Documentation and recipe for Paella has been completed. This was a labor of research.
Monthly Archives: September 2009
I have been experimenting with cream based fooles. I think I have created a really nice fall/winter flavored one. It starts with roasted acorn squash, ends in creamy goodness and it tastes like the holidays. Next up is to potentially create a custard based foole. I think it will hold up better. The weight of the squash is a little too heavy for the fluffy of the cream. The cream is nice, but snowe is so sweet. Which really is not out of line for period, but maybe a little to sweet for the modern palette. Right now the fool is in the fridge “setting” up.
Roasted acorn squash:
2 acorn squashes, split in half and seeded
1 tbl spice mix- (grind 1 5″ cinnamon, 2 green cardamon pods, 1/2 tsp mace, 1/2 tsp clove)
1 tbl salt
2 tbl butter
Pre-heat oven to 350
Sprinkle spice and salt over squash
Put 1/4 of the butter in each 1/2 of the squash
Bake for 45 minutes or until soft.
Roasted squash (see above)
2 tbl spice mix
2 tbl sugar
Blend all ingredients until smooth
Refrigerate until cool. If the mixture is too warm it will deflate the snowe.
Spiced squash snowe:
1 cup cream
4 tbs sugar
1/4 cup puree of roasted acorn squash (see above)
Whip cream, egg and sugar until stiff peaks form
Stir in squash puree.
Scoop or pipe into a dish
Here is the documentation for Arroz con Leche or Spanish rice with milk pudding.
Spices and their use in the medieval kitchen- Hands on class of period spices. What do they smell like, what properties will they impart to your food, whole vs ground and how to buy/use whole spices.
I have been trying out some of my recipes for River War. I made the Persicate last night with some fresh peaches. Nom and full of win, it ended up quite tasty. I learned a lot about making almond milk, oxtail stock and peaches. There was quite the disaster in the kitchen… but the whole house smelled like tasty goodness.
It is nearing the end of peach season, so I bought these interesting peaches called doughnut peaches. It is a form of white peach. It is sweeter than a normal peach with almond overtones. They are lower in acid than other peaches and it has a thin skin with little or no fuzz. It turns out these peaches are marketed as heirloom peaches. They are actually Chinese flat peaches or Chinese pan tao peach, and they have been around for ever. We don’t get them here in the US market because the flat shape “scares” people. So they are marketed as heirloom and donuts. And here I thought I was going to have a problem with having to document genetically engineered food.
There were some liberties taken to try to create a ginger free version. I used other spices that would 1, work with peaches and 2 have been used in that time period. I used some allspice and cinnamon. Turns out… the recipe really just tastes that much better with ginger added. I also added pepper and salt to the soup as the broth described below would have had both in it.I was using home made stock that did not.
Again, I followed the recipe as it was written, not as I have found it redacted. Meat stock, that still has the fat, adds a richness to the recipe that you cannot get with veggie stock. Also I have seen this served as a desert soup and chilled. If you chill soup that has meat stock and fat in it, you end up with glops of fat stuck to the palette. It really is meant to be a hot soup. Sweet with a hint of savory and hot. And normally I am not for mixing my sweets and savory flavors, but with these peaches, it actually works.
Potaje llamado persicate (po-ta-he ya-ma-doh pare-see-ca-te)
Ruperto de Nola, Libre del Coch (1529)
trans. by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain
You will take the peeled peaches, and cut them into slices, and cook them in good fat broth; and when they are cooked, take a few blanched almonds and grind them; and when they are well-ground, strain them rather thick with that broth. And then cook this sauce with sugar and a little ginger, and when it is cooked, cast in enough pot-broth or that which falls from the roasting-spit. And let it stew well for a little; and then prepare dishes, and upon each one cast sugar; and in this same way you can make the sauce of quinces in the same manner; but the quinces need to be strained with [the] almonds, and they should not be sour, and likewise the peaches.
Modern rendition- Ginger free:
6 cups of stock/broth
16 donut peaches, cut in chunks
Almond paste (recipe below)
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp allspice
1 tbl salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbl cinnamon
1. Bring stock and peaches to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until peaches are soft, about 20 minutes or so.
3. Strain peaches and almonds paste through a wire mesh strainer
4. Bring mixture back to a boil and add seasonings.
Note: in making a ginger version as described by the original recipe omit all other spices and add 2 tsp of ground ginger.
Stock- Oxtail and beef
1 lb each of chopped carrots, celery, onion
2 leeks, chopped including greens
Enough bones to fill a 16 quart stock pot 1/2 way
1 bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
1. Add water to cover bones
2. Bring to a boil
3. Add spices and aromatics
4. Reduce to a simmer
5. Simmer for 4-6 hours.
6. Strain and store.
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup of warm stock
1. Puree in a blender until smooth. Use more stock if needed.
All that is left is the documentation of the hows, whys, and what fores. That should be the easy part. Get the stuff in my head onto paper. I just did the hard part with getting the recipe correct and the steps modernized.
I bought some Venezuelan chocolate the other day. It is a nice 71% dark chocolate. I wanted to start playing with the spice blend, refine it before River War. After more research into what spices the Spanish were playing with in the 16th century, I am introducing some a new player to the party, and removing some others.
Spain was really into pepper. During his travels in the Caribbean, Columbus stumbled across this round, black spice that he called “pimienta”. Columbus thought he found a new source of pepper. Instead he found Allspice. This member of the Myrtle family, found its way to Spanish cuisine by mistake. When ground, this spice tastes like a combination of cloves, juniper, cinnamon, and pepper, hence its modern name, Allspice.
Spice mix- ingredients are in whole form
1 cinnamon stick 3″
4 allspice berries
1 pinch of mace blades
Grind fine. This will make about 2 table spoons.
1 cup of water
4 oz high quality dark chocolate- broken into pieces
3 tbl of white sugar
1-2 tlb of spice mix
1/2 vanilla bean- scraped
- Boil water and turn off heat
- Add chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes
- Add sugar, spices, and vanilla. When adding the spices, start with 1 table spoon of the mixture first, add more if you want a spicier mix. 2 tablespoons will give you a very spicy chocolate
- Froth. The spanish frothed their chocolate to get a head of foam. Traditionally a molinillo was used to froth. In the essence of time and/or lack of a molinillo, you can use a whisk (takes a bunch of time) or I used an immersion blender for 3 minutes on high.
- Serve hot in 2 oz portions.