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 Dish of the Day

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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sat 22 Aug 2015, 11:42

ferval,

If some of these are carted over to the pub, I'll have a look see as the old fermented missiles for the trebuchet may be reaching their 'sell-by' date, and these may, by the picture and the description, be a logical replacement.

Just let's have some test shots and we'll decide which model/-s will be best suited.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sat 22 Aug 2015, 11:50

@Temperance wrote:
@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
In my youth, most were "steak puddings" rather than "pies" - in a suet crust, not in pastry.


Up North, especially in Orwellian haunts such as Bolton and Wigan, an individual steak (using the word steak loosely) pudding, purchased at the local chippy, is referred to as a "babby's head", presumably because of the rotundity and pallor of said steamed pudding when it is removed from its little aluminium foil dish. The pudding is usually served with chips and gravy, although  "a dab o' curry" ladled over the babby's yed is also acceptable.

Here is the relevant entry from Urban Dictionary:


babby's yed

Also known as a steak and kidney pudding, and is used mainly in Northern England. It is pronounced exactly as it is read, and is phonetic of the way us people from Wigan say 'baby's head.' I suppose some people must think that a steak and kidney pudding must resemble a baby's head.

"I'll have a babby's yed, chips and gravy please"



Here is the posh version, served on a plate with Mother's Pride white sliced bread.
Late to the thread here but some cousins of my cousins (on their Dad's side - the cousins in question are my mother's sister's daughters) who were originally from Liverpool but had moved some time back to Wigan and said "We're pie-eaters" - and when I looked lost said that was a familiar name for people from Wigan (a bit like folk call West Brom football team "the Baggies" I suppose).  I didn't sleep too well last night and misread this thread as "Diss of the Day" (as in "dissing" someone) and  came here to read some malevolence.  I should have known Nordmann and Temperance would not have that as it's not proper English.  Hope it doesn't make me a nasty person that I came to read something spiky - but then I did find this site a couple of years ago when a certain "historical" romp by googling something like "Am I the only one who thinks {insert name of novelist of a bodice ripping persuasion} is inaccurate?"  Shall have to look for for something more benignly now.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sat 22 Aug 2015, 12:15

@ferval wrote:
That original recipe seems to be kind of akin to pretzels but using egg instead of yeast and no fat. They must have been as hard as rocks after an hour in the oven, are you sure they weren't really weaponry?

My thoughts exactly ... I presume it was an hour at a very low temperature. But then maybe they really were a secret weapon, hence the tale of their recipe being found on the battlefield.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 28 Aug 2015, 22:42

As South American history - re cactus - has been introduced in the no-no benefit thread I think it suitable to introduce my dish of the day - what I cooked today, anyway. It also mops up extra stuff from the veg patch after the rains.

It's a dutch conncoction I have made for many years. It probably has a name.

For it, butter beans are needed - and in UK tins make it a tad easier than the dried sort. Butter beans have been culitivated for yonks in S. America, tho North Americans call them by other names. This should not surprise anyone.

Cooking apples - windfalls fine - softened by boiling a bit and sweetened a little, onions fried, toms (better without skins) and lumps of courgette gradually added then lots of butter beans with a bit of water and unless you are veggie, several frankfurters sliced into it - but ham or fried ladons will do - all cooked in the pan for a few minutes and then into a casserole dish and a hot oven for about half an hour. It blends a bit better for that. I used a large round earthnware - very rustic dish and toss on a tear off of foil to stop drying out. I have used apple juice in this and vary it a bit with garlic/herbs/ ginger. The apple and butter beans make the dish a bit different. I expect you all make it and know its name. We have it with rice - and - as it freezes well, quite often!
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 09:30

22 September 1792 - Primidi, Vendémiare, An 1 … or, day one, of month one, of year one, of the French Republican Calender.

The French First Republic had been proclaimed and the French monarchy formally abolished, on 21 September 1792. The following day, which that year coincided with the autumn equinox as well as being exactly 100 days until the end of the Gregorian calendar year of 1792, marked the first day of the new "Republican Era" in France.

