haue set downe here a perfect direction how to set forth an extraordinary Dyet for the Summerseason, when these things mentioned may easily be had.”

Page 2 promises:

“Also, another Direction for another seruice for the Winter season, of twenty Dishes to the first Messe, and as many to the second Course to the same messe: so that in al there be forty Dishes to the messe although it be contrary to the other seruice of the  Summer season.”

 He then provides this bill of fare, which would indeed provide an extraordinary meal:

 “A Bill of service for an extraordinary Feast for Summer season, 50. dishes to a Messe.

  • A Grand Sallet. 2 A boyld Capon. 3 A boyld Pike. 4 A dish of boyld Pea-chickens, or Partriges, or young Turky chicks. 5 A boyld Breame. 6 A dish of young Wild-ducks. 7 A dish of boyld Quailes. 8 A Florentine of Pufpaste. 9 A forc’d boild meat. 10 A hansh of Venison roasted. 11 A Lombar Pye. 12 A Swan. 13 A Fawne or Kid, with a Pudding in his belly, or for want of a Fawne you may take a Pigge and fley it. 14 A Pasty of Venison. 15 A Bustard. 16 A Chicken Pye. 17 A Pheasant or Powtes. 18 A Potato Pye. 19 A Couple of Caponets. 20 A set Custard.

The second Course.

  • A Quarter of a Kid. 2 A boyld Carpe. 3 A Heron or Bitter. 4 A Congers head broyled, or Trouts. 5 A Hartichoake pie. 6 A dish of Ruffs or Godwits. 7 A cold bak’d meate. 8 A sowst pigge. 9 A Gull. 10 A cold bak’d meat. 11 A sowst pike, Breame, or Carp. 12 A dish of partriges. 13 An Orengado pye. 14 A dish of Quailes. 15 A cold bak’d meate. 16 A fresh Salmon, pearch or Mullet. 17 A Quodling Tart, Cherry, or Goosebery Tart. 18 A dryed Neates-tongue. 19 A Iole of Sturgeon. 20 A sucket Tart of pufpaste.

The third Course for the same Messe.

1 A Dish of Pewets. 2 A Dish of Pearches. 3 A dish of gréen Pease, if they be dainty. 4 Dish of Dotrels. 5 A dish of Hartichoakes. 6 A dish of buttered Crabs. 7 A dish of Prawnes. 8 A dish of Lobstars. 9 A dish of Anchoues. 10 A dish of pickled Oysters.

Murrell, John. Murrels tvvo books of cookerie and carving. (This combined late edition is dated 1641.)

Lastly, a search through the early English cookery books printed prior to 1700 finds that the work with the most recipes mentioning the season of Summer appears to be Robert May’s 1660 classic cookery book The Accomplisht Cook, or The Art and Mystery of Cookery. May, who was born in 1588, includes recipes for alternative summer versions of recipes for pigeons, fillet of beef, mutton, veal, sturgeon, lobsters, bisk or Battalia pie, and “Paste for made dishes in summer.” I will end by mentioning the 1608 The Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen***. The work may not directly mention the season of Summer, but the work is worth examining for its numerous recipes for confections, pastes, and waters made of flowers and herbs, all suitable for summer feasts and banquets. Happy Summer, Everyone.

Sources are as indicated.

For more on Robert May, see:

Holloway, Johnna. “An Appreciation of Robert May.” Tournaments Illuminated. #188. 4th quarter. 2013. pp 25-27, 32.

** Partridge, John. The Treasurie of commodious Conceits of 1573 may be found online in a transcription © 2010 by Johnna Holloway. Web. Medieval Cookery.com. http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/treasurie.pdf

***The Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen of 1608 may be found online in an edited and annotated edition © 2011 by Johnna Holloway. Web. Medieval Cookery.com. http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/1608closet.pdf

©Holloway 2015, 2018.

