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Beef is stunningly expensive, so it needs to go a long way when we get it. It is winter right now, a time when we long for slow braises which fill the air with the aromas of warmth and comfort.

There are only two of us, though, and while it is possible to make Stew For Two, it’s not so much fun. I also find it frustrating to have a mass quantity of something with a very strong flavor profile, as meals can get repetitive after a while.

This dish is quite simple. It’s easy to ignore for hours, it’s easy to use in many different ways.

It’s very mild, so it will match quite nicely with many options of sides, and the beef flavor will shine.

The wine you choose will be important here, as the goal is a brightness from the verjus. A new wine is appropriate, something with a bit of acid such as a “two buck” or taverna wine.

 

beef in a cryopac, and the ingredients for the dish measured and arrayed in dishes.

A rather large bounty of beef

25. Verjuice soup of chicken or whatever meat you wish.

BROUET DE VERJUS DE POULLAILLE OU DE TEL GRAIN COMME
VOUS VOULDREZ. Cuisiez en vin, en eaue et en verjuz tellement
que le goust du verjus passe tout l’autre, puis broyez
gingenbre et des moyeulx d’oeufz tous cruz grant foison,
et passez tout parmy l’estamine ensemble, et mettez boullir;
puis gectez sur vostre grain, quant il sera friolé, et mettez
du lart, au cuire, pour luy donner goust.

 

Cook in wine, water, and enough verjus that it tastes mostly of verjus. Add some pork fat to give flavor.

Crush ginger and bread, and moisten with egg yolk, and strain this through a cheesecloth.

Boil it and throw it onto your meat, when it is browned.

4 LBS of beef (or a whole lot less, it’s OK)

2 cups wine

1 cup water

1 cup verjus

4 oz pork fat, prosciutto rind, or other barding,

1 teaspoon dried ginger powder

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 raw egg yolks

Wash the beef and place it in a vessel of the size that seems best; close but with room for wine and some simmering space. Be sure the lid fits well.

beef tenderloin in a pot, curled up to fit.

Layer the fat over the meat, if you wish to use it.This fat is partly to protect the meat, partly to allow the richness to melt in. Higher collagen cuts will rely less on this, though they would still benefit. A layer of cheesecloth with olive oil would work for a very lean cut in which you prefer not to add pork.

Add the liquids and permit to simmer until the meat is fully cooked. I choose to simmer it til the meat falls apart, much like for Ropa Viejo

about to disintegrate, the meat has shrunk.

Remove the meat, allow the broth to cool slightly,

Blend the ginger with the breadcrumbs, and fold some broth into the bowl of breadcrumbs,

Allow them to soak up the broth for a time, then add them to the pot.

Separate your eggs, and either fold them cautiously into the pot of cooled broth, or temper the broth into the eggs, then

add them to the pot.

Simmer the broth with the egg yolks and bread crumbs til thick.

Meanwhile, in a pan, sautee your meat and allow it to brown. The instructions are pretty clear that the meat and broth should be separated before the broth is thickened.

Another choice is to allow the meat to settle in the pot and brown within the broth, but I find this lends a somewhat burnt taste. I believe this might have been a not-unknown  method, as there are several notes explaining how to remove the burnt taste from a brewet as required.

Serve the meat well sauteed, with the thick, seasoned sauce.

 

Please note; There are many translations of this dish which are written differently. There are other varietions of instruction in related books, some calling for more specific seasonings.

I disagree firmly with the instruction placed in one translation of this recipe to brown the meat before braising, as the entire mindset of Medieval cookery is counter to that method, for humoral reasons.

I will go more into depth on humours some other time.

 

Scully, T. (1995). The art of cookery in the Middle Ages (p. 223). Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press.

http://www.staff.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/vi-vat.htm

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/prescotj/data/viandier/viandier415.html#viandier18

a freshly baked pie in a pan. Covered in dried fruit in a geometric pattern, it is in a ceramic dish.