The French Revolutionary Calendar was designed to try and remove all religious and royalist influences, as well as being part of a larger movement for decimalisation in France: for decimal time of day, decimalisation of currency, and of all weights and measures. It was also intended to be governed primarily by the enlightenment principals of logic and science. Accordingly the start of every year, which was decreed as the day of the autumn equinox, was to be determined by astronomical calculations following the real Sun, and not the mean Sun. Thus in the northern hemisphere the New Year (the autumn equinox) could fall on any day from the 21st to the 24th September of the Gregorian calendar. The French Republican calendar was comprised of twelve, 30-day, months so it still needed a number of extra days every year to make up the shortfall and match the solar year (of 365.24218 mean solar days) and to account for the variability in the date of the autumn equinox, (which varies from year to year due to the Earth’s "wobble", and cannot be accurately predicted long in advance). The necessary extra days were decreed as general holidays, and were slotted in between the first "month" Vendémiare, and the last month, Fructidor (and also carefully timed to be just after the main grain harvests had been completed). These few days of annual holiday were called "Les Sansculottides", (literally, people-with-no breeches’ days) which seems a rather charming name for a late summer national holiday, until one recalls that "sans-culottes" was then the slang term for the down-to-earth, be-trousered revolutionary plebs, … as opposed (literally), to the nobility, in their embroidered knee-breeches and silk stockings, who, by 1792 had mostly been deprived of their silken breeks, and had often lost their heads as well.

Like all French Revolutionary Calender "months" Vendémiaire lasted 30 days and was divided into three 10-day "weeks", called decades. Every day also had the name of an agricultural or ornamental plant, except the 5th (Quintidi) and 10th day (Decadi) of every decade, which had the name of either a domestic animal (for Quintidi), or an agricultural tool (for Decadi). Hence the first day of the "month" of Vendèmiare, that is the Primidi, was associated with the raisin (grape); the second, duodi with safran (saffron); the third " tridi with châtaigne (sweet chestnut); the fourth Quartidi, with colchique (autumn crocus), the fifth Quintidi, with the cheval (horse)…and so forth. (NB in French the word "raisin" is a false-friend since raisin actually means the fresh grape rather than the dried fruit; which in France is called a raisin sec or a raisin de corinthe).

So, since the 22 September 1792 was Primidi, and raisin/grape day, of Vendémiare (which in turn was named for the Occitan word for the grape harvest), I propose a southern French grape cake as the ‘Dish of the Day’.

This dessert is traditionally made at this time of year during the vendage (the grape harvest) as it uses fresh-picked grapes taken as they go to the presses to make wine, rather than big luscious dessert grapes (and here for the next 6 weeks or so one can very cheaply buy bunches of local wine grapes in green-grocers and even supermarkets). Grapes for wine-making are often quite small and usually rather pippy, so they need to be de-seeded before cooking. Or for ease one might prefer to use seedless grapes. But remember that at heart this is supposed to be a simple, quick, cheap, rustic fruit cake … something to serve up outside on trestle tables to feed the hordes of ravenous seasonal labourers who’ve been busy harvesting the grapes all day, and who will have to be back out again in the vineyards tomorrow, just as soon as the sun is up.


Clafoutis aux raisins.



Serves 6:
500g de-seeded black muscat grapes, washed and dried.
125g self-raising flour
50g butter, melted
125g sugar
Pinch salt
12 cl milk
4 eggs
A generous dash of cognac or marc

In a bowl mix flour, sugar, melted butter,egg yolks, and milk. Beat the egg whites to a froth and fold into the mix to get a runny batter. Stir in the cognac.
Arrange the grapes in a buttered shallow dish (about 24cm diameter) and pour the batter in around them.
Bake 40 mins at 200°C

Serve cooled, accompanied with a glass of chilled sweet white wine, such as a Muscat de Rivesaltes.

Bon appertit.
Cheers


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 22 Sep 2015, 15:25; edited 1 time in total
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 09:54

Maybe this should be in the 'News' thread but today's delicacy is:

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 10:09

Something seems to be missing from its mouth.   Embarassed

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 22 Sep 2015, 20:01

Meles meles and Ferval,

unbelievable that a whole country can be moved by such a "fait divers"... Rolling Eyes ...Not that it can't happen overhere too, as in Germany (Bild) or in France...

