Monday, 19 May 2014

Eggplant Manta Recipe

A recipe from our Patron, Master Drake Morgan......

Eggplant Manta

6 December 2011 - Master Drake & Mistress Acacia

Ingredients (Manta):
5 Finger Eggplants
250g Fatty Lamb Mince
3 French Shallots - finely chopped (should be about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoons of Fresh Mandarin Peel, finely grated (about 1 Mandarin) (note: Used Blood Orange peel - mandarin was out of season)
Light Pinch of Flaky Sea Salt

Ingredients (Sauce):
4 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced.
125g Low Fat Greek Yoghurt (can use full fat).
Pinch of Black Pepper.
2 generous pinches of Flaky Sea Salt.
Handful of Basil Leaves (1/4 cup), finely chopped.

Slice top end of the finger eggplant off, core out the eggplant with an apple corer and a knife.
Finely dice shallots and sweat with a tiny bit of oil (or melted lamb fat) off.  Add lamb and fry until brown. Fully cooking the lamb is not required.
One minute before lamb is done, add orange peel and pinch of salt.
Let mixture cool
Setup Bamboo Steamers
Stuff meat mixture into eggplant, use the back end of a wooden spoon to tamp the mixture in.
Steam the Manta for 15-20 minutes. Eggplant should be tender but not falling apart.
Whilst eggplant is steaming, finely mince garlic and fry in saucepan with a drop of oil.
When garlic is soft, add salt, pepper and yoghurt, turn down to very low and gently simmer.  Just before serving add sauce.
Serve the eggplant, pouring the sauce over the top

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Original Recipe

From Hu Szu-Hui's Yin-Shan Cheng-Yao (Proper and Essential things for the Emperor's Food and Drink.
Translation from A Soup for the Qan - Paul Buell and Eugene Anderson - 2000.

Eggplant Manta
Mutton, sheep's fat, sheep's tail, onion, prepared mandarin orange peel (cut up each finely), "tender eggplant" (remove the pith).

[For] combine ingredients with meats into a stuffing. But [instead of making a dough covering] put it inside the eggplant [skin] and steam.  Add garlic, cream [or yoghurt etc.], finely ground basil. Eat.

image from:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Subtleties for Baronial Championship Tourney

These subtleties were created for the populace to enjoy at the Innilgard Baronial Championship Tourney in April by Her Excellency Blodywedd y Gath. The shields represent the devices of all previous Barons and Baronesses of Innilgard, and were created in a range of edible materials to stimulate the palates of the populace with a variety of different sweet tastes and textures. The treats on offer included shortbrede, gelly, quince paste, sugarplate and marzipan.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 4

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 4

By Lady Angharad Gam, Barony of Innilgard, A.S. XLVIII

Strawberry Gelly

29. To make gelly ouf Straw-berries, Mulberies, Raspberries, or any such tender fruit.
Take your berries, and grinde them in an Alabaster Mortar, with foure ounces of Sugar, and a quarter pint of faire water, and as much Rose-water: and so boil it in a posnet with a little peece of Isinglasse, and so let it run through a fine cloth into your boxes, and so you may keepe it all the yeere.
Delightes for Ladies

The making of jelly by boiling up hooves and heads, or certain kinds of fish, was well known throughout period, but because of the process involved these kinds of jellies tended to be savoury, containing wine, stock and spices. In the 16th century the English began making sweet jellies using isinglass, a gelatine like material obtained from fish. It was made from the dried swim bladder of the sturgeon, and was probably available much as gelatine is today – as a dried powder. Today it is still used in fining beer.

250gm strawberries
100gms sugar
1tblsp (14g) gelatine (approx)
250mls water
1 tsp rosewater essence (optional)

Hull the strawberries and cut them into smallish pieces. Put in a large saucepan and bring to the boil with the water and sugar. Cook gently until the strawberries are mushy. (Alternately grind all
together in a food processor). Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and any remaining solid pulp. Add the rosewater if you wish.

For each 500ml of liquid you will need one tblsp of gelatine. Take ½ cup of the liquid in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatine on top. Leave 5 mins until spongy. If the liquid is still warm, stir the gelatine in until a smooth mixture is obtained. If the strawberry liquid has cooled then place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot (not boiling) water and stir until fully dissolved.

