Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It came to my attention....

so a friend was looking for fish recipes and it just so happens I have done a lovely salmon recipe but... I hadn't gotten it into my blog. In fact none of the recipes from Arts in April seem to be in here so I shall remedy this as best I can starting right now with the salmon.

To Make Aloes of Salmon to Boil or Bake
From The Good Housewife's Jewel

Take your salmon and cut him small in pieces of three fingers in breadth. And when you have cut so many slices as you will have, let them be the length of a woman's hand.

Then take more of the salmon, as much as you think good, and mince it raw with six yolks of hard eggs, very fine: then two or dishes of butter, with small raisins and so work them together with cloves, mace, pepper and salt. Then lay your minced meat in you sliced aloes, every one being rolled and pricked with a feather, full closed. Then put your aloes into an earthen pot, and put to it a pint of water, and another pint of claret wine, and so let them boil til they be enough.Afterward take the yolks of three raw eggs with a little verjuice, being strained together, and so put t into the pot. Then let your aloes seethe no more afterward, but serve them upon sops of bread.

Pretty straight forward.

Redaction:
8 salmon filets (frozen)
8 yolks hard boiled
1/3 c butter
raisins
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp mace
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
750 ml wine
750 ml water
4 egg yolks raw
1/4- 1/2 c verjuice (mixed grape juice and vinegar)
toothpicks

I shaved the filets to give them an even thickness and used the "left over" bits in the filling.
I mashed the butter, fish, spices and raisins together with a fork and then by hand.
Spread the filling on the filets and rolled them. Stuck them with toothpicks to keep them from falling apart and layed them in a pan just covered with the wine and water. Brought to boil and then simmered about 15 min until they were cooked through but not too much more.

Notes:
When I cooked this at an event I increased the wine and water so that the fish was covered. How much you really need depends on how wide and how deep your pot is. You definitely need enough that the fish is completely covered by about 1 inch. I found also you can layer them in the pot and they will cook just fine and evenly still.

This was well recieved by all.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Can't stop

OK the recipe for ravioli has totally invaded my brain and Pinterest has not helped one bit. For Lunch after a Halloween party I tried the ravioli again. Just sort of winging the filling (had more than I needed). I simply just mixed up the Schicht cheese with some fresh cheese and some grated Parmesan and added a package of the frozen 6 herb mix. It made a lovely filling. For the dough I used a pinterest pin about pasta in a food processor and away I went. It was FABULOUS!!! and now I am an addict, craving ravioli all the time! The up side to this is I am getting better at filling them etc. I am thinking to try again tonight, this time more dessert like with pumpkin, maybe I will let ya know how they turn out :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A complex pie


CXII Good Parmesan tart
Parmesan tart for twenty five people.  Take eight pounds of pork loin, twelve fresh cheeses and hard (dried) cheeses, twenty six eggs, half a pound of sweet spices, six chickens and four capons.
Boil the pork loin well and when it is cooked chop it and chop with it a quantity of mint and parsley.  Take six fresh cheeses and twenty four eggs add this to what you have already (the chopped pork) and as much chopped salted lard as is enough, and spices and enough saffron, and make this into a good yellow paste.
Take two fresh cheeses, and egg whites and grin them together and make nine white ravioli with a pasta crust.
Take two fresh cheeses and one hard cheese, mint and parsley and grind them together and make twelve green ravioli.
Take four cheeses and cut them into nice slices across.
Take the chickens, clean them, and from each part of the cleaned chickens make two (see note), and put them to fry in melted strained salted lard, with spices.
Have one (pound) of dates dusted with cinnamon and ginger and cloves
Boil the ravioli in water and when they are cooked take them out and powder with sweet spices.  Layer everything in the pie with a crust above.  And this pie should be yellow and fat with lard and strong with spices.  You can make if for more or less people.  If you make it in a tart pan of copper it needs little heat, and in a terracotta tart pan it will need more heat.
* A complicated tart recipe that is easy to lose track of the different stuffings.  The different paragraphs were introduced to keep track of the various mixtures.  I am not sure if the chickens are bone in or bone out.  The Italian word smembrare can mean to dismember, to gut or to carve.  Hence each chicken may be cut into breast, legs and wings, and then the breast and legs are again cut in two. Alternatively it is only the breast meat that is cut into two, fried and strips of chicken are fried to layer in the pie.  No order is given for the layering of the pie although originally there was probably a set order for the layering of all items.
I by no means tried this pie at "full capacity", there were only 3 of us eating after all :) so I reduced the recipe.