Meles meles I really enjoyed your narration about the Primidi, Vendémiare, An1.
I knew something about it but only loosely and now by your summary I learned it all in depth. Thank you for that.

Kind regards from Paul.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 23 Sep 2015, 11:23

So now is the time for Autumn pudding - along the lines of the Summer one. That I can do with apples pears and blackberries cloves and nutmeg( I hate cinnamon), and a Winter one too is easy, but, planning ahead, what would one put in a Spring pudding using the Summer pudding method? That's supposing I last till then. Why this should bother me I have no idea - to off set other probs, I expect.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 23 Sep 2015, 14:24

@Priscilla wrote:
So now is the time for Autumn pudding ....  but, planning ahead, what would one put in a Spring pudding using the Summer pudding method?

Well yes,  there aren't many spring-ripening fruits are there. The earliest are probably cherries (end May), wild strawberries (early June) and mulberries (mid June). However citrus fruits can be found on the tree all year round. The Autumn-ripening fruits stay on the tree even during spring flowering, and only start to drop once the new year's fruit has set in early summer. So you should be able to get some, albeit perhaps rather tired but still very tasty, oranges and lemons in spring.

And of course many spring flowers: primroses, violets, marigolds, clover ... are all edible, and being full of nectar they taste as sweet as any fruit. They can also be used to give colour to a dish, marigolds especially. And also in Spring one can always make a virtue of necessity ... and so while clearing out the cupboards, larders, attics and cellars in preparation for the new year's produce,  ... one could make a dish just by using up all the old newspaper-wrapped apples, dried figs and apricots, the jams and fruit jellies, and last year's ... or even perhaps the year before's, old bottled fruit, ... and so make a sort of 'Spring-Clean Pudding' ...no?


Last edited by Meles meles on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 14:42; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 23 Sep 2015, 14:41

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 24 Sep 2015, 23:06

Clever, MM, a Spring Clean pudding. Problem solved. Authentic too because marchpain was to use up the nut store of almonds - and become marzipan in simnel cakes etc - did they use up crown claimants like Lambert too?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Mon 12 Oct 2015, 14:11

12 October 1492 - Columbus' expedition first sights land in the New World.

By introduction I'll just recount the tale of Columbus' Egg ... the (almost certainly) apocryphal story in which Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was inevitable and no great accomplishment, challenges his critics to make an egg stand on its tip. After his challengers give up, Columbus does it himself by tapping the egg on the table to flatten its tip ... the point being that it's easy when you have first been shown how it can be done.

Or as Girolamo Benzoni in his 'History of the New World' (1565) put it:

"Columbus was dining with many Spanish nobles when one of them said: 'Sir Christopher, even if your lordship had not discovered the Indies, there would have been, here in Spain, which is a country abundant with great men knowledgeable in cosmography and literature, one who would have started a similar adventure with the same result.' Columbus did not respond to these words but asked for a whole egg to be brought to him. He placed it on the table and said: 'My lords, I will lay a wager with any of you that you are unable to make this egg stand on its end like I will do without any kind of help or aid.' They all tried without success and when the egg returned to Columbus, he tapped it gently on the table breaking it slightly and, with this, the egg stood on its end. All those present were confounded and understood what he meant: that once the feat has been done, anyone knows how to do it."

     'Columbus Breaking the Egg', by William Hogarth.


....... It's a nice story but a very similar tale was already in circulation decades before Columbus even set sail.

Nevertheless as "Dish of the Day", some sort of eggy recipe seems to be called for, and so I propose the appropriately named: "Eggs Columbus". This dish was devised by Charles Ranhofer, who was head chef at the famous 'Delmoncio’s' restaurant in New York during the latter half of the 19th century, and this dish he named specifically after Christopher Columbus himself, or at least what he represented in terms of the "discovery" of the Americas, rather than for any particular town or state. For a scrambled egg dish it is surprisingly "meaty" and if served in any New York restaurant today it would probably be illegal in these post-BSE times.