Mix the gelatine mixture into the remaining strawberry liquid ensuring it is well incorporated. Allow to cool a little, then pour into a baking tray to make a layer at least one inch deep. When set, cut into cubes. Note that gelatine sets at 20°C so it may or may not need refrigeration depending on the ambient temperature. You can keep this in the fridge for about a week.
Serves 10.


To make Trifle: Take a pinte of thicke creame, and season it with Sugar and Ginger, and Rosewater, so stirre it as you would them have it, and make it luke warme in a dishon a chafingdishe and coals, and after put it into a silver peese or a bowle, and so sserve it to the boorde.
The good huswife’s Jewell

If the ‘so stirre it as you would them have it’ is intended to mean whipping the cream, then heating it afterwards is not a good idea, as this will cause the cream to melt and liquefy. Whipping foodstuffs (cream or eggwhites) to thicken them is not a technique that was used in the Middle Ages, but it arguably makes an appearance in the sixteenth century. You could therefore equally think of this as a cold whipped cream dish, or a warm cream sauce-like dish. I chose to interpret it as the former for the purposes of this feast.

3.5l whipping cream
2-3 tblsp sugar
2 tsp rosewater essence
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. As it is beginning to thicken, add in the sugar and rosewater (you may want to add more or less to taste).
This is more than enough cream for 100 people.


Take a dozen eggs, and ten of them without whites, and beat them in a kettle with one hand, and after they are well beaten cast in a pound of well ground sugar, and beat it well together with the eggs, and cast in a pound of very well sifted starch, and a little anise, and salt, and beat it a good while, and have a little oven, well-tempered, and make your squares of papers with your wafers underneath, and cast them there; and powder them with sugar on top, and watch them moment by moment, until they are done, and before watching them prick them with a knife, and if it comes out wet they are not cooked.
Libro del Arte de Cozina, by Domingo Hernandez de Maceras, translated and redacted by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain (Robin Carroll-Mann)

Although these are described as having anise in them, anise is one of those things people either love or hate, and when they hate it , they really hate it. For this reason, I often make bizcocho cinnamon flavoured instead. There is also another period bizcocho recipe in which they are flavoured with orange flower water.
The sort of cheap cornflour that is made from wheat, not corn, is a useful substitute for wheat starch here, however you can make these with rice flour without any change in taste/texture and this has the benefit of being gluten free.

The name bizcocho is used in modern Spanish for various kinds of cakes, and in Latin America for the sort of pastries that we would call danishes.

1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
250 gms rice flour (or wheaten corn flour)
250 gms caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon (or ground aniseed)
Pinch of salt

Put the eggs into a large basin and beat well with a whisk. Add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is thick, pale and fluffy. Then beat in the flour and spice (you may find a wooden spoon more useful than a whisk for doing this as the mixture will become very thick).

Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper, and drop teaspoonfuls of mixture onto them. These quantities will make 50-60 small cookies this way, or you can use dessertspoonfuls and make 25-30 larger cookies. Bake at 160°C for 10-15mins.

Use a thin metal fish slice to slide the cookies very carefully off the paper, as they can stick even to non-stick baking paper, and place onto a wire rack to cool. They may seem a little soft, but they will firm up as they cool. You can keep these in an airtight container quite happily for a couple of weeks.
Note that if you make bizcocho in more than one batch you need to give your baking trays a chance to cool down before you put the next lot of mixture on or the cookies will not rise.


Prenderai simil pieno o compositione quale è la sopraditta del marzapane, et apparichiarai la sua pasta, la quale impastarai con zuccharo et acqua rosata; et distendi la ditta pasta a modo che si volesse fare ravioli, gli mettirai di questo pieno facendoli grandi et mezani o piccioli como ti pare. Et havendo qualche forma de ligno ben lavorata con qualche gentileza et informandoli et premendoli di sopra pariranno più belli a vedere. Poi li farai cocere in la padella como il marzapane havendo bona diligentia che non s'ardino.

Take the same filling or mixture which is the above said marzipan, and array on your pasta, the which is made with sugar and rosewater; and stretch the said pasta in the way that you would make ravioli, putting some of this filling making it large and medium or small as you like. And having some wooden form worked well with gentleness and shaping it and pressing it over ?evenly? more beautiful to see. Put to cook in the padella like marzipan having good care that it is not burned
Libro de Arte de Coquinaria

The marzipan recipe referred to in the original calls for an equal weight of ground almonds to sugar, along with a small amount of rosewater. Note that this is the proportion used in high quality marzipan today, although marzipan can be made with as little as 30% almonds. Another version of these pastries, from a Spanish source, is fried.

