Parsnips (9)

Parsnips make me happy, that was reason enough to make this dish.

I chose small, tender parsnips of about 5-8″ long, and not much more than 2″ across. The larger ones were in poor condition,

Parsnips (1)

First, after peeling them, I cut them into 5 sections so they would cook evenly. If yours are larger, you may get more sections, though I do suggest removing the core on any parsnip over 3″ across or 10″ long. The cores are a challenge to eat no matter how good your teeth.

Parsnips (2)

I used water to poach them, but added salt.  A broth would have been a nice poaching medium, but I wanted to keep the preparation simple.

The flour is a locally milled whole wheat which I sieved to reduce the rough matter.  The saffron steeped in warm water for about 15 minutes while I cut and poached the vegetables.

I chose to fry in grapeseed oil, which I keep on hand. It is a modernly available oil with minimal flavor and a high smoke point. My assumption is that olive oil or lard might have been more likely, but I did not wish to use either.

They are heavy, but they didn’t completely fail overnighting in the refrigerator. I reheated them in a dry pan in the oven at 300 for about 15 minutes.

 

170. Parsnips.

Clean big ones well and remove the woody part in the middle, and boil them; when they are cooked, flour them and fry them in good oil- but before that, dry them well on a small board; then, to make them better, get a bowl of flour tempered with water, add sugar, cinnamon, saffron and rosewater, coat the parsnips with this mixture and put them in the pan with hot oil; then put spices on top of them and serve them properly seasoned like that.

 

1-2 lbs parsnips, cut into 1/2″x 4″ spears

1/2 c flour

1 TBS sugar (promotes browning, can be omitted)

6-8 threads of saffron, bloomed in 1/4 C warm water

1/2 tsp cinnamon (Canela)

1/2 – 1 oz rosewater, to taste

Water to complete batter

Sufficient oil to fry

salt and pepper, for after frying

A heated oven for the parsnips to rest in

knife and board for trimming

a cloth or wooden rest area for the parsnips to dry while making the batter

 

 

Place saffron in water before beginning other processes.
Choose small parsnips.

Wash and peel parsnips. Cut to half length, then cut the thick section into quarters the long way, so all 5 pieces are about the same size.

Poach the cut parsnips til cooked most of the way through, but not enough to turn to mush.

Parsnips (4)

Allow to cool.

Make batter: by blending dry ingredients then adding liquid til it is a runny consistency. Set aside.

Parsnips (5)

Prepare frying oil, taking the usual precautions.

Dip parsnips in batter, fry. (watch some videos if you are not comfortable with frying. Using a countertop frying machine makes sense)

Parsnips (7)

Remove to a screen or cloth to give up excess oil.

Serve.  We really like this with recipe 157 from Los Guisados; Horseradish http://www.florilegium.org/?http%3A//www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.html

Parsnips (9)

Scully, Terence. The Neapolitan Recipe Collection. 4th ed. University of Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2000.  Print.

Salsa de Pago; Sauce for a Peacock
(too long to transpose)

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)
Poached collops of chicken
served with a sauce of

¼ c chicken fat from poaching pot
4 oz onion
2 c chicken broth
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp grains of paradise, ground finely
¼ tsp cinnamon or ginger
1/8 tsp cloves,
1 pinch saffron
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs approx honey
1 Tbs approx Sour Orange juice

Collect fat from pot.
Fry onions in chicken fat.
Pour off frying fat.
Add dry spices to onions.
Sautee in residual fat.
Add chicken broth to the onions, simmer.
Add saffron water, bit by bit, til color shifts toward red.
Taste. Adjust. If too saffron-y, add chicken fat.
Add sour orange juice (modicum, not a lot)]
Taste.
Add honey to balance
Taste again.

Use immersion blender to homogenise if you wish.
It should be red/tan in color, with a pleasant sweet/acid balance from the
sauteed onions, the honey, and the sharp sour oranges.
If sour oranges are not available, try a blend of orange and lime, or
perhaps some grapefruit juice for home use.

Santanach, Joan, trans. Robin Vozelgang. The Book of Sent Sovi Medieval Recipes from Catalonia. First Edition. Barcelona, Spain: Barcino-Tamesis, 2008. 42-45. Print.

I got lucky! I managed to get a beautiful shoulder of mutton locally. This is a rare treat.