From 'The Epicurean', by Charles Ranhofer (1894), recipe 2934:

Scrambled Eggs Columbus (Oeufs Brouilles à la Colombus).

[Prepare scrambled eggs ....] After the eggs are nearly done mix in with them some cooked lean quarter-inch squares of ham; cut some slices of raw blood pudding, fry them in butter over a brisk fire, then arrange them on a baking sheet and allow to cool off; bread-crumb and dip in egg, then fry to a fine color.
Also saute some slices of beef brains over a quick fire. Dress the scrambled eggs, putting half the preparation on a dish and the brains in the center; cover these with the remainder of the eggs and surround with the fried slices of black pudding. Garnish the top with very thin half slices of sausage.


Nowadays it might be advisable to substitute bone marrow (either lamb or beef) for the brains ... although should one wish to be truely authentic, cervelles de veau are still obtainable from most French butchers.

Et voila ... bon appertît.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 21 Oct 2015, 19:42

21 October 1805 – The Battle of Trafalgar.

If an army is said to march on its stomach, then surely a fleet must also be said to sail on its stomach. In the run up to Trafalgar, Nelson was as much concerned about provisions of food and water as with provisions of gunpowder and shot. Just a week before the battle he wrote to the Governor of Gibraltar saying how he was very worried about his supplies of fresh water (but to keep this information strictly secret so as not to aid the French). He also wrote numerous notes to get the food supplies that were being supplied equitably distributed throughout the fleet ... for instance this note dated 14 October 1805:



... written in Nelson’s scrawl (he of course had to write with his left hand having lost his right) it orders Mr Jackson, the purser of HMS Ajax, to supply “one ….. of suet and fruit" to HMS Minotaur.
 
On RN ships of the time the main meal of the day was served up around midday, with a lighter evening supper of only biscuit and cheese. For the main meal, as per regulations: Tuesdays and Saturdays were salt beef days, while Sundays and Thursdays were salt pork.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays no meat was served, but the cooks were issued dried fruit, flour, biscuit-crumb, treacle, suet and lard to produce “plum duff”, which was universally preferred over the tough salty meat stew of other days.  The battle of Trafalgar was fought on a Monday and so the normal main meal, presumably served up that evening rather than at midday, was plum duff,  the sailors’ favourite, and no doubt portions were made more generous than usual. 

Plum “duff”  is a typically deliberate navy mis-pronunciation of what was originally known as plum dough, ie a boiled pudding of suet dough containing dried fruit. And it was nearly always called “plum” duff after the familiar dried fruit of old England, but as Nelson’s fleet was being supplied out of Gibraltar it was actually always made with Spanish or Portuguese raisins. These raisins also kept much better than dried plums (prunes) and so were actually "standard navy issue", even for ships supplied from home ports like Chatham or Portsmouth. One should also note that “plum pudding” and “plum duff”, although very closely related, are different dishes. Plum pudding is richer, spicier and with lots of different fruit, and it eventually developed into what we would now recognise as the festive Christmas pudding (of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” fame). Plum duff, as originally fairly austere naval fare, is considerably less fruity (currants only), and was a much more doughy pudding … and became what would now be known as "Spotted Dog" or "Spotted Dick" … an everyday dessert for schools, barracks, hospitals and works' canteens throughout much of the 20th century ... in my experience at least until the mid 1990s.
 
But yet another dish called “Trafalgar pudding” emerged within a few decades of Nelson’s victory when the historic importance of the event became apparent and Trafalgar Day itself started to become officially commemorated. By the 1850s Trafalgar Day, and the traditional plum duff pudding associated with it, had established itself on the menus of RN celebratory dinners. Trafalgar pudding, as a more refined version of plum duff even became recognised as a fashionable, albeit perhaps slightly exotic dessert dish in France. For example Gustave Flaubert in 'Madame Bovary' (1856) wrote:
“After supper, where were plenty of Spanish and Rhenish wines, soups à la bisque, and au lait d’amandes, puddings à la Trafalgar, and all sorts of cold meats and jellies that trembled in the dishes ….. ”

In a true Trafalgar Pudding the suet dough is rolled out flat and then spread with dried or preserved fruit and jam, and then rolled up before steaming or baking, and doubtless at Mme Bovary's soirée it was served cooled, in delicate slices to show off the coloured spiral, probably with a set crême Anglaise (ie cold custard). Trafalgar pudding is thus akin to what we would now call Roly-Poly pudding, but in 19th century England was also known as Shirtsleave pudding or the delightfully descriptive Deadman's Leg pudding.