1.Meat paste layer
     1 lb of beef roast
     500gm - 12 tsp schicht cheese
     1 Tbsp ginger
     1 Tbsp cinnamon
     1 tsp clove
     1 tsp nutmeg
     pepper (about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp)
     1/8 cup of mixed herbs (I was out of parsley)
     4 heaping tsp of schmaltz mit krauter
     3 Pinches of saffron threads
Instructions:
     Boil the beef in water until it is tender but not mush. Remove and cool a bit, slice and chop small. Beat in a mortar until fine, adding spices and schmaltz, add cheese and beat to a fine paste.

2.Chicken layer
     1 chicken
Instructions:
     Cut apart the chicken and fry the pieces in a pan. When cooked through remove from the pan and remove meat from the bone and roughly chop.

3.White ravioli
     300 gm cream cheese
     200 gm marscapone
     2 egg white
     1 tsp salt
Instructions:
     Mix all ingredients together.

4.Green ravioli (made by Judith)
     300 gm cream cheese
     200 gm Marscapone
     200 gm Parmesan cheese
     30 5" sprigs of fresh mint + 1/4 c dried mint
     150 gm frozen chopped parsley
Instructions:
     Mix all ingredients together.

5.Hard cheese layer
     200 gm Parmesan cheese


6.450- 500 gm package of dates
Instructions:
     dusted with cinnamon ginger and cloves (cut in half)

Tortellini pasta
     2 cups of flour, about
     3 eggs
     some salt
     enough water to make it malleable. (made by Judith)

1 short crust layer for the top (made by Judith)

Roll the tortellini dough thin but strong, fill them and then cook in salted boiling water.

In our experiment we did not use a bottom crust and I layered the pie as such, starting at the bottom:
Meat paste
Dates
Ravioli's
Hard cheese
Crust

Baked in a 350f (280c) oven until the crust was browned


Findings:
The meat paste, in the translation it says to be good and yellow, this was not achieved, next time I will grind the saffron to a powder before using it. I did try to draw some of it but that did not help. Cinnamon and ginger also help to yellow things as well, though if it had much more spice I think it would over power the other flavors.

The dates were dusted and then cut in half and placed over the meat layer, It seemed after we tasted the pie that they would do better chopped.
    
The ravioli were Delicious but the whole wheat flour made them quite thick, they also could have been stuffed more, chilling the cheese mixtures after they are put together would help this. Next time I will use a finer flour for the dough.

Hard cheese is what was called for and you don't get much harder than Parmesan it could be that a softer cheese was needed but it was tasty.

I need to try to find what an approximate weight a "cheese" is as well as what were the varieties used in period.

This is a complex pie that is time consuming, several things can be done to make production faster. The tortellini could be made in advance and frozen or store in a refrigerator for a day. The chicken and the meat past could also be done in advance.

Another discussion point was, how large of  a pie were they making or how many pies where they making? The numbers are divisible but not evenly so the count of "for 25 people" is strange and doesn't help in this case.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Libra di Cuccina- Onion tart

CII Scallion or Onion tart

If you want to make a tart of these things, take whichever you want and boil it well.  Take it out of the water and squeeze out all the water in sieve and then chop them finely.  Take fine lard and chop/grind it well, eggs, fresh cheese, and saffron and mix all these things together and make the tart.