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Carrots and Leeks with Sesame Paste

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This is a nice veggie side dish for the summer months that has a cole slaw type flavor. The tahini gives it a nice nutty flavor, and the carrots have a real natural sweetness that makes this a great dish to eat on a warm day. This uses a unique spice mixture called Atraf-tib, which I created using this website as a basis of what the mix should be: http://dream-designs.net/roxalana/?cat=155

The idea of the spice mixture is use what you have. I used bay leaves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves, ginger and long pepper. What I ended up doing was mixing 4 parts of ginger powder to 1 part of all the other dry ingredients. This gave me a sweeter spice. I blended all dry ingredients into a food mill and really ground down this mixture. You can play with the different ingredients that are listed on the site, adding lavender, rose, and other items. I was fairly light handed on using this in the dish as well. It’s a unique flavoring that gives the dish a very floral freshness. If you don’t want to add this, you do not have to either. The dish stands on its own.

This is on page 66: “Get some carrots, the white part of leeks, sesame butter [tahini], wine vinegar and atraf-tib. Slice the carrots and boil them. Take the [green] tops of the leeks and boil them separately, then drain them and soften them in sesame oil. Put the tahina in a dish, sprinkle it with boiling water, and mix it by hand so that the sesame oil can express itself; then add little vinegar, honey, and some atraf-tib. Put the drained carrots and leeks in a serving dish and add the tahini. You must do [this] in such a way that the quantity of carrots and leeks suits that of the condiments.

Carrots and Leeks with Sesame Paste

½ lbs. Leeks, cleaned, washed, thinly sliced
½ lbs. Carrots, skinned and sliced thinly
1/8 tsp Atraf-tib
1 tbsp. tahina
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt for the boiling water

Clean and slice vegetables, cutting them so the slices are uniform, both vegetables should have the same sized pieces. Put together two cook pans, adding water and some salt (around a tbsp.) to both, and bring to boil. In one boiling pot, add the cut carrots and blanch them. In the other pot, add the leeks to blanch. You want to try to keep a bit of a bite on the vegetables. Make sure when you pull the vegetables out of the water that they go immediately into an ice bath to stop them overcooking. Drain vegetables and add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine. Serves 6.

Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World by Lilia Zaouali (ISBN: 978-0-520-26174-7) was used for this redaction. Recipes from the book with the donation of K, for Kanz (the original Kanz al-Fawaid fi tanwi al-mawaid which was “The Treasure of Useful Advice for the Composition of a Varied Table”) were used.

Kanz: The Period Eggplant Dip

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Another from Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World by Lilia Zaouali (ISBN: 978-0-520-26174-7). Recipes from the book with the donation of K, for Kanz (the original Kanz al-Fawaid fi tanwi al-mawaid which was “The Treasure of Useful Advice for the Composition of a Varied Table”) were used.

Middle Eastern/Egyptian recipes have numerous examples of vegetable focused dishes. This is a good thing, especially when cooking for vegetarians and those people that wish to eat healthier over all. I’ve noticed over the years that many feasts and luncheons served within the Society for Creative Anachronism are very meat heavy. Perhaps there is pressure to create beef and chicken type dishes that are more accessible to the membership that isn’t too “scary” (i.e. different than what most people are used to). I do admit to having at least two somewhat familiar dishes when I am cooking for the non-adventurous eaters within my Barony and Kingdom, but I always try to throw some sort of culinary curve ball, and I’ve found vegetable dishes to be a great item to have people at least try with normally fairly good results.

Here is a great vegetable side dish that works well as a sauce or a dip. It is fairly similar to the modern baba ghannouj (which has tahini). This was on page 66: “Cut the eggplant into small pieces; put them in a jar for cooking [dast] together with whole cleaned onion. Add some sesame oil and oil of good quality and a little water. Reduce over a slow fire. When the ingredients are cooked, put them through a sieve and combine with a very small clove of garlic, yogurt, and chopped parsley.

Puree of Eggplant with Yogurt

1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
½ brown onion, chopped
¼ cup water
1 small clove of garlic, minced into a paste
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup plain yogurt (I used Greek style0
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauté diced eggplant and onions into a large cook pot using both oils and water. Reduce over a low fire until it is fully cooked and softened. Place in blender mixture until smooth and pureed.   Use cheese cloth and drain the eggplant onion mixture on it, removing as much of the water as possible. Place in bowl and mix thoroughly garlic, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6.