The Good Housewife’s Jewell

To make a veale pie.
Let your Veale boyle a good while, and
when it is boyled, mince it by it selfe,
and the white, by it selfe, and season it with
salt and pepper, cinamon and ginger, and
suger, and cloues and mace, and you muste
haue prunes and raisons, dates & currantes
on the top.

I used a prefab pie crust. There. I said it. I used a prefab, came in a box, frozen crust, leftover from my Mom’s thanksgiving baking, and I won’t do it again. It was a false expediency and unpleasant to work with.
That aside, the rest of the pie was pretty lovely.

We scored a nice ceramic pie pan from a clearance rack, and a breast of veal from a confused vendor, and the rest of the goods we had in stock. (I had the thought of tracking how long my staples last, but because we are feeding so few, I don’t think it would help anyone.)

The breast of veal went into a pot of water which seethed for about 30 minutes on low.
After the pink of it faded and it stopped looking raw around the bones, I allowed it to cool while I prepared the pie crust.
I opted not to blind-bake this crust, though I normally would. To blind bake, prepare a crust, place it in the pan, and bake til brown. Sometimes weights such as beans (cannot be reused for anything else) or specially made ceramic balls are needed to keep the shell from blistering or pulling away from the pan.

While this was happening, my dried fruits, which are very very dry, were soaking up some wine. I sliced the dates the long way to ensure they had no pits, as well.

I received a lovely new mortar and pestle, which made much shorter work of my whole spices than anything prior. The shape of the pestle is very aggressive. I actually achieved fully powdered whole cloves for the first time!

Then I began to prepare the meat. I boned the breast of veal as best I could, and rather than putting the meat into a grinder, I took two knives and whacked it methodically til it was fully minced. This process took about 10 minutes, mostly because I took my time and was very careful.

Unfortunately, my veal had very little fat. It’s so hard to get, and so expensive, that there was no way to source veal fat without some serious gymnastics.
I had to get some form of binder, carrier, and moistener into the dish without use of the fat which naturally would have come with a more appropriate cut, and chose egg whites. Therefore this recipe is a more distant adaptation.

1 breast of veal, about 2.5 lbs w bones
2 egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
6 cloves
3 leaves of mace
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

½ cup gewurtztraminer (or what is on hand)
6 prunes
6 dates
1TBS raisins
1 TBS currants

1 pie crust
Heat oven to 350*
Place dried fruit in wine. Set aside.
Roll the pie crust into the pan. Cover with a dampened linen towel or plastic wrap.

Place meat in poaching vessel, almost cover with water. Simmer, turning as needed, til it no longer shows evidence of having rawness.
Remove from heat, allow to cool. (return bones to liquid to make broth after boning meat out, for another dish)
When the meat is cool, mince it or grind it.

a ball of chopped meat in a bowl. It is about the size of a grapefruit. Being parcooked, it is an unappetising color.

parcooked meat, hand minced.

Measure spices, grind or crush if needed, place in a bowl.
Add the egg whites to the same bowl, and whip until the spices are evenly incorporated.

two bowls, one of fruit in wine, one of careful, measured piles of spices in a bowl.

dried fruit soaking, spices ground and measured

Fold the eggs into the meat until evenly incorporated.

Place the meat mixture into the pie crust, and decorate with the soaked dried fruits. Feel the fruits as you go for pits.

Bake at 350* until your meat thermometer gives a 140* reading.

We had this pie with the pear dish posted last week, which was a nice match. (Good Housewife’s Jewell has an iteration called To Preserve Wardens.)
It held overnight in the fridge very well, and reheated admirably.

two slices of pie on plates to be served, the remainder of the pie in the baking pan.

The pie was aromatic and lovely.

This is an excellent picnic dish.

IMG_5128

Peres in composte

To mak peres in composte tak a good quantite of
canelle and sugur and set it on the fyer to boile and
draw yt throughe a stren then lesk dates thyn and put
them ther to in a pot and boille wardens and pair
them and put them in the ceripe put ther to sanders
and boile them and alay them up with chardwins and
salt it and mak yt doucet and chargaunt and put it out
of the vesselle in to a treene vesselle and let it boille
then pare smalle raisins and tried guinger and temper
it ij dais or ij nyghtes with wyne then lay it in clarified
hony cold a day and nyght then tak the raisins out
of the hony and cast ther to peres in composte and
serue it furthe with a cold ceripe.

