bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
This is the summary of feast prep notes, not exactly what-happened-this-weekend.
The most important point to remember is that the feast was underattended -- 50 instead of 80-- probably mostly because of the storms this weekend.
cut for massive length )
30. All in all, a successful high authenticity Spanish feast...
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Yesterday I bought 3 blocks of quince paste in Morristown. I've tried this before, but was always foiled by being unable to find the street the Hispanic groceries were on. So I used my old reliable finding technique: driving into Morristown and getting as lost as possible. I did, in fact, find a Hispanic grocery store and quince paste ($2.79 a block, and I also bought their last round tin at $2.09). My life would be so much easier if the type of Hispanic culture in Allentown was the kind that ate quince paste!

I also started a plan of the day/work. For instance, I plan to precook:
Carrot-cheese pie
Anise biscotti
Coriander comfits
Casserole of Pork

Also, the first part of the Millet Polenta and the Moorish Eggplants will be done next Friday.

Time to get back to work.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
STARTERS:
Olives *
Lombardy sops (layered casserole of bread & cheese with broth) (bread, dairy, meat; vegetarian version available on request)
Sallat *

FIRST COURSE:
Fish with Orange Juice
Fried Millet Polenta (contains dairy; plain dairy free millet available) *
Cooked dish of Lentils *
Garlic Chicken
Limonada (raisin-lemon-almond pudding) (nuts) *
Parsley Dish (contains nuts, bread)*

SECOND COURSE:
Casserole of Pork
Rice cooked in the Oven (may contain eggs)*
Modern Pottage of Chard, served with parmesan on the side *
Moorish Eggplant (contains eggs, dairy) *
Fried figs *
Carrot-Cheese Pie (contains dairy) *

Buffet:
Food for Angels (Sweetened cheese with rosewater or orange flower water) *
Anise Biscotti (contains wheat) *
Peach Dish (contains meat broth)
Quince Paste *
Fruit *
Jordan Almonds *

* indicates vegetarian options. An additional meat dish may be added at the cook's discretion.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Ok, here's another recipe from de Nola. Christopher, bless his heart, redacted this one for me first, but I did it again to taste it myself (he did it for Iron Bog Cooks Guild).

85. Another Modern Pottage: OTRO POTAJE MODERNO

Take the fleshy leaves of the bledas (61) which is chard, and clean them very well; and give them a brief boil with water and salt, so that they come out half-cooked. And then remove it from the fire, and remove more than half of the broth; and return it to cook on the fire with a little good sweet oil; and when they are cooked, taste them for salt; and then prepare dishes and cast good grated cheese upon them, and also cast some of this cheese beneath them; and they are good for Lent, if you have a dispensation. (62)


My plan is to serve the pottage with grated parmesan on the side, so those who want it, may have it.

So I cut the ribs out of enough chard to make 2 good handsful of chard.
Then I put them in a pot with enough water to cover them, and 3 pinches of salt.
Boiled them until they were bright green.
Poured out about one-half to 2/3 of the water.
Added about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and cooked until they were fully cooked and starting to turn dark.
Served with the cheese.
As Sarah said, what could be wrong? I think cooking down the water is important, though. And enough oil.

This is making it into the feast.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
From De Nola:

LIMONADA
Take blanched almonds and peel them, and grind them in a mortar, and blend them with good hen's broth; and then take new raisins, and clean them well of the seeds, and grind them by themselves and strain them through a woolen cloth; and after they are strained, mix them with the almonds, and put everything in the pot where it must cook; and put sugar and a little ginger in that same way, and set it to cook, constantly stirring it with a stick of wood. And when it is cooked, put a little lemon juice, and then stir it a little with the wooden stirrer so that the lemon juice is well-mixed within it. And then dish it out and cast fine sugar on the dishes.


So, I took about 20 almonds and ground them up in a food processor.
Then I blended them with 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken base (yes, I'm lazy) and heated them up enough to combine.
I took about 2/3 cup of raisins and ground them in the food processor, then mixed them in the broth/almond mixture, added 1 tsp salt and pinch of ginger.
I heated it up and cooked it, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until it had thickened. Then I added 2 tsp of lemon juice and mixed them in, and turned off the heat.

YUMMMM...
I need to grind the almonds smaller, though; they are too chunky. But the raisins have a lemony taste to start with.

I could also see this being done with white grape juice instead of raisins; it's not clear. I'll try that too.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Slowly, ah, slowly...

But the feast for Conviviencia (Labor Day weekend in Peach Bottom PA) is coming together.

starters:
- Lombardy sops (cheese and bread casserole)
- something sharp-tasting?