So Trafalgar Pudding, or its rougher naval forebear, Plum Duff, is today’s “Dish of the Day".


Boiled dried-fruit-and-dough puddings had of corse been a staple for decades before Trafalgar and not just of naval cooks ... but until the mid 19th century few people bothered to record this sort of plebeian cooking. But an early, fairly unsophisticated recipe, dating from about the time of Madame Bovary’s fashionable supper, is this one.

From, "A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes”, by Charles Elmé Francatelli (1852), Recipe No. 94. - Plum or Currant Dough Pudding:
“Ingredients, two pounds of dough from the baker's, four ounces of plums or currants, a pinch of allspice, ditto of salt, a gill of milk. Mix all the above ingredients together in a pan; tie up the pudding in a well-greased pudding-cloth, and place it in a pot containing boiling water, and allow it to continue boiling for two hours; at the end of this time the pudding will be done, and may be turned out on its dish.”

...... Although one should perhaps note that while Signor Francatelli was a popular writer of “plain cookery books for the working classes”, he was nevertheless Maitre d’Hotel and Chief Cook to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

If one wants to make a full meal of Trafalgar Day there is also a dish of lamb cutlets, comprising a piece of fried bread coated in foie-gras, on top of a lamb cutlet, a slice of truffle, piped Parmesan soufflé and asparagus tips ... created by Escoffier, as his personal tribute to Admiral Nelson.

From the 'Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery ', Auguste Escoffier (1903), Recipe 1376 - "Cotelettes d'Agneau de Lait Nelson":
"Grill the cutlets, and, at the same time, prepare as many bread-crumb croutons as there are cutlets, and of exactly the same shape as the latter. Fry the croutons in butter, and coat them with foie-gras purée. Place a grilled cutlet on each coated crouton, and a slice of truffle on the kernel of each cutlet. Now, by means of a piping-bag, fitted with an even pipe, cover the cutlets with some soufflé au Parmesan; dish them in a circle, and put them in the oven for five minutes, that the soufflé may poach. After withdrawing them from the oven, garnish the centre of the dish with a heap of asparagus-heads, covered with butter."

But with this dish I fear we have moved away from the simplicity of the warship's gun-deck and its regime of “rum, sodomy and the lash”  … and are now lavishly installed on a cruise liner and seated at the captain’s table ... with champagne cocktails, excruciatingly painful social intercourse, and an even more debilitating final bill.


Last edited by Meles meles on Wed 28 Oct 2015, 13:36; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : an annoying typo)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sun 25 Oct 2015, 11:13

25 October 1415 – The Battle of Agincourt and the feast day of St Crispin and St Crispinian (or Crispian as Shakespeare calls him):

" And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day."


                             Henry V Act IV Scene iii


Born to a noble Roman family in the 3rd century AD, brothers Crispin and Crispinian fled persecution for their faith, ending up at Soissons in France where they preached Christianity to the Gauls whilst making shoes by night. They earned enough by their trade to support themselves and also to aid the poor. However their success attracted the ire of Rictus Varus, governor of Belgic Gaul, who had them tortured and thrown into the river with millstones around their necks. Though they survived that ordeal they were eventually beheaded by the Roman Emperor, circa 286. They are accordingly joint patron saints of cordwainers and cobblers. In mediaeval England all shoe-shops closed on October 25th and in London the members of the Guild of Cobblers and the Guild of Cordwainers went in procession to St Paul’s for a special mass, and then to their respective guildhalls for a celebratory dinner.