4 onions whole
2 scallions whole
water to boil
1- 1/2 c fresh cheese (fresh cheese and marscapone mix is what I used)
2 egg whites
2 whole eggs
4 Tbsp lard
salt

The onions have their ends cut off and are peeled, then boiles with the trimmed scalions until tender.
Drain the onions and cool them, then chop with the scallions, mix into the cheese and add eggs.
Chop the lard into small pieces and mix well into the "batter"
Pour into an ungreased ceramic pan
Bake at 350f - 180c oven until set

Notes:
     I used left over mixture from the white tortellini to mix with the eggs as well as left over egg white from another recipe as well in order to make out test pie. We had no trouble with sticking and was baked until set like a custard. It needed to be spooned out of the pan as it was a bit soft, but still held shape. Tasted wonderful andf very comparable to the filling of Scappi's Genovese tart. It may be the begining of where his recipe comes from. A touch more salt would not hurt but for my taste the salt was ok. You could also salt the water in which you boil the onion / scallions. Leeks would be milder but would also lend themselves well to this recipe.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Recipes from the weekend (3 of them)

These are quick and dirty redactions, with measuremenst taken as acurately as we could. These are by no means the final drafts of these well for the most part :)



Recipe:
XXI Compost good and perfect
     If you want to make compost, take sumac or dried grapes and aniseed, corriander and tear into this a little ginger. Add vinegar and mix everything together well making sure to add enough saffron. Then take turnips or pears and herbs and break them up gently and let them boil for a little while, then put the relish (vinegar and spices etc) over (the cooked pears ot turnips).

1 kg of pears (peeled, seeded and cut in chunks)
4 tsp corriander (crushed not ground)
2 tsp aniseed (crushed not ground)
1 Handful of sultanens (white raidins, easier to get here)
White wine vinegar (enough, I used about a cup in total could have used less)

Crush the anise and corriander and place in a bowl with the raisins and vinegar
After peeling and seeding, chop the pears in medium chunks (about  inch pieces)
Place in a small pot with a bit of water ( I could have used less, it doesn't take much as they will produce their own juices as they cook)
As soon as the water starts to boil shut off the heat and just set aside (turnips would need to be boiled until the softer side of med)
Add the raisin, vinegar spice mix to the pears, let cool.

This was served cooled but not refridgerated, could be served likely at any temperature and could be made in advance as well.

XLVII Stuffed eggs

If you want to make stuffed eggs. Take eggs and put them to boil and make sure they are hard cooked. When they are cooked pull them out (of the hot water) and put them in cold water. Peel and slice (the eggs) in half and remove the yolk (reserve). Take the fattest sweetest cheese that you have. Take the best herbs that you have, peel them (from the stalk) wash and grind them together in a mortar.When they (the herbs) are well ground take the egg yolks, the cheese and the spices and pit them in the mortar with the good herbs. Grind all these things together to make a fine paste and temper (mix) with raw eggs until it is good (has the right consistency). Meanwhile put a frying pan over the fire. Take the egg halves and stuff with the paste (of egg yolks and cheese) and put them to cook (in the frying pan). When they are cooked remove from the pand and powder them with sugar before serving them hot to the table. And if you want to serve them savory take them (without sugaring them), etc.

6 eggs
12 tsp (slightly rounded) Schicht käse
1 raw egg
tbsp of herbs
sprinkling of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, salt

Hard boil your eggs, when they are done immediately place them in cold water, change the water when it gets warm.
Peel the eggs and cut them in half
Pace the yolks in a bowl
Add the cheese, herbs and spices mix well
Add the raw egg
Fill the holes with the paste
Fry in a frying pan in grease

Notes: The 1 raw egg was likely too much liquid for the ammount of yolk and cheese I had. Proper proportion need to still be found. Watch your cooking time! we eneded up over cooking ours. Salt would bennefit the filling. We fried ours in chicken grease as we had just finished frying chicken for another recipe and the grease was hot. There was about 1/2" of grease in the pan so the eggs needed to be flipped this worked out better than I had expected but wonder if maybe they are "deep fried" / submerged in oil to cook.


LXIX White ginger sauce for capons
If you want to make a white ginger sauce. Take white ginger and crush the well peeled (root). and add sufficient well peeled (stalks removed) spinach and sage. Grind these things well together and add suffucient sugar and temper thus sauce with verjuice and with white wine vinegar. This sauce one serves raw (cold) with roasted capons and hens.