To make pears in compote, take a good quantity of canele cinnamon
and sugar, and set it on the fire to boil.
And draw it through a strainer, then lest (slice) dates thin and put
them thereto in a pot and boil wardens and pare them and put them
in the syrup put thereto sanders and boil them and lay them up with chardwins (cardoons? Noooo) and salt it and make it sweet and thick and put it out of the vessel into a green-wood
vessel and let it boil,(how, without lighting the wood vessel on fire? Hot rock?) then pare small raisins and prepared ginger and temper it for two days or
two nights with wine, then lay it in clarified honey cold a day and night then take the raisins out of the honey and add thereto the pears in compost and serve it forth with a cold syrup.

Ahh for convoluted instructions with embedded subrecipes!
This is for spiced, preserved pears in a heavy syrup. It can be canned months in
advance of need. It reminds me most of those red spiced apple rings that used to sometimes come with diner food, except good.

First, if you do not keep your ginger peeled in wine in the fridge or freezer, go peel some ginger, put it in wine, and toss it in the fridge. (I store ginger in the fridge very long term peeled in a small jar of vodka. This doesn’t have the same flavor, so I minced my preserved ginger and put it in the wine for a few hours.)

this picture includes dates. Please ignore the dates.

this picture includes dates. They were not included in the container pictured

Then shop for still-hard pears. Many pears, when ripe, will almost disintegrate, we are looking for some structure.

When the ginger has sat in wine for a couple of days, it is time to go.

The first time I made this dish, I poached my pears whole, then chopped them. This worked out pretty poorly, as not everything cooked evenly, and it wasn’t so pretty as it could be.

IMG_5122

Now I slice my pears into rounds, and use a small cutter to remove the core of each slice.

IMG_5127

The heavy syrup is made from equal amounts of sugar and water, with a quarter teaspoon of salt per quart of water.

I took three whole sticks of cinnamon, which I consider to be quite a good quantity, and crushed them coarsely. They went in the pot with the sugar, water, and salt, and stayed til the syrup took some color and the pot smelled festive.

Pears in Compost 2

Then I poached my pear rings in the sugar syrup. Having already prepared my ginger, I threw it in with the raisins, and when all was cooked through, I canned the dish in a half gallon glass jar.

This is a pretty good side dish, and can also go very nicely with cream desserts. Different types of pears have different results. I used Anjous, a rather modern pear. Forelles, if you can get them, stand a stronger chance of being appropriate to the dish.

Note that I do not use Saunders, which is Sandalwood powder. It’s endangered, bad for humans, and not food. If you need the dish red, I would use other dyes. Though color is called for, I think it’s not strictly required.

6 pears, hard.
2 c water
2 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 sticks cinnamon, crumbled or crushed

 

2 Tbs raisins, tempered in honey

6 dates, sliced thin (I don’t always use them, they can be too sweet)

2 Tbs ginger, tempered in red wine

Slice pears into discs of about 1/4” thick. Pop out cores using small punch.

Simmer water, sugar, salt together with cinnamon. Do not allow to boil.

Place pears in syrup, do not raise temperature.
Add ginger to the pot.

Simmer until they are flexible but not longer.

Place in sterile canning jars, pouring raisins in as you go.

Process and preserve. Serve with boiled meats (or vanilla ice cream!)

Hard boiled eggs are ubiquitous. Part of a fast lunch, an ingredient in a green or mixed salad, they are dead common. Eggs are pretty portable and stable once they are cooked.

One modern variant on hard boiling eggs, particularly when large quantities are required, is to oven roast them at 300 for a half of an hour, Another is to roast them even longer, at about 200*F, for a full 5 hours.  Eggs are popular at a wide range of doneness, whether fully cooked through with a fully yellow yolk, or closer to soft boiled with a set white and runny yolk.