While mutton has a reputation for strong flavor and aroma, I find this to be misleading. The meat has a distinctive flavor, yes, as opposed to the bland meats of the supermarket, but the flavor is in fact a component of the dish, rather than an obstacle to be overcome. We don’t need to season as assertively if the foods we are working with bring plenty to the table.

I love mutton.

.  I had a shoulder, not a thigh. Thigh is the same cut as leg of lamb, minus the shank. Leg has more meat and simpler carving, and less intramuscular fat. Surface fat is where stronger flavors tend to lie, so peel off any fat that has yellowing to it, no matter what cut you may have. Shoulder is a bit of a bear, as it has all kinds of bones and things going through it, it’s the tough end of a tough animal. It takes some care to carve, but with a little patience pays off quite nicely. A major modern advantage is that a shoulder fits pots more easily. Please don’t get one of those boneless legs of lamb in a net, they are not going to offer enough in the way of flavor to be worth the cost.

Beef or veal fat is suggested as the cooking grease because sheep fat sets at a low temperature, causing objectionable texture. It’s important to peel off that surface fat. Hand it to a soapmaker if you are uncomfortable discarding it.

This translation is from http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html

Item MUTTON PIE in a POT. Take a thigh (of mutton), and grease or marrow of beef or veal chopped small and onions chopped small, and set to boil and cook in a well-covered pot in a small amount of meat stock or other liquid, then put to boil in it spices, and a little vinegar to sharpen it, and arrange it in a dish.

Item, if you want to salt mutton in hot weather, moisten beforehand, and sprinkle with coarse ground salt.

 

1 leg (or shoulder) of mutton (goat, lamb, venison), about 4 lbs including bone.

2-3 baseball sized onions, cut to a fine dice

1/4 lb suit, optional

a quart of good stock or broth

1 TBSP salt

1 tsp grains of paradise

1/4 stick cinnamon, or a quarter teaspoon

heads off about a dozen cloves, or about a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves

1/4 c red wine vinegar

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Choose a pot with a well fitting lid, that the meat will fit snugly. A slow cooker is an excellent option for this dish.

Place the meat, onions, and stock in the pot. Add suet if you feel you ought to add some fat to the dish. This will help temper the mutton flavor.  (I did not add fat)

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Seethe on a low flame with the lid on for approximately two hours, then add the spices to the pot. Add about half of the vinegar at this time as well.

Continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes. The meat ought to be rather tender and fully cooked to the falling-off the bone stage.
Remove the meat, reserving the cooking liquid. Taste for balance, add more vinegar and reboil, if needed.

If the sauce is too greasy, you might use a gravy separator, float a towel on top to absorb, or carefully drag an ice cube across the surface to quickly set the fat, making it easier to remove.

Allow to cool, slice, serve. with the sauce made of cooking liquid.

 

I chose my spices based on what blends are common in the book, what would taste nice together, and what I believe would play nicely with the flavors inherent in the onions and meat. You may choose your spices differently. For instance, the dish Yellow Mutton calls for saffron, ginger and verjus, while another note says that if venison is basted, it may be served with cameline, which implies to me that a poached dish should specifically not be served with cameline. Other notes in the manuscript say that in summer use saffron, but in winter use pepper.  I feel my choices to be internally consistent, and successful.

I cannot grind my cloves as finely as commercially available. I would use commercially ground cloves, or perhaps stick whole cloves into one section of onion in order to more easily remove them later.

The onions as I presented them were not chopped finely enough. I suggest making them about the size of modern gambling dice.

While this has little to do with our modern understanding of pie, lacking crust and being a very simple pot stew, it is not roasted before seething, nor after. The meat is intended to be cooked once, so it must be cooked fully.

 

 http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Menagier/Menagier.html 

 

XLV Si vols fer bunyols, hages de la pasta damunt dita, que sia llevada, ee ous ab formatge rattlat; e sia tot mesclat e be espes. E fe’n redolins aixi com un ou. E hages una cassola e del greix dessus dit; gita’ls en cassola. E, quan seran cuits, posa’ls en un tallador ab sucre dessus e dejus.