450 gm Spinach
4 Tbsp sugar
100 gm ginger
grape juice 11/2 cups
1/2 cup white wine vinegar

After peeling the ginger I use the large zester side of a grater to "grate it" afterwards I placed it in a mortar to grind it even further
Add to the mortar the spinach and keep grinding
In the mean time I boiled down the 1 1/2 c of juice down to 1/2 c juice
While grinding I added the sugar
Then started adding the vinegar and the boiled down juice
note: the reason for the juice was lack of verjuice, normally I use a mix of grape and vinegar. The juice I purchased was "weak" tasting so I reduced it down to enhance flavor.

The (...) are the personal notes of the translator. My notes are added with the redaction or labeld after as notes.

PS: I am trying the "auto publish" feature and will see what happens. wish me luck.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A weekend away

OK to technically it wasn't over the weekend but the days add up to one :) I left Wednesday and went out for dinner, normal and boring enough but Thursday my laurel and I spent cooking experimental food. The day left us with some marvelous eats, a few recipes and some more questions to be answered, I call it a success!

Delving into Libra di Cucina:

A total of 8 recipes were tried or 5 depending on how you look at it. One of the recipes is a complicated multilayer tart comprised of a meat paste layer, 2 types of ravioli, fried chicken, dates and cheese. In order to make the one pie we had to work out 3 recipes. We roasted 2 chickens though I think between the 3 of us we only managed to eat 1/2 of one. This was to go with a raw sauce of spinach and ginger that worked out quite well and in the end was a perfect compliment for the chicken. The other meat dish was a roast with a sweet and sour sauce, it needs more work but what we made is a start. For starter we made stuffed eggs, quite OK but they unfortunately got a bit over cooked. We also had an onion tart, this is one of my "comparative studies" recipes. It does have a striking resemblance in flavor to that of Scappi's and despite not having a crust did not stick to the pan. It was quite soft but still tasty. Lat but not least was a "compost" recipe. Made from pears and soaked in vinegar I was amazed at how well this one worked of me, taste wise. It was like a strange sweet pickle that wasn't pickled.

I will add my beginning redactions and recipes after the true weekend as I will be away.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sidetracked by life

Sorry to say it folks but every once in a while I have a "real life". It has been a nice break but it is time to get back to the grindstone and start work again, and that I have.

I have been recently immersed in a 14/15th century cookbook Libro di Cucina by Anonimo Veneziano. I had stumbled on the translation by Helewyse de Birkestad, OL  (MKA Louise Smithson) which can be found at http://medievalcookery.com/etexts.html

I am preparing to make a feast for early December as well as have started a comparitive study of recipes from Scappi and a study of "evolution" in dishes. It didn't start out that way but it seems to want to flow in that direction.

So far I have found at least 3 recipes that I can do direct comparisons with. \o/


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dead on paper :)

Ok so I entered a contest and to get more more "tickets" in the give away I need to mention it in my blog and as this is the only 1 I have I will mention it here.

I funded and awesome kickstarter Caleveras Playing cards and they are beauties!

see it all here!

deadonpaper.com!

now check it out!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My handout from my class


What is recipe redaction?

                The process of reconstructing  a medieval recipe into modern terms and methods.

What is a redaction?

                A redaction in this regard is a recipe that has been translated from medieval to modern terms often scaling down the amounts needed.

How to start the process?

                It is best to work from a primary source if possible, if a primary source is not available in your language you will either a) need to translate it or b)need to get it translated. Translations will not always make sense. Terms for cooking can be different as well as many other items like pots , pans, and utensils and in some cases there is no word to translate to. Once you find a recipe that looks interesting to work with is where the fun begins.

Things to remember:
                The first attempt is usually a disaster! You might get lucky, or have a very simple recipe, or be really good on the first try, but usually the first attempt is a complete miss. Why do I tell you this? No, it is not so you feel doomed from the beginning and don't even try.  It is warning so that you don't get discouraged! Remember that redacting is trial and error.

                No two people will come to the same conclusion.  As most recipes include the elusive term "to taste". This one term has been the cause for heated debate among cooks everywhere. I like spicy foods so may add more pepper and ginger to an item when it is called for, others may like dishes sweeter and so use a heavier hand with sugar when an amount is not indicated and some others may omit a spice all together when it is not "to their taste". The third person though risks turning the dish into something entirely unintended.  As long as the ingredients are nothing you are allergic to every attempt should be made to use all the ingredients or reasonable substitutes. Also to be mentioned, every person has a style of cooking even if they think they don't. This style imparts an unquantifiable quality to the food. Give two people the exact same recipe, access to the exact same stove, measuring cups, utensils and ingredients; you will get two similar but different products. The difference could be subtle or like night and day but there will be differences.