The name calisiconi is the ancestor of the word calzone. In the town of Aix in southern France, however, they still make a kind of almond sweetmeat called a callisson.
Grinding almonds is not particularly difficult or onerous, and you will get better results if you start with whole almonds and grind them yourself (and the fresher the almonds the better too). However you can certainly take the shortcut of using pre-ground almonds without losing too much. A little almond essence will help to bind it together and give it that marzipan flavour. You can omit this if you do not like a strong marzipan flavour.

100gms almonds or ground almonds
100gms sugar (use caster sugar if you are using ground almonds)
1 tsp almond essence (optional)
1 tsp rosewater essence
4 sheets commercial shortcrust pastry

If you are starting with whole almonds then grind them together with the sugar in a food processor or a large mortar. Then mix in the essences. If you are using the ground almonds, mix together all the ingredients. If you are grinding the almonds the mixture may begin to clump together in a paste, but it probably won’t if you are using ground almonds.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 16 pieces. Place a teaspoon of marzipan mixture on each piece and carefully seal it up. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 10-15mins or until lightly browned. Makes 64 pastries.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 3

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 3

By Lady Angharad Gam, Barony of Innilgard, A.S. XLVIII

Pollastri Uva Negra

Habi de la bona uva negra et rompila molto bene in un vaso, rompendo con essa un pane o mezo secundo la quantità che voi fare, et mettevi un pocho di bono agresto, overo aceto, perché l'uva non sia tanto dolce. Et queste cose farai bollire al focho per spatio di meza hora, agiongendovi de la cannella, et zenzevero, et altre bone spetiarie.

Have some good black grapes and break very well in a pot, break with the same a loaf of bread or a half according to the quantity that you need, and put a little good verjuice, or vinegar, so that the grapes will not be too sweet. And these things are made to boil on the fire for the space of half an hour, adding some cinnamon and ginger, and other good spices.
Libro de Arte Coquinaria

This is a recipe for a sauce alone. I served this sauce with roasted chicken pieces, hence the name I have given the dish. In order that one of my sauces be gluten free, I made this one with ground almonds instead of breadcrumbs. There are a number of other instances of sauces like this made with ground almonds both alongside this one in the text, and in other similar Italian sources. However, the procedure described below would change very little if one were to substitute breadcrumbs for almonds.
800gms red grapes

1l verjuice
200-300gms ground almonds
Cinnamon, ginger

Put the grapes into a saucepan and crush slightly (a potato masher will do the job handily). Add the verjuice and simmer until the grapes are very soft. Pour through a sieve into a large bowl, squeezing the grapes to get as much juice out as possible. Add a little cinnamon and ginger to taste and stir in enough ground almonds to make the sauce as thick as you like. If you wish you can return this to the saucepan and heat gently for 5-10 minutes more. This will help to make the sauce smoother.
Serves 90

Macaroni or Makerouns

Piglia de la farina che sia bella, et distemperala et fa' la pasta un pocho più grossa che quella de le lasangne, et avoltola intorno ad un bastone. Et dapoi caccia fore il bastone, et tagliala la pasta larga un dito piccolo, et resterà in modo de bindelle, overo stringhe. Et mitteli accocere in brodo grasso, overo in acqua secundo il tempo. Et vole bollire quando gli metti accocere. Et se tu gli coci in acqua
mettevi del butiro frescho, et pocho sale. Et como sonno cotti mittili in piattelli con bono caso, et butiro, et spetie dolci.

Take some fair flour, and temper it and make the pasta a little fatter than that for lasagne, and roll around a stick. And then remove the stick and cut the pasta the width of a little finger, and it will stay in the manner of ribbons or strings. And put to cook in fatty broth, or in water according to the time. And you want it to boil when you put it to cook. If you cook it in water put in some fresh butter and a little salt. And as they are cooked put on little platters with good cheese, and butter, and sweet spices.

Makerouns. Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh, and kerue it on peces, and cast hym on boillyng water & seeth it wele. Take chese and grate it, and butter imelte, cast bynethen and aboven as losyns; and serue forth.
Forme of Curye

In period as now pasta was not confined to Italy. As you can see the name ‘macaroni’ at this time appears to apply to a fettucine or tagliatelle like pasta. After SCA period it came to refer to what we would now call ‘spaghetti’ and finally took on its modern meaning in the 19th century.