So for today’s "Dish of the Day" I propose something on the theme of shoes. One could have beef Wellington, or maybe pumps (medieval meatballs) ... or how about a fruit cobbler? Here's an old recipe (which seems to be the first printed recipe to actually use the name cobbler), it's from 'The Kentucky Housewife', by Lettice Bryan (1839):

A Peach Pot-Pie.
"A Peach pot pie, or cobler
[sic], as it is often termed, should be made of clingstone peaches, that are very ripe, and then pared and sliced from the stones. Prepare a pot or oven with paste, as directed for the apple pot-pie, put in the prepared peaches, sprinkle on a large handful of brown sugar, pour in plenty of water to cook the peaches without burning them, though there should be but very little liquor or syrup when the pie is done. Put a paste over the top, and bake it with moderate heat, raising the lid occasionally, to see how it is baking. When the crust is brown, and the peaches very soft, invert the crust on a large dish, put the peaches evenly on, and grate loaf sugar thickly over it. Eat it warm or cold. Although it is not a fashionable pie for company, it is very excellent for family use, with cold sweet milk."

Actually the "cobbler" pun may not be too forced. The origin of the word cobbler for the dish certainly seems to have arisen in the American west in the early 19th century, but where did the name come from? Many dictionaries simply state "source unknown", although others have tentatively suggested it might ultimately be related to "a cobeler, n. 1385, a kind of wooden bowl or dish." In the absence of documented evidence Elizabeth David ('English Bread and Yeast Cookery', 1977) suggested the name might come from its round boulder-like shape, like the etymology of the English cob loaf, which is related to that of a round cobble stone, and ultimately comes from Middle English "cop": a head ... (and in Flemish, cobbles, as a road surface, are still called "kinder koppen" ie kiddies’ heads … so we’re back yet again with  “babby's yeds” ). Alternatively, although again without much evidence, the dish may derive from being "cobbled together" from whatever ingredients were readily available, which usage does indeed derive from the cobbler’s trade and reflects the clear legal distinction between cobblers and cordwainers. A cordwainer made shoes from new leather while a cobbler repaired shoes, working with old leather. Cordwainers were forbidden to repair shoes, while cobblers were forbidden to make new shoes ... but they could legally make a cheap pair of shoes by literally "cobbling together" bits and pieces of several old, worn out shoes.

So that’s the Guild of Cobblers catered for ..... now for the Cordwainers.

Here’s a recipe from just before Shakespeare’s time but in style it’s actually the sort of thing that Henry V might well have eaten.
From: A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye, 1545, Anon:

To make Shoes.
"Take a rumpe of beife and let it boyle an hower or two and put therto a gret quantitie of cole wurtes and let theim boile togither .iii. howers / then put to them a couple of stockdoues or teales / fesand / partrige or suche other wylde foules and let them boyle all togither then ceason them with salte and serue them forth. "

..... It’s basically boiled beef (beife) and cabbage (cole), but with the more medieval addition of several whole game birds (wylde foules). But why the name? Is the title some sort of culinary joke: the birds cooked whole perhaps resembling shoes, or that after three hours boiling, the beef might be as tough as leather? (Although of course 3 hours of gentle simmering would actually result in deliciously tender meat). Then again it might have absolutely nothing to do with footwear at all.

But why is the dish called “shoes” ? It's a bit of a mystery ..... any suggestions?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Mon 26 Oct 2015, 10:11

MM, have you thought of putting all this in a book? A historical recipe for every day of the year - with lavish illustrations? It is all so interesting and the information about food and history you give is excellent - I think you could end up cooking on the tele and also make loadsamoney!
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 28 Oct 2015, 13:11

Well yes it had briefly crossed my mind, but really it's all as much for my own benefit, simply because it interests me. But this thread should be more than just a personal "blog" ... I just wish there were more suggestions, comments, corrections, and whatevers ... to help fill out the pages of my forth-coming, award-winning book.  You'll all get a mention in the dedication, honest ... just don't try and muscle in on any TV franchises, OK Wink .
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 28 Oct 2015, 13:16

The Gunfight at the OK Corral was on the 26th October. This is an Old West Recipe;

WINTER RED FLANNEL HASH

A great way to use left over corned beef is to add a few new ingredients and create Red Flannel Hash. Who knows who came up with the beets, but it really is colorful, and sticks to the ribs.