If you want to make cheese fritters, take the dough described above, which is leavened, and eggs with grated cheese. Everything should be mixed together and quite thick.And make round shapes like an egg. Take a casserole dish and some of the grease saif above, pour (the fritters) into the dish. And when they are cooked, put them on a plate wuuthh sugar over and under.
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 cup warm (100 degrees F) water, for proofing
2 c warm water, divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/2 cup
3 oz Manchego, grated
1 TBS salt

frying oil, fryolator

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)

I like these as a cheesy beignet. We made them small, about a half ounce of dough per bunyol, as they puff when frying and are quite rich.

The recipe really relies on a flavorful cheese. We used an earthy Manchego.  Our poor fry guy could not keep up with demand.

Dissolve yeast in ½ c warm water. Wait til foamy, add 1 c water and the bulk of the flour. Incorporate.
Allow to rise 1-3 hr til doubled.
Reserve the last cup of water.
Fold dough into last cup water, adding cheese as you go.
Add more flour if needed.
Allow to rise as time permits, at least 15 mins while prepping fryer depending on the ambient temperature.
This dough really does not need a full rise.

Fry.

Salt as they come out of the fryer.
Dust w more cheese if available. Serve.

Rest on platters lined with paper.
Move them so they don’t get soggy.
Serve in a bowl lined with cloth towels, but they probably won’t last long enough to worry about sogginess.

Santanach, Joan, trans. Robin Vozelgang. The Book of Sent Sovi Medieval Recipes from Catalonia. First Edition. Barcelona, Spain: Barcino-Tamesis, 2008. 132-133. Print.

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Mushrooms of one night be the best and they be little and red within and closed at the top; and they must be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil , cheese and spice powder.

It’s autumn. I want easy hot lunch food that tastes nice. Mushrooms are technically out of season, but they are commonly available at any time of year now, and as I am unwilling to risk health foraging at a store is as far as I am willing to go.

Having decided to make this dish as hand pies, I had to consider the cheese. There being so few flavors, I did not want to compete with the fine spices nor the delicate flavor of the farmed mushrooms themselves. I decided that ricotta would be too wet, Camembert too gummy, and chose a queso fresco, which is like farmer cheese which has been pressed to a somewhat drier consistency.

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“Baby Bellas,” criminis,  were looking freshest, with the closed gills asked for in the recipe. Other mushrooms with other values of flavor would have been just as good, though perhaps suggesting more thought to the seasoning.

I sliced the mushrooms and poached them with the spices and salt, then decided to mince them for better texture.  I think they would have suffered had I minced them first, as mushrooms can tend to become either slippery or rubbery.

 

1 lb fresh small mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed

1/2-1 tsp poudre fine

1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4-1 tsp salt, depending on the saltiness of the cheese

1/4 c water

1-2 TBS olive oil

6-12 oz queso fresco, farmers’ cheese, or other fresh cheese

10 hand-pie wrappers of your preference. (I chose to use commercial empanada wrappers)

 

 

Taste cheese for saltiness and liquidity, set aside

Slice mushrooms.

Place mushrooms in pan with water, simmer on low until reduced in size and liquid is dark

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Add spices and salt if you are using it

Mince mushrooms if you wish.

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Allow to cool

Fold in cheese. Include any mushroom liquid which has not absorbed or evaporated

Place two ounces of the mixture on each wrapper, fold them over, and seal the edges.

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Bake at 325-350 for 10 minutes, then puncture the tops to prevent explosions

Continue baking til wrappers are browning. The filling is fully cooked, so don’t worry too much about it.

When mine had finished baking,  I brushed the tops with a little butter, You might like

to use an egg white, or to leave them plain.

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This is my Poudre Douce recipe, which I used in place of poudre fine.

1 Tbs sugar
½ Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
¼ tsp ginger

 

Lentils are good when washed and carefully boiled in fresh water. Make sure that the first lot of water is poured away, and a second lot of hot water is added as required, but not too much, and then boil the lentils slowly on the stove.
When they are cooked, add for seasoning a little vinegar, with the addition of that spice which is called Syrian Sumac. Sprinkle a spoonful of this spice over the lentils while they ae still on the fire and stir in well.
You can add for flavoring a good spoonful of oil from unripe olives to the second lot of water while the lentils are still cooking, as well as one or two spoonfuls of coriander including the roots, not ground but whole, and a pinch of salt for seasoning. (Anthimus)

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)

8 oz brown lentils, picked over
24 oz water
24 oz water (not a typo), cool
1 fl oz olive oil
1 fl oz vinegar
1 tsp sumac powder
2-3 sprig coriander
10g salt.