 

Recipe 153 calls for simply placing the raw egg on the coals, and turning it with a watchful eye til they are sweating, therefore done.

156 steps it up a notch, by asking the cook to crack the shell. That prevents turning and also allows the humidity in the egg to leave through the newly made cracks, so the tell of sweating shells is gone.

156 Get whole fresh eggs, put them on live coals, and strike them on top with a stick so they break, and let them cook; and when this trifle is cooked, take it out and put a little vinegar and parsley on top. They are good.

I don’t have a coalbed right now, and it is miserable out so I am not going to make one. However, I have a fair substitute.

Instead of building a woodfire, I put a thick layer of salt into a pan. This salt is only used for creating a hot bed, and can be used over and over.

six eggs lying on their sides, with the top side shattered. They are embedded about a quarter of the way deep in fine salt.

salt should be thick enough not to touch the pan, and must be preheated.

The salt is thick enough that the eggs, nestled comfortably in it, will not touch the pan itself.

The pan and salt get preheated in the oven, to about 300*.

6 eggs are placed in the hot salt and placed into the oven. At about 5 minutes, start watching for the smallest signs of browning. At no more than 12 minutes, remove them.

Allow to cool, and serve in shell, one or two per person as a side dish, with some red wine vinegar.

Honestly, other than for discussion, it is not worth doing this dish unless you have a decent coalbed going for other reasons. It’s easy to cook the eggs past rubber, and when properly done, they are not more interesting than a hard boiled egg.

 

 

I didn't mean to make a Pokeball.  Cotija cheese, a line of spices, and an undressed area.

Piglia tre pani he levali la crosta he gratali molto bene he metteli supra una tavola, he metteli atorno una libra he meza de bona farina; he mete cum lo dito pane quatro ho cingue oca he batile bene cum lo cultello risguardando sempre lo pane cum la dita farina; he quando te parirache sia minuto como (f* 8r) anesi confetti, pone ogni cosa in uno sedazo he cacia fora la farina; poi falli secare alo sole ho alo focho; et quando li vorai cocere, coceli in brodo de carne, he fallo ghialdo cum saffrono; he falle bullire adasio per spacio de meza hora; et mette de sopra le menestre caso he specie.

Take the crusts of three loaves of bread. grate them, set this on a table and lay out a pound of and a half of fine flour around it; and put five eggs in with the ground bread and beat that well with a knife, always being careful (to coat) the breadcrumbs well with the flour; and when you have lumps that look to you to be the size of candies aniseed, put everything into a sieve and discard the (excess) flour; then dry them in the sun or by the fire. When you want to cook them, use meat broth made yellow with saffron; boil them gently for half an hour, serve them up garnished with cheese and spices.

 

The book commentary says “think ditallini.” I disagree. I think “couscous.”

This is about the easiest recipe I have made to date, but it relies on a couple of factors.  Use of a food processor is extremely helpful for ease of production.

I saved the crusts from several loaves, and staled them in a low oven while it was cooling from making some other dishes.  I crushed them and processed them, then ran them through a coarse strainer to make sure they were of a size.

 

bread crusts stacked and placed on baking sheets to dry

making breadcrumbs

The first time I made this, I worked from the proportions in the book. Knowing I had 5 eggs of indeterminate size and a pound and a half (not modern pounds! only 12 oz lb, so 18 oz in modern parlance) of flour, I started with a half pound of bread crumbs. There was a lot of tweaking, as I made this dish on dry days and more humid days, and each time the proportions changed.   Be prepared to add more eggs or flour, but do not add more breadcrumbs, as the addition will become gummy and harder to recover.

After several batches, the following numbers are pretty reliable in a medium processor, and result in both a quantity that comfortably fits an oven and that feeds 4 people an ample portion.

.

1 c (150g) home made breadcrumbs (I do not suggest commercial, they have quite an ingredient list)

3 eggs, about 150g  to coat, a fourth in reserve for in case.