The simplest recipe for pasta requires only flour and water. The flour will need to be the ‘strong’ flour that is sold specifically for making pasta, or for making bread. The dough is mixed and kneaded until it is smooth and elastic. Most pasta that you buy dried in the supermarket is made this way, with the addition of a little oil and salt, which aid in preservation. Oil also helps to make the dough a bit more supple and easier to work. A richer pasta dough can be made with the addition of whole eggs, or egg yolks.

A good rule of thumb is that 100gms of flour will make enough pasta for an adult to have at dinner time. If you are making it for a feast at least one quarter of that amount, or less (depending on how many other dishes you have) will be sufficient. If you are making egg pasta, use one large, fresh egg (at least 55gms) per 100 gms of flour. If you have smaller eggs beat up another in a cup and add a little of that to make up the difference, or add a small amount of water. If you are using water alone then use 1:3 parts water to flour by volume (eg 1 cup of water to 3 cups of flour), but start off by adding a little less water than this, and putting in more if you need it. The amount of liquid you need might be less if the weather is very humid or damp.
You will not need as much liquid as you might think. The dough may seem a little dry to start off with, but as you knead it, it will become smoother and more integrated. If it is too sticky to start off with, it will only get stickier when you roll it out, and you will make a big mess in your pasta machine. Kneading will take a great deal of elbow grease, but persist until you have a dough that is smooth all the way through and starting to get a bit stretchy. Then cover it, and put it in the fridge for half an hour or so.

A little before you are ready to cook it, roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Pasta machines are not period, but they make this job very much easier, especially when you have large quantities of dough to deal with. It's also easier to get very thin sheets of pasta using a pasta machine. Dust the machine and the pasta liberally with flour as you are using it. Once the pasta is rolled out you may cut it into whatever shapes you wish. Most pasta machines come with special attachments for cutting fettucine, or you can try the rolling up trick described in the original recipe.

Fresh pasta is difficult to keep (in a fresh state) for longer than an hour or so, as it dries out very easily. However, you can keep your pasta in a dried state for some time. To do this you need to dry your pasta thoroughly by hanging it up somewhere overnight (I use my clothes airer for this – but
make sure you put it somewhere the kids or dog won't eat it). When it’s completely dry, store it in an airtight container. Note that if you don’t dry it properly before storing it, it will go mouldy.

Fresh pasta is cooked in the same way as ordinary pasta, except it will cook much more quickly, even if you have dried it. Bring a large pot of stock or water to a rolling boil. Add a splash of olive oil (this helps to stop the pasta from sticking together in the pot). Toss in your fresh pasta. It is done when it floats to the surface. This may only take two or three minutes. If you prefer your pasta a bit on the softer side you might want to cook it for a few minutes more. Drain and serve sprinkled with cheese (parmesan of course!), and with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger if you so desire.

Cavoli a la Romanesca

Rompi li cavoli torzoti con le mani secundo l'usanza, et mittigli in l'acqua quando bolle. Et quando seranno circha mezo cotti butta via tutta quella acqua et habi di bon lardo battuto in bona et competente quantità, et mettilo ne li ditti cavoli così sciutti, voltandoli ben col cocchiaro. Poi pigliarai di bono brodo grasso, et in quello li metterai al focho a bollire per piccholo spatio di tempo.

Break the twisted broccoli with your hands according to custom, and put in water when it has boiled. And when it will be about half cooked throw out all that water and have some good chopped lard in good and sufficient quantities, and put the said broccoli that is dry, turning well with a spoon. Then take some good fat broth, and in this put it to the fire to boil for a short space of time.
Libro de Arte de Coquinaria

Broccoli was well known in Italy since at least Roman times. Romanesco broccoli is actually a cultivar of standard broccoli with an unusual fractal-like spiral head (hence the description of it as ‘twisted’). It is still available, but certainly not common. The cooking method proposed here is to parboil the broccoli in water and then adding some fat by both frying in lard or pork fat, and finishing the cooking in fatty stock.
There are a number of ways you could interpret this recipe, including parboiling the broccoli and then frying it with bacon. I chose a simpler (and more vegetarian) route for the feast – the broccoli was cooked in vegetable stock and then drizzled with good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Rape armate