Pick over lentils, rinse.
Simmer lentils in unsalted water. When water changes color, drain and add cool fresh water.
When water boils, lower temperature.
Add olive oil, put in unchopped coriander. When coriander changes color, remove and discard.
Add salt, finish cooking. Do not add salt earlier, as texture will be affected.
Add sumac and vinegar just before service, as the sumac loses flavor quickly.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves two as an entree, four as a side dish.

You might prefer to serve this dryer or with more of the cooking liquid. I prefer it as a salad, but it is also a good soup.

Grant, Mark. Roman Cookery. London: Serif Cookery, 1999. 138. Print.

Aliter caroetas: elixatas concisas in cuminato oleo modico quoques et inferes; cuminatum coliculorum facies

Boil the carrots and chop them in a cumin sauce with a little oil, finish cooking, and serve. Make the cumin sauce as for cabbage. (3.9.3)

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)

This is one of the simplest, quickest, and most delightful side dishes I know. It’s inexpensive and can be on the table from ingredients to completion in under 15 minutes, when making a half recipe for two people.

If you need a recipe to demonstrate the contemporary viability of historical food, please consider this one. It’s nice.

 

1 lb carrots
½ gallon poaching water
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tsp cumin

Trim and peel the carrots, leave them whole, watching for woody cores.
Poach in salted water until done.
Drain water, chop coarsely.
Return the carrots to the pan. Add oil, dust with cumin.
Watch the temperature, allow to get evenly coated and begin to blister.
The pan should be slightly brown and orange with toasted, not burnt, bits of cumin and carrot.
Taste for salt, plate.

Serves 4

Grocock, Christopher, and Sally Grainger. Apicius, a Critical Edition with an introduction and English translation by. Devon: Prospect Books, 2006. pp 172-173. Print.

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XIII. FOR TO MAKE BLANCHE BREWET DE ALYNGYN.

Nym kedys [1] and chekenys and hew hem in morsellys and seth hem in almand mylk or in kyne mylke grynd gyngyner galingale and cast therto and boyle it and serve it forthe.

Cut kid meat and chickens, and hew them into morsels, and seethe them in almond milk or in cattle milk.

Grind ginger and galangale, and cast thereto, and boil it and serve it forthwith.
We had an interesting gift recently. Someone very generously gave us some old laying chickens.. These birds were somewhere over three years old. I have fed them and collected their eggs. They were well cared for, and they earned their keep.

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I also had a lovely goat neck from a local farm.  This sounded like a perfect assemblage.

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Old chickens are not what we are accustomed to in the way of texture.. They have incredible chicken flavor, but there is nothing approaching tenderness about them.

Goat necks, no matter the age, are also challenging. They are hard to bone, have little meat, and are also quite the opposite of tender.

The only way I could reasonably deal with these items was to cook them whole, then bone them, then make the dish.

 

I poached the chicken and the neck together, in almond milk with galangale and ginger, for about an hour on a low temperature, with the lid on.

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After poaching, I allowed the pot to cool and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. I wanted to carve the meat with care, and to waste none of it.

The chicken meat was very easy to remove from the bones, it lifted off cleanly, almost like a toy model.

The goat neck required some technique to carve neatly, but offered no fuss. The main thing to keep in mind that there are four sections of meat. If the knife follows the bone closely, there are two main tendons which must be seen to. If the meat is home butchered, make certain that things are visually tidy, as not all hunters are comfortable packaging neck roasts.

Once the meat was off of the bone, I cubed it into approximately 1″ cubes,

I placed all of the meat in a sautee pan with about two cups of almond milk. I added no salt, because of my concerns over the meat toughening further. I was parsimonious with ginger, as it is not good to one of my regular diners. About a half a teaspoon of galangale was used,

It took approximately 10 minutes for the almond milk to cook completely down, and the meat to heat fully through. I thought to add more almond milk, but tasting proved that there was no real need to do so.

We were both surprised by how tender the chicken was, The intense chicken flavor combined with the earthiness of the goat blended with the almond milk, and the galangale seemed to counteract any gamy flavors beautifully while allowing the richness to shine through.

It is a simple dish, in fact it reminded me a lot of the Tender Chickpeas recipe from a couple of years ago, which can be found at http://carbonadoes.com/2012/11/10/sent-sovi-chickpeas/

 

1 old hen or stewing chicken

1 neck of kid, lamb, or venison, about 3 lbs, bone on, whole or cut up.