First course
Fried Millet polenta
Armored Capon?
Sauce(s) of some kind?
Greens dish?
Moorish Eggplant (eggplant, meet de Nola)
Lentil or chickpea dish (vaguely favoring chickpeas)?

Second course
Casserole of meat, made with pork
Mirrauste of apples?
Rice in the oven
Fish with bitter orange juice?
parsley dish?
Limonada?
Carrot-cheese pie

Desserts:
Candied stuff
Peach pie?
Quince paste
Anise Biscotti
Food for Angels (venetian version)
Fruit
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
So, I had promised to bring yummy treats in order to bribe my co-workers into coming to Groupwise training this afternoon. (Yes, our library runs on food.)
Fortunately, Juergen kindly put in the air conditioner so it was doable.

Last night I made a batch of Anise Bizcochos, from Brighid ni Chairain's redaction, just to make sure I still know how to do it. http://members.tripod.com/~breadbaker/sweets.html
The answer is yes, but I need not to let the dough sit as long between batches.
Yummy.

And then I made gingerbread, using the recipe from Form of Cury:
Curye on Inglysch p. 154
To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.


This time I think I got the proportions as I like them and had them written down:
1 cup honey
2.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 rounded tsp ginger
1/2 a medium long pepper
1/3 tsp saunders
Whole Cloves
Sugar to roll in

Heat the honey to a simmer. Stir in the breadcrumbs with a silicone spatula (heavy duty) or wooden spoon. Add the ginger, grate in the long pepper and add the saunders. Mix in. Get yourself set up with pot of gingerbread, bowl of sugar to roll in, container of whole cloves, plate to put gingerbread in. This will allow the mixture to cool off enough to be handled.
Take handfuls of the mixture and knead with your fingers. When it forms a cohesive paste, pull off an amount the size of a superball and roll it into a firm ball. Insert a clove; roll in sugar, and set aside. Repeat. When the mixture is hottest, do one ball at a time; as it cools down, you can do larger quantities and roll them into ropes to pinch off from.
You MUST firmly incorporate the bread crumbs with the honey to get a good flavor and texture. If the balls crack or don't hold together you need to knead the mixture more. You can tell when a ball is ready when you roll it between your hands and it pulls away from your skin slightly as you roll.

The longer these sit, the spicier they are.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
from De Nola again:

178. Pottage called jota
POTAJE LLAMADO JOTA

You will take chard, and parsley, and mint, and borage, and put everything to cook so that it comes to a boil; and then put it on a chopping-block, and chop it small with spices; and when it is well-chopped, strain it through a woolen cloth, and put it in a pot; and you must give it a boil in such a manner that it does not lose its greenness. And do not cover it until the hour of dinner, and if you wish to cook it the night before, make it in the same manner, but you must put in some bacon from fresh pork and fry it to extract the juice; and with that juice, gently fry the above-mentioned things; and with pot-broth in the manner of spinach, and then prepare dishes, and upon each dish put a piece of that bacon which you have gently fried.


Ok, this one is a bit odder. I'm going to work on it this way:
- chard, mint, parsley (borage ommitted), cleaned and chopped roughly
-blanch greens
- chop up fine and add spices
- drain?
- cook on low just until done (make sure color does not change)

I'm worried about that 'strain through a woolen cloth but I'll try it.
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Along with the millet, on Saturday I tested this Casserole of Meat from de Nola:

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.


So, I was pretty sure this could go in a crockpot. Obviously it's meant to be made with lamb, mutton or goat meat but it doesn't say that, and besides, if de Nola uses all that bacon, there's got to be some pig bits around somewhere. So I tried it with pork.

About 2.5 to 3 lb pork loin, cut into 1-1.5" chunks
I fried 5-6 pieces of bacon ends in a pan to make the grease, then browned the pork loin chunks in that.
The pork loin chunks then went into the crockpot with about 2 quarts of beef broth made from beef base.
added:
1 heaping tsp powder forte
7-8 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon, broken up
about 1/3 cup bitter orange juice

Then I put it to simmer all day. (The general concensus was that it definitely smelled Catalan.)

When we came home, it looked good, but the liquid hadn't cooked down all that much, so I transferred it back to the frying pan and let it simmer while the millet cooked to reduce it a bit.

The broth was not really thick enough-- next time I would use less broth. But the meat-- oh oh OH! yummmy! and the broth was quite nice on the millet. I'll serve this with rice.
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Well, so we tried it again on Saturday.
Original from Granado, trans. by Brighid ni Chairain
Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of millet, or of chopped panic-grass

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig's neck, to give it flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. (You can also cook the said grains with the milk of goats or cows.) And after they shall be cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood, or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices, and shall be fried with cow's butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon on top.