                There are NO wrong results.  Results can be inedible, gross, disgusting, ugly, divine, enchanting, awesome, and a myriad of other descriptive words. None of them are wrong. Conversely there are no right results either. Lacking the capability to go back in time and see and taste what "right" truly is, no one can say with 100% accuracy that what they made and the way they made it is "right".

                Work with what you know. If you are attempting to redact a recipe on your own I am going to assume that you have some experience and knowledge of cooking and how to cook. If you do not have this background it will make the process harder but not necessarily impossible. So assuming you have the background skills, think about the recipe you are trying to redact, dissect it. What do you mean by that? Well, what I mean is break it down into its major parts, ingredients and cooking method(s). Then sort the ingredients by how they are treated, pre cooked, chopped, ground, etc… This will help you get a feel for what might be a "recipe starting point".  A recipe that is similar enough to use as a base for amounts or ratios that will help you construct your recipe.  Also during the process if dissection start to think of your substitutions, not just for ingredients but for the cooking utensils and methods as well.

                Example: On page 23 of The Good Housewife's Jewel, is a recipe for "To make pears to be boiled in meat".

The recipe reads:

                Take a piece of a leg of mutton or veal raw, being mixed with a little sheep's suet, and half a manchet grated fine taking four raw egg yolks and al. Then take a little thyme and parsley chopped small, a few gooseberries or barberries or green grapes being whole. Put all these together, being seasoned with salt, saffron and cloves, beaten and wrought altogether. Then make rolls or balls like to a pear, and when you have so done, take the stalk of the sage, and put it into the ends of your pears or balls. Then take the fresh broth of beef, mutton or veal, being put into an earthen pot, putting the pears or balls in the same broth with salt, cloves, mace and saffron. When you be ready to serve him, put two or three yolks of eggs into the broth. Let them boil no more.

To dissect:

Ingredients first, there are no amounts listed save for the number of eggs used.

raw veal or mutton (a piece)                          sheep's suet                                                                      thyme (fresh)                                                    manchet(gratedfine)                                                                 
parsley (fresh)                                                   4 eggs                                                                                   gooseberries, barberries or green grapes            salt                                                                                         saffron                                                                cloves                                                                                  
fresh sage                                                           broth (made from beef, mutton or veal)                              mace                                                                    2 or 3 more egg yolks

Cooking equipment and method:

                Earthenware pot                                                              To be boiled

                OK, substitution time. First evaluate your ingredients, their availability and their treatment. First on the list is raw veal or mutton. Now think of the recipe as a whole, the recipe calls for a whole piece of leg but in the end everything needs to be pounded and mashed together. You could a) get a piece and mash/grind it yourself or you can go and buy pre ground. What is easier for you? What do you have time for? What is available? If like me you have a butcher available you can go to and order your meat. If you are relying on a grocery store you will have to make more substitutions so I will address those. Getting veal or mutton may be expensive where you are, though knowing that veal is from a cow, ground beef is a likely substitution. Knowing though that when they grind beef they add fat to it to make it grind better as well as to "keep it moist and flavorful" while cooking, makes thinking about the second ingredient easier. If you were to grind your own leg you would have to add in the fat, if you buy pre-ground from the store they have added fat, now it becomes an experiment with what "fat content" works best for you.
                Fresh herbs are the most common type of herbs used in the time though dried herbs did exist. Fresh is best but not always available.

                Manchet, a type of bread or roll about the size of a man's hand, usually described with a crusty exterior. So what you need is bread crumbs.

                Berries or green grapes? The most common one of them all will be the grapes and please, go with seedless.

                Fresh sage, this could be skipped. It mostly makes for a nice presentation.

                The other spices, they are mostly self explanatory, while an omission of saffron will change the flavor and possibly the color some it is important to know that those with allergies to onions, garlic and other items from the Alliums family are also sensitive to saffron. Cloves, while those used in the meatballs themselves should likely be ground the ones in the broth may be whole and then strained out before the egg yolks are added.