Kanz – Egyptian Flair for the medieval kitchen

 photo c704b532-8825-49d9-a817-39e061a6ba41_zpsjpzgombp.jpg

Every year I try to do one major luncheon or large “meal” as it forces me to redact a bunch of new historical recipes. This year, I am doing a luncheon for the local “chapter” of the Society for Creative Anachronism (www.sca.org). My “Barony” is doing an Egyptian/Roman themed event, so I decided to try to find some Egyptian recipes since I hadn’t really done any Middle Eastern cooking myself. I figured this would make a really good change and challenge.
Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya has been very kind to point me in the correct direction of where to look. I own a number of Middle Eastern cookbooks, but I wasn’t sure which ones would be closer to Egypt rather than more of what is typical to Middle Eastern cuisine.
The book I used for these recipes is Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World by Lilia Zaouali (ISBN: 978-0-520-26174-7). I looked over all the recipes with the donation of K, for Kanz (the original Kanz al-Fawaid fi tanwi al-mawaid which was “The Treasure of Useful Advice for the Composition of a Varied Table”).
First recipe is Fried Meatballs, which was from page 87 of the text. The original said to boil until halfway cooked, and then fry. We tried frying all the way and boiling, and really there wasn’t much of a flavor difference. Probably best to bake these if you are doing a large batch of them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or until done, depending on the size of the meatball and your oven.

The original just says “meat” and not the type of meat. I chose ground beef as this was one of the cheaper meats that were ground up. Also, the original recipe calls for the onion to be roasted. Because of time limits, we sautéed the onions in a pan of olive oil, but if you wanted to roast the onion, feel free to do so.

Fried Meatballs

1 lbs. Ground Beef, 15-20% fat is good
1/8 tsp Long Pepper, ground fine
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp. Dry Coriander, ground fine
½ cup Fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped fine
1 large Brown Onion, chopped fine
Olive oil to cook

Take chopped onions and sauté in a hot pan with olive oil. Cook those until they caramelize. Once completed allow to cool, then put in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly mixed together. Roll into balls. I made them smaller (maybe an inch in diameter) for faster cook times. Place olive oil in a pan to heat up until hot. Add meatballs into pan to brown and cook thru, rotating them for even browning. Serve.

Feeds about 6.

Sausages in Pottage

Sausages in Pottage

Recipes within our period (pre-1650) in the use of sausage in dishes are sprinkled across the various cultures and time periods. The original German recipe for the sausage itself was hinting that the sausage would be made for a salad. I decided to look deeper to try to find another recipe that would be cooked. Apples and Sausages are still very much eaten in Europe and finding this version on that dish which is period, is a great find. The mix of salty and sweet is a classic temptation of the palate.

Here is some background on the original two cook book authors. My sausage recipe was written by Sabina Welserin, otherwise unknown, was the author of a German cookbook, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, which she dated 1553 in her brief epigraph. The manuscript was edited by Hugo Stopp and published as Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag) 1980. It is one of a very few primary sources for the history of German cuisine. The main recipe for the Sausage and Pottage dish was resourced from Lancelot de Casteau or de Chasteau or de Chestea, also known as Anseau de Chestea (1500s – 1613) was the master chef for three prince-bishops of Liège in the 16th century: Robert de Berghes, Gérard de Groesbeek, and Ernest of Bavaria and the author of a cookbook, the Ouverture de cuisine, often considered the first cookbook to go beyond medieval recipes and to codify haute cuisine.

ORIGINAL RECIPES AND REDACTIONS

Original:
Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, 1553

23 If you would make a good sausage for a salad 

Then take ten pounds of pork and five pounds of beef, always two parts pork to one part of beef. That would be fifteen pounds. To that one should take eight ounces of salt and two and one half ounces of pepper, which should be coarsely ground, and when the meat is chopped, put into it at first two pounds of bacon, diced. According to how fat the pork is, one can use less or more, take the bacon from the back and not from the belly. And the sausages should be firmly stuffed. The sooner they are dried the better. Hang them in the parlor or in the kitchen, but not in the smoke and not near the oven, so that the bacon does not melt. This should be done during the crescent moon, and fill with the minced meat well and firmly, then the sausages will remain good for a long while. Each sausage should be tied above and below and also fasten a ribbon on both ends with which they should be hung up, and every two days they should be turned, upside down, and when they are fully dried out, wrap them in a cloth and lay them in a box. 




If you would make a good sausage for a salad – Redaction:
As I was wishing to do a test batch, I decided to cut the directions in half. I still had a ton of meat to stuff. For ease (and to spare my hands) I purchased the meat ground up. In period they would have chopped/ground it up themselves. The texture changes when you do that. In the future I may try that and see if there is much difference.