This time I wanted to use some of the millet with dinner, first, so:
2 cups millet
7 cups water (3.5 water / 1 millet proportions) *
Brought to a boil, covered, and then reduced the heat very low and simmered until very soft and creamy.
This time, with less water but a longer slower cook, the resulting mass was more like pictures of polenta I've seen.
Pulled out about half for dinner.

With the remaining millet, mixed:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch saffron
1/3 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup shredded 4-cheese mix
2 eggs, beaten

over heat, until a thick mush results.
Dumped it out into a rectangular plastic chinese food container and left it on the counter to cool.
After about 45 minutes, the resulting object could be shaken loose from the pan in a single oblong.
We put it in the fridge uncovered over night (for fear that it would accumulate condensation if we covered it.

In the morning (ok, about 15 hours later), we took it out, sliced it about 1/3 " thick and 2x4" slices, and fried it in butter in nonstick skillets, trying for a nice uniform browning on both sides. The more times we fussed with it, the more likely it was to fragment, but I'm afraid I wasn't daunted by that!

Definitely a success. I will hold out some millet plain for those who have dairy issues.

* Sarah still wants to try it with broth, I just forgot to put the meat base in. I liked it with no broth, myself. It might be quite good with a light vegetable broth though.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Well, after leaving the millet mixture in the fridge for 48 hours, I got it out last night and prepared to fry it.
First I poured off the liquid on top. Then I tried to slice it.
It was definitely too wet/gooey. Drat!
So, we fried some in butter in globs. Interesting, but it kept falling apart when I went to turn it.
Still, it was fried starch-- what could be bad? Especially with cheese.
Sarah wants to try it again with broth in the cooking water, and I want to use less liquid.

However... there is a problem. There are three dishes I had already planned on for the meal:
Eggplant Morisco
Lombardy Sops
Carrot-Cheese Pie
that all have cheese. That makes a 4th cheese dish. Hm. That may be too much dairy.

Drat drat drat.

Back to the drawing board, I guess: I could do plain rice and barley or bulgur with almond milk...
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Last night I started working on the Millet Polenta..
I cooked 1 cup millet in 5 cups water (started out with 3, but had to keep adding because the water was gone while the millet was not cooked). I didn't add broth or anything.
Then I added a pinch of saffron, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella, and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Cooked it until it was good and thick, then put it in a rectangular container and refrigerated it.
Tonight we'll try slicing and frying.

It's pretty clear that the combination of cheese was a) too much and b) a suboptimal combination, and that yes, one really does need broth, milk or something else to flavor the millet. So we'll have to try it again, but first I think we should finish this iteration!
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I'm going to try this one (from Granado):

Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of millet, or of chopped panic-grass

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig�s neck, to give it flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. (You can also cook the said grains with the milk of goats or cows.) And after they shall be cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood, or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices, and shall be fried with cow�s butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon on top.


So, I'll need to:

  • Cook the millet with broth
  • Mix the hot millet with beaten eggs, cheese, pepper, cinnamon & saffron.
  • Cook a bit more, sufficient to make it thick.
  • Cool the millet
  • Cut into slices
  • Fry slices in butter.

I'll let you know how it goes.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Mistress Brighid ni Chairain is a wonderful, wonderful woman.
We met at the Garlic Rose Bistro in Madison and had a dinner that couldn't be beat, then went and sat on a park bench and hammered out some suggestions for my feast menu. Here's my tentative thoughts, subject to confusion, indecision, and testing;

Starters:
Lombardy Sops (Melted/cheese bread strata cooked with broth, like the top of a french onion soup-- I will probably make a vegetarian version separately)
Sausage
?

Main courses:
- Eggplant Morisco out of de Nola
- Rice in the Oven
- grilled fish with orange juice (something out of de Nola)
- a stewed lamb dish, perhaps Adobado de Carnero (http://breadbaker.tripod.com/meat.html?)
- Roast pork
- Carrot-cheese pie http://gallowglass.org/jadwiga/SCA/cooking/LandsknechtBid.htm#carrotpie
- a lentil or chickpea dish (probably lentils, for the color balance)
- Jota, a cooked greens dish
- Millet Polenta (fried millet slices) or a blancmage of barley
- Armored capon (chicken with a parsley-egg crust)
- Limonada, a raisin-lemon-almond pudding, and/or a parsley pudding
- mirrauste of apples (apples with almond milk?)

Dessert:
Peach pie from granado
pears
Candied orange peel
quince paste
anise biscuits
'food for angels'
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Ok, here's my first test cook: eggplant glop a la de Nola.
Read more... )

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