                Broth, this can be bought in cans, cubes, or granules, but you could also make your own by boiling "soup bones" or a chunk of meat.
                Now that the ingredients have been addressed we need to talk about what to cook it in. The method is simple, they are boiled, but not everyone has an "earthen ware pot" just hanging around to cook with on their stove (or over an open fire). So, it is likely you will be using a large aluminum or stainless steel pot.
              *Ok, so now we have ingredients but what do we do with them? Now we think about a similar recipe that we can use for a base. For me it was meatballs\meatloaf. My recipe has most of the same ingredients, ground meat, spices, egg and bread crumbs (for my meatballs) or oatmeal (for meatloaf). I use 1 cup of bread crumbs and 1 egg per pound of meat and I use a total of about a table spoon of spices. Now, I bake mine not boil them but that is part of the experimental fun of redacting. Trying new things.  So my rough estimate of what this recipe would look like is:

1lb ground meat
1/2 - 1 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme@
1 egg
1 handful of green seedless grapes

salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves#
8 cups of broth
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground mace

Make the "pears" as directed by combining all the first set of ingredients together. Place a sage stem in each one. Place into a pot so there is little space but they are not "packed in". Use enough broth to mostly cover them but not entirely the sage stem should be outside the liquid. Boil them about 1/2 an hour. Remove one as a "test subject" and cut it open to check for doneness. If done remove "pears" to a shallow bowl. When the pan is empty of pears, remove the pan from heat and add the 2-3 egg yolks. If you do not want the eggs to "curdle", beat the yolks in a bowl and add a Tbsp at a time of the hot broth warming up the yolks, then stir them into the rest of the both. Pour the broth over the "pears" and serve.

*Disclaimer I have not sat down and fully redacted this recipe! All amounts are approximates

@A flavor I am not particularly fond of, so enough to have notice but not be too over powerful I hope)

# Cloves are very powerful especially when ground, I don't want to risk "over spicing"

^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/redact

redact [rɪˈdækt]vb (tr)
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) to compose or draft (an edict, proclamation, etc.)
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) to put (a literary work, etc.) into appropriate form for publication; edit
[from Latin redigere to bring back, from red- re- + agere to drive]
redaction  n redactional  adj redactor  n

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

page 243 recipe#210

To prepare a thick soup of garlic in meat broth with other ingredients
     When cloves of garlic are clean there should be as many cloves as from fifty bulbs. Parboil them, changing the water often so they lose their strength, and finish cooking them in a good meat broth that is not too salty, along with slices of pork jowl and desalted sawbelly. Just before you want to serve iy, throw in a handfull of herbs. If there is no salted meat in it, you can blend in cheese and eggs, nat failing to put the spices in the one and the other. With them you can garnish and cook doves, cockrels and other fowl, serving them with grated cheese and cinnamon over the top.

I tried this at home in a smaller quantity.
1st try
     Cloves from 5 heads of garlic, cleaned
     2c Meat broth (I used lamb for this one)
     2c Water
     2-4 Eggs (i think I used 2)
     3/4 - 1 cup fine grated Parmesan cheese
     Pepper to taste

bring garlic to a boil and drain 3 times!
Put garlic in the broth/water and set aside to simmer
beat eggs in a bowl
add hot broth to eggs slowly to wrm them before pouring them into the pot
add the cheese
cook for 15 min

serve with toast

Changes for ADD:
I used 50 heads of garlic this served the 70 - 80 people exact! they scraped the pot to serve the last one.
20 cups of broth and 20 cups of water
1 kg of parmesan cheese finely grated
30 eggs (I think, I might have used 40 but not 100% sure)
Did all the pre boiling the night before, stored the garlic dry overnight in the cooler.
Next day noon time added the garlic to the water/broth
Broth was made of beef and lamb

This was distinctly more successful!