Fa' cocere le rape sotto la brascia, over alessarle integre et sane, et tagliale in fette grosse quanto una costa di coltello; et haverai di bon cascio grasso tagliato in fette larghe quanto quelle de le rape, ma più sottile; et habi del zuccharo, del pepe et de le spetie dolci mescolate inseme; et conciarai in una padella da torte per ordine sul fondo di quella, fette di caso a modo che faresti una crosta di sotto, et di sopra gli mettirai un solar di rape buttandoli di sopra de le spetie sopra scripte et di bon butiro fresco abundantemente; et così di grado in grado andarai acconciando le rape, il cascio tanto che la padella sia piena, facendole cocere per un quarto d'ora o più, al modo d'una torta. Et questa imbandiscione si vole dare de reto all'altre.
Make the turnips to cook under the coals, or to be boiled intact and whole, and slice in slices fat as the back of a knife; and have some good fatty cheese sliced in slices wide as that of the turnips but more thin; and have some sugar, some pepper and some sweet spices mixed together; and dress in a torte pan arranged on the bottom of it, slices of cheese in the manner you would make a crust underneath and over these put a bottom layer of turnips throwing over some of the spices above written and of good fresh butter in abundance; and so of layer on layer dressing the turnips, the cheese so that the padella will be full, then make to cook for a quarter hour or more, in the manner of a tart. And this dish one shall give after the others.
Libro de Arte Coquinaria

This dish is widely known as ‘Armoured Turnips’, or sometimes more elaborately ‘Turnips Armoured in Self Defense’, although ‘armate’ in this context could probably be translated as ‘garnished’ or ‘dressed’.
The trick to making this good is to use a very generous hand with a fairly strong flavoured cheese. You could use mozzarella (it is thought to have been available in period) for the stringy effect, but I would mix it with parmesan or cheddar (or just boring old tasty) if you do. This will counteract the stronger flavour of the turnips (in comparison to the potatoes that are more commonly used these days in a dish like this). You can also try to get actual ‘turnip’ turnips, rather than swedes, as the former have a slightly milder flavour than the latter. The two are often sold together, and they look quite similar, but swedes are yellow fleshed where turnips are white.

Although Maestro Martino is usually spot on, I find there is generally no need for butter here. Perhaps his cheese was not as ‘fatty’ as our modern ones.

4.5kg of turnips
3kg grated cheese
Pepper, ginger, cinnamon

Peel the turnips, slicing off the tops and any remaining roots. If they are large cut them into quarters, but bear in mind you still need large enough pieces to slice. Put in a large pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for 30 mins or until they are soft enough that you can stab them fairly easily with a knife or fork.
Drain the turnips and slice into pieces about ½ cm thick. Grease a large baking dish or roasting tin liberally and make a layer of turnip slices on the bottom. Sprinkle with a generous layer of cheese and a large pinch of the spices. Repeat this layering until the dish is full, ending with a layer of cheese. Bake for 20-30 mins at 180°C or until the cheese on top has formed a nice well-done crust.

Serves 100.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 2

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 2 

By Lady Angharad Gam, Barony of Innilgard, A.S. XLVIII

Potage d'oignons

Unfortunately the original period versions of this recipe don't make a lot of sense out of context because they begin as a description of one thing and evolve into a description of something else, and so the texts tend to be quite muddled. They suggest cooking peas in the water in which onions have been parboiled, and later, adding cooked peas to cooked onions. Either way you end up with a pea and onion soup. The French in period often added a cooked puree of peas to a dish as a thickener, or a sort of vegetable stock. I have seen modern redactions of this recipe using new green peas, which are very nice, but probably not very true to period. Adding cooked dried peas would be more authentic, but I do not feel it would be as nice to modern palates, so I have left the peas out altogether.

Later versions of this onion (and maybe pea) soup add parsley and wine or verjuice. Then the meat day versions appear, adding meat stock and frying the onions in butter or 'lart' (pork fat or bacon). I have kept this soup as vegetarian/vegan as possible (although it works better with the 'beef' vegetable stock). This is a very simple recipe, but very nice.