1/2 gallon almond milk (if poaching and cooling), 2 c reserved for second cooking

1 tsp galangale

1/2 tsp ginger

A whole chicken will need 45 minutes to seethe, while a cut up chicken the same size could potentially cook in as little as 20 minutes.

place the chicken and the neck in a pot they fit somewhat snugly. Dust with spices, pour almond milk over.

Place pot on burner, seethe on low flame with a lid on. Take care to turn the meat a couple of times so it cooks evenly and does not stick.

Take care not to allow the meat to take color.

When the almond milk separates and the fat rises, check for doneness.

When done, turn off the heat and allow the meat to cool until it is comfortable to handle with your hands.

Remove the meat from the bones, cube somewhat coarsely. Be careful of shards, if you bought a cut up neck. They are tricky.

You can serve it now, warmed and in its broth, if it is sufficiently tender and to your liking.

If you feel the meat needs more time to become tender, place the cubed meat with the fresh almond milk and a fresh scattering of spices.

(Reserve the prior almond milk for a bukkenade or a blancmange. I used it for another bruet.)

Simmer the pot until the almond milk is mostly evaporated, but the meat is not completely dry. I chose to serve with a coarse bread, and a nice earthy root vegetable.

 

http://www.auxmaillesgodefroy.com/forme_of_cury

Mushroom Sauce

If you want to make a sauce of mushrooms that are boiled, pressed, and fried with oil, make the sauce like this; take onion, parsley, vinegar, and spices, and mix it with vinegar and a little water. Make pieces of the mushrooms, to fry, or serve with a fried mixture, and then put them in their sauce, or serve them grilled with salt and oil.

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)

12 oz mushrooms, cleaned
2 cups water
2 oz olive oil, divided
½ oz (1 Tbs) salt
3 oz onion, minced
3 oz parsley, fresh
4 oz red wine vinegar

(thyme, savory, black pepper, or garlic would all go well with this dish)

Place clean mushrooms in pot with water. Add half of the olive oil and the salt. Simmer until mushrooms are cooked through. If water boils off, add more.

While mushrooms simmer, mince the onions, chop or scissor rinsed parsley. Prepare and measure all spices and seasonings.

Don’t add the seasonings yet

When mushrooms are cooked completely, drain water through strainer into one bowl.

Chop mushrooms very coarsely.
Add remaining oil to pan, return mushrooms, without liquid, to the pan. If needed, add small amounts of oil, but be cautious. They are spongy and can get too oily rather easily.

When mushrooms are fried, remove them to the second bowl.
Place the onions, parsley, ginger, pepper, and vinegar into the pot, and cook them through.
The onions will become transparent.
Add the mushroom broth, to the spices and oil, bit by bit. The goal is to reduce it slightly, but not to deplete it completely, while cooking the seasonings gently through.

When the sauce is reduced, return the mushrooms to the pot. Give them a quick toss, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

This is an excellent accompaniment to a red meat dish, filling for a turnover, salad topping, and accompaniment to a plate of cheese.

The type of mushrooms chosen affects the dish. Reducing the cooking liquid affects the density of flavor, so it is better to be parsimonious with the spices.

Serves 4

Santanach, Joan, trans. Robin Vozelgang. The Book of Sent Sovi Medieval Recipes from Catalonia. First Edition. Barcelona, Spain: Barcino-Tamesis, 2008. 76-77. Print.

I use a lot of cloves. I prefer to purchase them whole, as they do lose their flavor and pungency quickly once ground.

Cloves are little fragile dried flowers on stems. Commercial spice milling plants can grind the whole things to a fine powder. A cook can spend a good while and crush them to a gritty dust, but not much further than that without real dedication. Being so pungent, this can cause coarser particles of material to create unbalanced flavors in a dish.

I have found two solutions for this issue, which are conditional on the requirements and type of dish being made.

I remove the delicate flower heads, crush them, and use them alone. The flavor is herbal, floral, and light, rather than medicinal. This works remarkably well for refined and delicate dishes.

For bolder flavors in simmered dishes, I frequently stick the clove stems, without the flower heads, into an onion, chunk of ginger, garlic clove, tea ball, (empty) tea bag, or other holder. I can then easily remove them from the pot after they have done their job, without risking someone getting hurt on one.