More Notes:
     Tried this on a small scale as a vegetarian dish. Does not work! or at least I have yet to be happy with the results. There is no richness to it and it just doesn't taste right.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Page 481 recipe# 97

To prepare a Genovese onion gattafura.
     Grind struccoli or fresh provatura or provaggiole that are sour*; they should be so well ground up that they become like butter; add a little sweet olive oil to them. get parboiled onions that have been well beaten with a knife, and mix the ground cheese and pepper with them. get a baking sheet that is sprinkled with grated bread and has a sheet of dough on it made of fine flour, water and oil. On that pastry put the filling to a height of half a finger and, with a spoon, go on and sprinkle a little oil over it. Distribute the mixture on top with big pinches. Cover it over with another sheet of dough; splash that with plain water and sprinkle some oil on it with a spoon. Bake it by braiding or in an oven. Serve it hot with sugar over top. Instead of oil you can use butter.

*The translator notes: acetose: acidic, although Scappi's word means literally vinegary.
 
What I did:
3 medium onions (about 2 cups cut into rings and then in 1/2) boiled until "foggy" colored
125 gm ball of mozzarella
1Tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp vinegar (white balsamic is what I used)
crushed pepper to taste
Oil Pastry (recipe I used follows)

Chop onions well after they have been boiled
Beat mozzarella until buttery (1-2 minutes in my kitchen aid{stand mixer})
drizzle in olive oil, vinegar and crushed pepper.
Mix with the onion.

Oil crust:
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 Tbsp water

Mix salt into flour, add oil, and water.
At first it will seem like it is too wet but keep stirring it will firm up.
Divide dough in 1/2 ( this should cover larger than 9in by 13in minimum!)
Cover 1/2 with plastic wrap, TIGHT!
Roll the bottom dough between 2 pieces of baking paper. (I baked mine on paper and not bread crumbs)
Top with cheese and onion
Roll out top layer
Cover
Sprinkle with oil and water
Bake 220 with fan 20 - 30 min (on site temp was 180 with fan for 30 min)

Notes:
The mixture will sit fine in a fridge over night. The oil crust should be made 1 batch at a time and immediately wrapped in plastic wrap when not rolling it out. Definitely roll between 2 pieces of baking paper to get it thin! Otherwise it will stick to your rolling pin!

Should serve 8

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rice fritters

Page 498 rec#142 To prepare rice fritters

     Cook two pounds of rice in a fat meat brothor else in goat's or cow's milk and sugar so that it is quite thick. Take it out of the pot and let it cool. In a mortar grind four ounces of sugar and eight fresh eggs with one pound of creamy cheese. Make balls of that mixtur; dredge them in fine flour, then fry them in rendered fat. When they are done, serve them hot with sugar on them.

     What I did:
1 c milch reis (this is  ashort grain rice found in Germany specifically for making rice porridge and the like)
3 cups milk 3.8% (whole milk)
3 Tbsp Sugar
pinch of salt

Cook the rice in the milk with the sugar (no not add salt) for 45 min uncovered
add the salt (and yes I mean a pinch you don't want or need too much)
cook 15 more minutes uncovered
Take the pot off the heat and cover it
let it sit for 1/2 hr or over night

If you are making this immediately and not in advance spread the rice out on a cookie sheet or something to cool faster. Otherwise after you put the lid on set it aside to cool.

when it is cooled:
1-2 eggs
4 oz of creamy cheese (I used a Philidelphia type cheese)
1 oz of powdered sugar.

make balls of the "dough:, roll them in flour and fry until a deep golden brown.
Makes about 50 (a little over the size of a hard boiled egg yolk)

NOTES:
     This recipe has been well recieved by everyone I talked to about it. My husband thought they were apple fritters and couldn't stop eating them hot or cold! Eric who was in my kitchen at ADD (omg thank you!!! I love having you there) He ate some with Nutella on them not exactly period but awesomely deliscious none the less. I am happy with this and look forward to maybe trying it with meat broth and different types of rice :)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sauces

I recently experimented with 2 sauces. First a citrus cinnamon and the second a "Pepper sauce" though it tastes like melted liebkuchen to me :)

Page 270 recipe# 270: To prepare a sauce of orange juice and lime juice
     Get  four ounces of lime juice and a pound of bitter or semi-sweet orange juice and set the clearest of it to boil with a pound of fine sugar, a quarter ounce of whole cinnamon and two whole cloves. Give it the cooking set out in the previous recipe for the sauce of pomegranate wine* so that it is reduced by two-thirds.