3.6 kgs onions
10l ‘beef style’ vegetable stock
2 bunches fresh flat leaf parsley
750mls verjuice
Olive oil

Slice the onions fairly finely, and sauté in olive oil until soft. Add the vegetable stock, and simmer for 30mins. Stir in the verjuice and finely chopped parsley, and simmer for another ten minutes.
Serves 100

Brouet de Cannelle
BROUET DE CANELLE. Despeciez vostre poulaille ou autre char, puis la cuisiez en eaue et mettez du vin avec, et friolez: puis prenez des amandes crues et séchées à toute l'escorce et sans peler, et canelle grant foison, et si broyez très bien, et deffaites de vostre boullon ou de boullon de beuf, et faites boulir avec vostre grain: puis broyez gingembre, giroffle et graine, etc., et soit liant et for.
Cinnamon Soup. Cut up your poultry or other meat, then cook in water and add wine, and fry: then take raw almonds with the skin on unpeeled, and a great quantity of cinnamon, and grind up well, and mix with your stock or with beef stock, and put to boil with your meat: then grind ginger, clove and grain, etc., and let it be thick and yellow-brown.
Le Menagier de Paris (J. Hinson trans)

BROUET DE CANELLE. Cuissiez vostre poulaille en vin ou en eaue, ou tel grain comme vous vouldrez; et le despeciez par quartiers, et friolez, puis prenez amendes toutes seiches, et cuisez sans peler, et de canelle grant foison, et brayez, et coullez, et le deffaictes de vostre boullon de beuf, et faictez bien boullir avecques vostre grain, et du verjus, et prenez girofle et graine de paradiz, braiez, et mettez emsemble; et soit lyant et fort.

Cassia soup. Cook your chicken (or whatever meat you wish) in wine or water, quarter it, and brown it [in lard]. Take completely dry almonds cooked without peeling, plus plenty of cassia; crush, sieve, and steep in beef broth. Boil well with your meat and some verjuice. Take cloves and grains of paradise, crush, and add. It should be thick and strong.
Le Viandier de Taillevent (J. Prescott trans)

This is a fairly typical 15th century French dish. The original seems to suggest largish chunks of meat in a ground almond based sauce. I have chosen to grind the meat as well to make this more like a soup than a stew.

4.5kg chicken breast
5l chicken stock
3l white wine
800gms ground almonds (unblanched if you can get them)
3 tblsps ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground grains of paradise
½ tsp cloves
Olive oil

Dice the chicken fairly small. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan and fry the chicken until it is cooked on the outside. Add the liquid ingredients and simmer for 30 mins. Remove from the heat and use a large blender or a bamix to blend the chicken and stock as finely as possible. Stir in the ground almonds and spices, mixing well. You may wish to adjust the spices to taste. It should have a distinct (but not too strong) flavour of cinnamon. Return to the stove over a low heat and cook for another 15 mins, stirring often.

Haedus in Alio

Piglia un quarto di capretto et concialo molto bene como vole essere arrosto, et inlardalo et ponevi per dentro assai aglio in spichi mondate a modo se volesci impilottare o inlardare. Dapoi togli de bono agresto, doi rosci d'ova, doi spichi d'aglio ben piste, un pocho di zafrano, un pocho di pepe, et un pocho di brodo grasso, et mescola tutte queste cose inseme et ponile in un baso sotto il capretto quando s'arroste, et bagnalo qualche volta con questo tal sapore. Et quando è cotto poni il quarto del capretto in un piatto et ponivi di sopra il ditto sapore et un pocho di petrosillo battuto menuto. Et questo quarto di capretto vole essere ben cotto e magnato caldo caldo.
Take a quarter of kid and dress well for roasting, lard and fill with a generous amount of peeled cloves of garlic, the same way you would as if you wished to baste or lard it. Then take some good verjuice, two egg yolks, two crushed garlic cloves, a little saffron and pepper, and a bit of fatty broth, and mix all these things together and put this mixture in a pot beneath the kid while it is roasting, and baste it every so often with this sauce. When it is done cooking put the kid on a platter, top with the sauce, and a bit of chopped parsley. The kid should be well done and served very hot.
Libro de arte coquinaria (J. Parzen trans)

Grease a kid or a quarter of one with lard and cleaned garlic cloves; put it on a spit and turn it by the fire. Baste it often with sprigs of bay or rosemary and the sauce I shall now describe. Take verjuice and the juice of the meat, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, two cloves of garlic well pounded, a pinch of saffron and a little pepper, and mix this and pour into a dish. With this (as I said) you baste what you are cooking. When it is done put it n a dish and pour some of the sauce over it and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. Caeculus should not eat this because it dulls the eyesight and arouses dormant passions.
De Honesta Voluptate

Platina, who normally shamelessly plagiarises Maestro Martino, makes a useful addition here – the rosemary, and following his tradition I introduce a little more. You will die for this, and people will mob the kitchen demanding more.
1 leg of lamb
8 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 egg yolks
½ cup verjuice
olive oil
pinch saffron
salt, pepper
1 handful fresh parsley

You can try this with kid if you like, but lamb has a lot more flavour. If you want to ‘lard’ it with garlic as Martino suggests, make little holes all over and stuff garlic in them.