5lbs Ground Pork
2.5lbs Ground Beef
1lb Bacon
4oz of Salt
1.2oz Ground Pepper
1/3 pound of Pork Fat
25 standard sausage casings

I took all the meat, salt and pepper, and mixed it together by hand in a huge bowl. Testing the flavor by frying up a small 1 inch patty and tasted it. I left the seasonings as is, but this is a great way to make sure the flavorings are good before stuffing. Using a Kitchen aid with a sausage stuffer attachment, I threaded the casing on the tip of the food extruder (knotting the one end once the casing is fully on) and began to feed the stuffer with the mixture. The attachment filled the casings and when I felt the sausage was big enough and stuffed tightly (about five inches long roughly), I would twist the casing to close off that sausage, trying to keep them roughly the same shape. They were placed in the refrigerator for storage before use.

Next part of the sausage dish cooking project is the main recipe for the Tourney Dish. The recipe is called Sausages with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg from Saulcisses en potage, Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de cuisine, 1585 (France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.).

Original:

Saulcisses en potage.

Prennez les saulsisses, & les fricassez en beurre, puis prennez quartre ou cinq pommes pellées & couppées par petits quartiers, & quartre ou cinq oignons couppez par rondes tranches, & les fricassez en beurre, & les mettez tout dedans vn pot auec les saulsisses, & mettez dedans noix muscade, canelle, auec vin blanc ou rouge, du succre, & le faictes ainsi esteuuer.

Translation:

Sausages in pottage.

Sausages in Pottage. Take sausages, & fry them in butter, then take four or five peeled apples & cut into small quarters, & four or five onions cut into rings, & fry them in butter, & put all of them into a pot with the sausages, & put therein nutmeg, cinnamon, with red or white wine, sugar, & let them then all stew.

Sausages in Pottage – Redaction:

2lbs of sausages
four medium apples
4-5 medium onions
butter for frying
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups semi-dry white wine
sugar to taste

Brown the sausages in a little butter. They need not be fully cooked through because you will be stewing them. Remove them to a heavy, high-sided stewing pot. Peel and core the apples, cut them into small chunks and brown them in the same pan you just browned the sausages in. When they have browned, remove them to the stew pot. Cut the onions into wide rounds about ¼” thick. Brown them in the apple/sausage pan until they are well browned, remove to the stew pot. Let the browning pan cool a little and take about ½ cup of the wine and reconstitute the pan drippings. Try to get off as much as you can because it will add flavor to the pottage, then add it to the stew pot. Add the remainder of the wine, spices and sugar. Let the pottage cook covered over a low heat for an hour. Check it at that time for doneness(allow to stew a little longer if it is not done). If so make sure that it has enough liquid. You don’t want all the liquid to cook away.

Libre del Coch — Chopped Spinach

Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

Chopped Spinach [ESPINACAS PICADAS]
You must take spinach and clean it, and wash it very well, and give it a brief boil with water and salt; then press it very well between two chopping-blocks, then chop it very small. And then gently fry it in bacon fat; and when it is gently fried, put it in a pot on the fire, and cook it; and cast in the pot: good broth of mutton, and of bacon which is very fatty and good, only the flower (63) of the pot; and if by chance you wish it, in place of the broth, cast upon it milk of goats or sheep, and if not, of almonds; and take the bacon, and cut it into pieces the size of fingers, and cast them in the pot with the spinach; and depending on what the season it is, if you wish, cast in fresh cheese; you may do it likewise, like the abovementioned slices of bacon; and if you put in a great deal, do not put it in until the spinach is entirely cooked, and cast this in a little before dishing it out; and if you wish also to cast in tender raisins which are cooked, you can do it all around the spinach; and if you do not wish to put in these things, neither bacon nor grated cheese of Aragon, cast parsley and mint with it likewise; and the spinach will be better.
Recipe:
6 oz of Spinach, cleaned
4 tsp bacon fat
4 strips of Bacon, rendered and chopped
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
6 oz Queso Blanco cheese
Salt

Blanch spinach in boiling, salted water. Drain spinach as much as possible then chop finely. Add spinach to a hot pan with bacon fat and bacon to sauté. Cook until everything is warmed through. Place in casserole. Mix in almond milk and cheese. Make sure you sprinkle cheese on the top. Bake in oven, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

[Comments: Originally I used ½ Almond milk, but the mixture was fairly watery. Cutting down liquid in next try. Maybe grind up spinach before sauté?]