1/2 c (100g) farina, fine semolina, or other very fine low gluten flour, as needed.

To serve the dish, I needed

about a half gallon of nice broth, or a quart of stock. This is most of the flavor in the dish, so if it tastes good the dish will as well.

Saffron if you like it (I like it!)

4 oz ricotta, farmers cheese, queso fresco, or other creamy new cheese

1 tablespoon Spices as you prefer. I chose black pepper, canela, and clove.

 

Place the breadcrumbs in the processor, and add the eggs. Whir until you have  a homogeneous paste. It should look gritty, like concrete, rather than soupy.

Add flour until the mass separates into tiny pellets. If they seem too small or incompletely coated, add more egg then more flour until you feel you have a pleasantsize and presentation of pasta. Remember that too large a pellet will be difficult to dry, and uneven in an elegant serving.

Spread out evenly on baking sheets and place in the bright dry sun, or alternately, place in a low oven for several hours, There will be quite a bit of shrinkage. I choose to turn the pasta several times, to avoid clumping and aid drying.

coarse pellets laid out on two pans to dry in the oven

thin layers dry faster

You can now store the pasta in a cool dry container, such as a mason jar in the fridge. or a zip bag in the freezer.

 

In order to prepare the dish for service, put about a half cup of broth per person into a pot, and add the optional saffron.

When the broth is warm, add a quarter cup of pasta per person to the pot, and watch carefully, Add more broth as needed, as the pasta absorbs. I prefer the dish dry, but you may prefer it with more liquid. I prefer not to stir overmuch, just enough to prevent clumping.  I find it works much better to add pasta to broth, rather than the other way.

hot broth in a pot, the pasta is being poured in slowly while stirring to prevent clumping

gently adding the pasta do the broth

If there is too much broth, you might allow it to simmer down, but if there is not enough broth and you are running low, water will not ruin the dish.

To serve, place in a warmed bowl, top with a dollop of milky cheese, and sprinkle with spices. Alternately, this would be a lovely bed for a roast or braised dish.

There is a fair amount of room to adapt this dish, whether by using an herb or vegetable broth, or making it more brothy or more fluffy by changing the broth proportions. The only things that cannot be adjusted are that it is unabashedly an egg and wheat dish.

 

Round biscuits from honey and toasted sesame and olive oil
Athenaeus, (The Partying Professors)

1/2 oz olive oil
2 oz raw sesame seeds
3 Tbs Honey
pinch salt

Place olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add sesame seeds, toast til they are “jumping”.

Add honey and sugar to the saucepan.
Stir consistently until the mixture simmers slightly, and is a little darker.

Prepare a setting pan, preferably silicone, by brushing it well with olive oil.
Dollop the mixture off of a soup spoon, allow to set.

Serves four as a treat.

sardines (19)

10.1.8 Another Alexandrian sauce for grilled fish

pepper, lovage, green coriander, onion, stoned damsons, passum, liquamen, defrutum and cook it.

 

We saw the fishmonger the other day. He had some really gorgeous looking sardines in. I found them irresistable, which was a little bit of a logistical problem. We canceled the rest of the day’s plans so I could get them home and prepared as soon as possible. They were that fresh.

Happily, all of the ingredients were easily available, which was a surprise this late in the season.

A couple of months ago we went to the wine making supply shop and bought almost 70 lbs of grape juice, fresh pressed to order. We made a gallon and a half of defrutum, and the rest into sapa.

I used this and some bortyrised wine trying to pass itself off as a tokaj as the passum.

There was a nice second round of lovage in the garden, and plums were still available at the fruit stand. Not damsons, but plums nonetheless, and they worked out acceptably well..

All of the solid ingredients were chopped and simmered.. A lid would have been helpful, but it was forgotten. Some of the water evaporated, leaving a denser, more caramelised sauce.

I did use a potato masher as the solids softened, and considering the intended audience, I strained the sauce well before plating.