Put four of the garlic cloves (peeled) into a mortar with the leaves from two sprigs of rosemary, and some coarse salt. Grind these up as much as you can, and moisten into a sludge with olive oil.
Take the leg of lamb. If it is very fatty cut off some of the fat, slicing it off right down to the flesh in some places. With a narrow, sharp knife make a hole alongside the bone, passing the whole length of the leg. Stuff the mixture from the mortar in the hole. Take the green and garlicky juices from the mortar adding a little more olive oil if necessary, and smear over the outside of the leg.

Put the leg into a covered roasting dish, preferably one with a nice heavy base. If you don’t have a covered roasting dish, wrap the leg in foil. Put in the oven at 200C (180C fan forced). Roast it for 20 mins for every 0.5kg plus an extra 20 mins (this is for well-done).

Smash up the remaining cloves of garlic and put them in a small saucepan with the other ingredients except for the parsley and the remaining rosemary. Mix up well. Every half an hour throughout the cooking process take the lamb out the oven. Tip the juices that have come out into the saucepan, and turn the lamb over. Mix the sauce and baste the lamb with it using the remaining rosemary sprig. Return to the oven.

When the lamb is done remove it from the oven and tip any remaining juices into the sauce. Let the lamb rest for a little while then carve it into small pieces and put it on a platter. Put the saucepan with the sauce on the stove and heat until it is hot but not boiling. If you like you can add some breadcrumbs to thicken it up a bit. Pour over the lamb, sprinkle with finely chopped fresh parsley, and resist the urge to secrete yourself in a cupboard and eat it all.

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 1 - by Lady Angharad

Recipes from a Baronial Investiture - Part 1

By Lady Angharad Gam, Barony of Innilgard, A.S. XLVIII

These recipes are for dishes presented as part of the Innilgard Baronial Investiture. This feast was held on April 5th A.S. XLVIII. There was no particular theme to the feast. The menu was built around dishes some people had volunteered to cook prior to myself coming on board as head cook. Not all the dishes presented at the feast have recipes listed. There was a green sallat and a platter of antipasti served as part of the first remove, roasted carrots in the second remove and an apple pie in the third remove. Recipes are not given for these. Otherwise recipes are presented roughly in order of service.

Chicken Pasties
Recipe XXX. Quomodo condiatur pullus in pastello. Man skal et unct høns i tu skæræ oc swepæ thær um helæ salviæ blath, oc skær i spæk oc salt, oc hyli thæt hø mæth degh; oc latæ bakæ i en hogn swa sum brøth. Swa mughæ man gøræ allæ handæ fiskæ pastel, oc fughlæ oc annæt køt.
Recipe XXX. How to prepare a chicken pasty. One should cut a young chicken in two and cover it with whole leaves of sage, and add diced bacon and salt. And wrap this chicken with dough and bake it in an oven like bread. In the same way one can make all kinds of pasties: of fish, of fowl, and of other meats.
Libellus de Arte Coquinaria

I wanted to make these pasties fairly small, so I chose to use chicken mince to avoid a lot of chopping. If you are making larger pasties you might choose breast or thigh fillet and dice it.

2.5 kg chicken mince
400 gms short cut bacon
1 large bunch fresh sage
13 sheets shortcrust pastry

Dice the bacon as finely as you can. Pick the leaves off the sage and chop these finely also. Mix together with the chicken mince. Cut each sheet of pastry into eight pieces. Put a largish half dessertspoonful of filling on each piece and seal carefully (you may need to wet the edge of the pastry). Make a small slit in the top of each pasty. Place on a baking tray that has been oiled or lined with baking paper. Bake at 180°C for 15-20mins, or until the crust is nicely browned.

Makes 104 pasties

Urchins or Hedgehogges

Take the mawe of the grete swine, and fyfe other sex of pigges mawes, fyll hem full of the self fars & sowe hem fast. Perboile hem; take hem up, & make smale prikkes of gode past, and frye hem. Take these prickes yfryed & se hem thiche in the mawes on the fars, made after an urchoun without legges. Put hem on a spyt and roost hem, and colour hem with safroun, and messe hem forth.
Farsur to make pomme dorryse and othere thynges. Takes the lire of pork rawe, and grynde it smale. Medle it up with eyren & powder fort, safroun and salt; and do therto raisouns of coraunce.
Forme of Curye

900gms minced pork
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp salt
2 tsp each ginger, pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
(opt 1/2 cup (about 90gms) currants)
55gms slivered almonds

Mix together all ingredients except the almonds, reserving a few currants. Form the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a fifty cent piece, giving them a slightly oval shape. Insert slivered almonds into the meatballs to simulate the spines of hedgehogs. Use currants for eyes. Bake at 180°C for about 20 mins.