Libre del Coch — Meat Casserole [CAZUELA DE CARNE]

Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

Meat Casserole [CAZUELA DE CARNE]
You must take meat and cut it into pieces the size of a walnut, and gently fry it with the fat of good bacon; and when it is well gently fried, cast in good broth, and cook it in a casserole; and cast in all fine spices, and saffron, and a little orange juice or verjuice, and cook it very well until the meat begins to fall apart and only a little broth remains; and then take three or four eggs beaten with orange juice or verjuice, and cast it into the casserole; and when you wish to eat, give it four or five stirs with a large spoon, and then it will thicken; and when it is thick, remove it from the fire; and prepare dishes, and cast cinnamon upon each one. However, there are those who do not wish to cast in eggs or spice, but only cinnamon and cloves, and cook them with the meat, as said above, and cast vinegar on it so that it may have flavor; and there are others who put all the meat whole and in one piece, full of cinnamon, and whole cloves, and ground spices in the broth, and this must be turned little by little, so that it does not cook more at one end than the other. And so nothing is necessary but cloves and cinnamon, and those moderately.

Recipe:
2.5 Lbs of Beef, trimmed and cubed (I used Beef Round)
26 oz Beef Stock (no salt)
6 tbs bacon fat
4 strips bacon, rendered and chopped well
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/8 tsp Saffron (healthy pinch)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder to season meat
3 eggs

Season beef and brown using bacon fat. Drain and place in large cook pot. Add broth, saffron, bacon and orange juice. Bring to boil, then place on high simmer (slow boil) until the meat falls apart (1.5-3 hours) and the broth cooks down. Skim off any fat. Once cooked down and meat is all tender, add in eggs. Once eggs are thoroughly incorporated, the sauce should be thicker. Serve.

Libre del Coch — Leek Pottage

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Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

LEEK POTTAGE [POTAJE DE PORRADA]
You must take leeks, well-peeled, and washed and cleaned the night before, set them to soak in an earthen bowl filled with water, in the night air; and let them be this way all night until the morning; and then give them a boil, moderately, because they are very difficult to cook; and when they are well-boiled, press them a great deal between two chopping blocks, and gently fry them with the fat of good bacon; and do not cast salt upon them; and when they are well gently fried, set them to cook in a little good broth which is fatty; and then take almond milk and cast it in the pot and cook it until it is quite thick; and when it is thick, taste it for salt, and if it lacks salt cast it in; and then prepare dishes, and [cast] upon them sugar and cinnamon.

Recipe:
3 Large Leeks, washed and chopped
32oz Chicken Broth (no salt)
4 tsp Bacon fat
4 strips Bacon, cooked, rendered and chopped small
3 Cups Almond Milk (possibly creamier with 4 cups)
Salt to taste

Take leeks and boil until tender. Drain. Press to squeeze out as much water as possible. In a hot pan, add bacon fat and leeks. Brown leeks until they are camel zed. Add cooked bacon and mix with leeks. Add stock and almond milk, bring to a quick boil, then lower temperature to a simmer. Simmer at least 30 minutes.

I ended up taking the soup and putting into a blender to liquefy all ingredients. Add salt to taste. You can serve without blending, but the blending makes a very smooth, creamy, soup.

The Kitchens of Hampton Court

A very good friend of mine posted a lovely video about the Kitchens at Hampton Court. Over the years, I knew that when you visited the site in the UK, that there were demos and people using the kitchens. However, I never thought to look at You Tube to see if there were any videos on the subject.

Here are a few videos about Tudor cooking (Henry the VIII) and life in Hampton Court, showing how the recreate the past first hand.

Henry the VIII Kitchens at Hampton Court

King's Confectionary

Show and Tell with Spices

13th Century Al-Andalus Cookbook: Jewish Recipes

Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook is from the 13th Century with a variety of recipes, translated by Charles Perry. My source for the cookbook was found over here complete.

With the holidays swiftly approaching, I figured now was a good time to share some Jewish recipes that may good well with the festivities.