*that recipe is #264, the cooking instructions are "To boil the mixture over a low coal fire."

I made 2 batches that I ended up mixing together for the final product.

I used 11/2 cups of orange juice
              1/2 cup of lemon juice (to take the sweetness from the orange)
              1/2 cup of lime juice
                1 pound of sugar

Boiled on the stove. Batch 1 with .25 oz of ground cinnamon (as I had missed the instruction for whole until it was too late) and 2 cloves and batch 2 with stick cinnamon and 2 cloves. Both were delightful but the ground cinnamon leaves a gritty texture and heavy taste where the stick leaves a smooth texture and a more subtle and refined taste. For the purposes of the feast I mixed the two together.

Page 264 recipe# 251: To prepare a pepper sauce that can be used like the one above*
     Get a pound of grated bread or of crust less bread toasted on the coals; put it into a pot with eight ounces of must syrup^, a pound of lean meat broth or water, four ounces of vinegar, an ounce of cinnamon and another of ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger combined. Cook that. When it is done put it through a filter or strainer, adding six ounces of sugar and three ounces of malmsey. Bring it again to a boil in a cooking basin, then take it down and let it cool. As a sauce, serve it with sugar and cinnamon over it, splashed with rosewater. To use it to garnish fowl and game quadrupeds roasted on a spit, keep it thinner with a little broth.

*  Both sauces are served either thick by themselves or thinned with meats
^ Must syrup is a syrup made by juicing grapes and reducing the juice by 2/3 intensifying the flavor

This one posed some problems at first but in the end worked real well as a thinned sauce for the meat.

I used:
1 lb dry bread crumbs
6 cups water
11/2 cup vinegar (red balsamic to intensify flavor)
1 oz ground cinnamon
.25 oz ground black pepper
.25 oz ground cloves
.25 oz ground ginger
.25 oz ground nutmeg
16oz of must syrup ( I am lucky enough to be able to make some each year )
12 oz sugar
1c+2Tbsp sweet white Greek wine

when I reheated it on site I brought 2 cups of grape juice to a boil and added in the mass stirring it up.

When I get a better feel for what the measures of the time were I will re work this (and several other) recipe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Accademia Della Danza 2013

Greetings post a wonderful event.

This year I found myself a bit behind the 8 ball due to life, so planning took a back seat for a bit then it was a rush job. Despite the rush though things turned out well, for the most part.

The menu:

Salad and Garlic soup with toast
Turkey/ 2 sauces and Genovese Gattafura
Stuffed Kohlrabi and Rice Fritters
Apples in jelly

Most things were fine, the largest problem was tha the jelly didn't set up for the apples, I will have to play with this more. The other "problem" was over cooking the kohlrabi none of this was too terrible but it certainly wasn't ideal.

Well received were the rice fritters, I think that is the dish I heard poeple talk about the most. The sauces too seemed to be a big hit.

The largest trouble seemed to be how allergies and food restrictions were handles at the serving of feast. It seems that not all of everyone got the extra dishes that were made. This will actually be a seperate post in itself that I will make later. I just wanted to note it here.

I will post my full "Post Mortem" later on.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So you wanna be a cook (pt 5) conclusion

Try and try again! it is the only way to learn.

I suggest a "test feast" you don't have to do it to scale but maybe as a dinner for some friends if you have time. You will be tempted to cook all your dishes at once because of the available space in the oven or on the stove. DON"T DO IT! you will not likely have that option on the day of your feast, force yourself to do it 1 remove at a time like you need to on the day.

When it is over you are still not done. If you can make notes while you cook, what is going well, what is giving you trouble, what is good, bad or ugly. What takes too long to cook what cooked too fast. All of this together will help you for your next experience. Take a day or two but no more after you get home to put notes together, if you wait longer things will blend and not be as clear. Every detail is important no matter how small you may think it is. Talk to people who were there, get their opinions. Encourage them to be honest! Don't argue or make excuses while they are expressing their opinions, listen and make notes.

While attending the feast of another it is OK to make notes, mental or written. Ask questions and get as much information as you can. This will be helpful to you as well as to that feast cook should they ask for your opinion.

You can do it! It is a process and if at first we don't succeed, try and try again!