Makes about 20 hedgehogs


Take creme of cowe mylke, other of almaundes; do therto ayren with sugur, safroun and salt. Medle it yfere. Do it in a coffyn of ii ynche depe; bake it wel and serue it forth.
Forme of Curye

This is the ultimate custard tart recipe. It is very good.

5 egg yolks
500mls cream (2 cups)
80gms sugar
2 sheets shortcrust pastry

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar then mix in the cream. Pour into pastry cases and bake at about 140C until just set. If you want to make it yellow, heat the cream gently with the saffron in, and allow it to sit and infuse for 30 mins or so before you add the egg yolks and sugar.
If you want to make the almond milk version simply draw up a very thick almond milk, and use the same amount as you would have of cream. Note that this is not completely suitable for Lent because it still uses eggs, but it may have sufficed for less strict fasting periods, or simply have been intended for those who like almonds at any time.

This is enough for 16 individual tarts or two in the usual feast foil pie tins.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge

Here is a challenge that some of our members may be interested in......


The Historical Food Fortnightly takes its inspiration from the Historical Sew Fortnightly, the brainchild of Leimomi at The Dreamstress (who has graciously given us her blessing for this spin-off). It is a challenge series for those interested in historical foodways, or the study of how food, culture, and traditions have intersected throughout human history.

This isn’t your average cooking challenge! Anyone can make “old timey” food based on a notion of what was eaten throughout history. In this challenge, we’re asking you to make things as close as possible to how they are made in the past. We’re asking you to research and document each recipe with primary sources - that is, sources that come from the actual time-period you are interpreting - while utilizing secondary sources as a backup to primary sources. Secondary sources are alright as a reference, but should be backed up with primary sources. We’re turning our own notions of cooking on their heads to discover how food was cooked and what sort of sensory experience (sight, taste, sound, smell, touch) our ancestors had in consuming it.

Why do something so crazy? By cooking things as they cooked them, with the ingredients they used, and consuming food as close as possible to what they consumed, we can better understand the past. It’s a bit of experiential archaeology to view history through the medium of food. It’s also a really delicious time travel experience! And best of all, we’ll be doing it together and learning from each others’ experiences.

How Does It Work?

Every fortnight from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015 we will feature a themed challenge. Your mission is to take each challenge and cook, bake, or otherwise prepare a food item or dish from a historic recipe the way it was meant to be prepared and consumed.

Your creations can be as elaborate or simple as you like, and can definitely be chosen to suit your skills and interests. You can choose to participate in as many challenges as you like - you can pick and choose the challenges that interest you, and you can choose the ones that work in your schedule. The most popular ways to participate are to do a marathon (completing all the challenges, for the craziest/most masochistic among us) or a half-marathon (doing every other challenge). How you participate is up to you and your comfort level, though we hope that everyone will choose to step outside the box and stretch themselves.

The emphasis here is on research and documentation, and the goal is to learn more about historic cooking through experience and trial. We believe that a better understanding of the past comes from doing things with an eye towards authenticity and accuracy, and from good, solid research about how things were done and why. We encourage everyone to research each recipe and to document their research so that we all can learn from each other.

Our definition of “historic” is anything before 1960, so your recipes should be documented to a date before then. Other than that, it is wide open to anything for which you can find documentation. You also need not limit yourself to one era - feel free to hop around as much as you like.

There are three steps for joining us on this adventure.
  • Follow our blog! We’ll be posting the challenges, writing about our own creations, plus highlighting the adventures of other participants.
  • Post your name, and a link to your blog in the comments of this post. We’ll include you in the list of participants so others can follow your adventures through the challenges! Whenever you blog about your challenges, we’ll see it!
  • Join the Facebook group - this isn’t strictly necessary, but it can be a fun way to get connected with other participants, post your challenges, and see what everyone is concocting!


If any LCG members do decide to participate and blog their results, please email the Administrator with details so that your adventures can also be posted here to inspire other members.