Other recipes for grilling fish (Scappi, not entirely relevant) mentioned leaving the scales on the fish, and gutting them as cleanly as possible.

The scales insulated the very delicate meat, and allowed the skin to come off very cleanly. That was a factor in protecting the delicate flesh, as well as in being more easily able to present the fish at table.

Serve with lots of napkins, and plan to do laundry.

 

sardines (6)

3-4 sardines per person,

4 large plums or 8 smaller ones,

4 oz whole cilantro plant, preferably including roots

5  oz reduced grape juice

3 oz fish sauce

a baseball sized onion (I had a leek)

2 -3 oz fresh lovage, or the leaves from one bunch of celery

 

Coarsely chop all of the fruits and vegetables. Place in a pot with the liquid ingredients, and simmer until fully cooked.

sardines (7)

Grill, roast, pan fry, or otherwise prepare the fish as you are most comfortable doing.

The prescribed method calls for carefully placing the fish on skewers and grilling by charcoal, which is an excellent and delicious method.

Mash the sauce well, in order to release juices from the fruit. Strain and place on the plate, or in a separate dipping bowl.

sardines (11)

Serve hot.

 

 

Sols, A Vinegar Dressing (salad)

Si vols fer sols a que et vulles, a carn o a peix, pren de la carn o del peix frit a fets-ne trossos, e gita’ls en vinagre; e dessus gita primerament farigola.
E si vols lo sols cald, hages pebre a safra e vinagre, e del brou de la carn o del peix, e ceba tallada; e destrempa-ho tot e gita-ho dessus.

If you wish to make vinegar dressing for whatever you want, for meat or fish, take the meat or fried fish and vut them in pieces and pour them into vinegar, and first pour thyme over the top.
If you want the dressing hot, take pepper, saffron and vinegar, and some meat or fish broth and sliced onion, and mix it all together, and pour it over the top.

Mixtura cum Caseo; Mixture with Cheese
LIX. QUEMADMODUM MORETUM FACIAS
Addito in mortarium satureiam, mentam, rutam, coriandrum, apium, porrum sectivum aut, si id non erit, viridem cepam, folia lactucae, folia erucae, thymum viride, [vel] nepetam, tum etiam viride puleium et caseum recent<em> et salsum. Ea omnia pariter conterito acetique piperati exiguum permisceto; hanc mixturam cum in catillo composueris, oleum superfundito.
Put into a mortar savory, mint, rue, coriander, parsley, leeks, or if you have none, a green onion, , lettuce leaves, rocket, green thyme or catnip, and also green pennyroyal and fresh and salted cheese. Pound all of these together, and blend in a little pepper. When this mixture has been arranged in a bowl, pour olive oil over it.
A composed green salad of lettuces, served alongside a saffron vinaigrette.

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

 

¼ c Vinegar, Sour Orange juice, Verjus, or diluted pomegranate molasses.
½ tsp salt
1 pinch Saffron, bloomed
¼ tsp Black pepper
¾ c Olive oil

A green tossed salad with herbs of your choosing.

Use a jar with a good lid.

Add salt and saffron to vinegar, allow to rest 15 minutes or more.
Add pepper, olive oil.
Place lid on container, shake briskly.

Note: Many people are unable to safely eat pennyroyal, I choose to substitute other available mints when I am serving guests, though for my own use I do use pennyroyal.  Select a wide variety of lettuces, bitters, crisps, and juicy types. This salad can be composed as an elegant, layered display piece for a formal meal.

 

 

Grant, Mark. Roman Cookery. London: Serif Cookery, 1999. 106. Print.
Santanach, Joan, trans. Robin Vozelgang. The Book of Sent Sovi Medieval Recipes from Catalonia. First Edition. Barcelona, Spain: Barcino-Tamesis, 2008. 84-85. Print.

Marcos, Juan Jose. “LUCIUS IUNIUS MODERATUS COLUMELLA.” The Latin Library. The Latin Library. Web. 16 Oct 2013. <http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/columella/columella.rr12.shtml>

 

 

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.