Jewish Partridge [stuffed]
Clean the partridge and season it with salt. Then [for the stuffing] crush its entrails with almonds and pine-nuts and add murri naqî’ [use soy sauce], oil, a little cilantro juice, pepper, cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon [cassia], lavender, five eggs and sufficient salt.

Boil two eggs, stuff the partridge with the stuffing and insert the boiled eggs [shelled] and put some stuffing between the skin and the meat, and some of it in the interior of the partridge.
Then take a new pot and put in four spoonfuls of oil, half a spoonful of murri naqî’ [use soy sauce] and two of salt. Put the partridge in it and put it on the fire, after attaching the cover with dough [seal it tightly], and agitate it continuously so it will be thoroughly done. And when the sauce has dried, remove the lid and throw in half a spoonful of vinegar, throw in citron and mint, and break two or three eggs into it. Then put a potsherd or copper pot full of burning coals on it until it is browned, and then turn [the contents] around so that the other side browns, and roast it all. [After the bird has cooked, steamed, uncover it and let it brown.]

Then put it in a dish and put the stuffing around it, and garnish it with the egg yolks with which you dotted the pot, or with roast pistachios, almonds and pine nuts, and sprinkle it with pepper and cinnamon after moistening with sugar, and present it, God willing.

A Jewish Dish of Chicken
Clean the chicken and take out its entrails. Cut off the extremities of its thighs and wings and the neck, and salt the chicken and leave it.

Take these extremities and the neck and the entrails, and put them in a pot with fine spices and all the flavorings and cilantro juice, onion juice, whole pine-nuts, a little vinegar and a little murri [use soy sauce], good oil, citron leaves, and stalks of fennel. Put this over a moderate fire. When it is done and the greater part of the sauce has gone, cover the contents of the pot with three eggs, grated breadcrumbs and fine flour. Crush the liver, add it to this crust and cook carefully until the liver and the crust are cooked.

Then take the chicken and roast it carefully, and baste it with two eggs, oil and murri [use soy sauce], and do not stop greasing [basting] the chicken inside and out with this until it is browned and roasted.

Then take a second little pot and put in two spoonfuls of oil and half a spoonful of murri [use soy sauce], half a spoonful of vinegar and two spoons of aromatic rosewater, onion juice, spices and flavorings. Put this on the fire so that it cooks gently.
And when it has cooked, [cut up the roasted chicken and put it in the sauce] and leave it until it is absorbed. Then ladle it into a dish and pour the rest of the sauce on it, and cut up a boiled egg and sprinkle with spices, and ladle the preceding [pine-nut and entrails dish] into another dish, and garnish it too with egg yolks; sprinkle it with fine spices and present both dishes, God willing.

A Jewish Dish of Eggplants Stuffed with Meat
Boil the eggplants and take out their small seeds and leave [the skins] whole [hollow out the cooked eggplants].
Take leg meat from a lamb and pound it with salt, pepper, cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon [cassia] and spikenard. Beat it with the whites of eight eggs [whipped] and separate six egg yolks. Stuff the eggplants with this stuffing.

Then take three pots and put in one of them four spoonfuls of oil, onion juice, spices, aromatics and two spoonfuls of fragrant rosewater, pine-nuts, a citron [leaves], mint, and sufficient salt and water. Boil well and throw in half of the stuffed eggplants.

In the second pot put a spoonful of vinegar, a teaspoon of murri [use soy sauce], a grated onion, spices and aromatics, a sprig of thyme, another of rue, citron leaf, two stalks of fennel, two spoonfuls of oil, almonds, soaked garbanzos, some half a dirham [1 dirham=3.9g/3/4tsp] of ground saffron, and three cut garlic. Add in sufficient water until it boils several times, and throw into it the rest of the stuffed eggplants.

And in the third pot put a spoonful and a half of oil, a spoonful of cilantro water, half a spoon of sharp vinegar, crushed onion, almond, pine-nuts, a sprig of rue and citron leaves. Sprinkle with rosewater and sprinkle with spices.

Decorate the second [dish] with cut-up egg yolks and cut rue and sprinkle it with aromatic herbs. Cut an egg cooked with rue over the third pot, sprinkle it with pepper, and present it.
[This gives you two dishes of stuffed eggplants, each with a slightly different sauce, and one dish of a sauce that can be used over both dishes.]