1 ½ Cups chopped corned beef
1 ½ Cups chopped cooked beets
1 Medium onion, chopped
4 Cups chopped cooked potatoes

Chop ingredients separately, then mix together.
Heat all ingredients in a well- greased skillet,
slowly, loosen around the edges, and shake to prevent scorching.
After a nice crust forms on bottom, turn out on a warmed plate and serve.
If it seems a little dry add a little beef broth.
Try with a couple poached eggs, for a hearty meal.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 28 Oct 2015, 13:34

Czechoslovakia gained its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire on this day in 1918;

Czech National Dish


Most Czech recipes call for some kind of meat. Pork, poultry, beef and game are all popular mainstays. Sorry vegetarians.

When in Prague, it's almost mandatory to try the country's national dish: roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. You will see this advertised at many restaurants in Prague. It goes by the local name: vepřo, knedlo, zelo.

Most Czech recipes for this dish are fairly similar so keep it simple and you can't go wrong.

Roast Pork (Vepřová Pečene)

Ingredients:
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs prepared mustard
2 tbs caraway seeds (We Czechs love the caraway seeds.)
1 tbs garlic powder - more if you'd like!
1 tbs salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs pork roast
1 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup beer (or water)
1 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs butter

Directions:
Mix the vegetable oil, mustard, caraway seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and rub over the pork roast. If you have time, let it sit about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C). Lay the onions a large roasting pan. Pour in the beer. Put the roast on top of the onions in the pan. Cover pan with foil. You can even add a few cloves of garlic if you'd like. Bake at 325 F (165 C) and baste with the natural juices frequently. Turn meat over while baking (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

Save the juices from the pan and add the cornstarch and butter. Throw in a saucepan and simmer shortly till it thickens. You can pour this over your pork and dumplings (see next recipe).


One note: Czech recipes can be heavy on the salt. If you
are a low salt person or uncertain, cut back while cooking
and add later.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 28 Oct 2015, 14:02

Thanks for those Trike. I have to cook my guests a meal this evening, and purely by chance this morning I bought a small rolled loin of pork, suitable for roasting  ... so I may well give Vepřová Pečene a go.

I wonder if it isn't traditionally made with suckling piglet? Many middle European roast pork recipes suggest you use young piglet if you can get it. Although perhaps that's more of a typically Slavic thing ... one has to be so careful with food. In Slovenija around 1989, shortly after their brief war of independence, I once asked for some roast suckling pig (it was on the menu) but was sternly informed that it wasn't really a Slovene dish but rather was typically Serbian ... I could have it if I insisted, but it would be more patriotic to choose something else. As I remember instead I opted for baked grayling fished from the local Tolminka river, and the waiting staff all thoroughly commended me on my excellent choice. There again of course it may have been that the restaurant was running low on the popular roast piglet 'dish of the day', and had skillfully manouvred me, a foreigner, onto another more expensive dish which they had been struggling to shift!
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 28 Oct 2015, 16:51

I see from a link on ID's post that today is Ochi Day in Greece, commemorating the rejection by Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces at the mountains of Pindus during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation.

Something Greek would seem appropriate so here's one of my favourites, rabbit stifado. ID gave me a recipe once but I can't find it so this is Mathew Ford's version. Ahhhh, takes me back to the harbourside in Naxos Town.

115ml red-wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
4-6 grains allspice (or ¼ tsp ground)
1 stick cinnamon
4 bayleaves
1 orange, zested
1 large rabbit (or 2 small), jointed
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
140ml red wine
1.5kg small onions, peeled
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp honey
Salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix the vinegar, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, bay and orange zest. Add the rabbit, stir to make sure the meat is well covered, then leave to marinade overnight or for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Take out the rabbit bits and dry on kitchen towel. Heat the oil in a casserole, and fry the rabbit, a few pieces at a time, until golden all over. Once browned, put all the rabbit bits in the casserole, add the marinade, wine, onions, tomato purée and honey, then add water to cover and bring to a simmer on the stove-top. Transfer to the oven for an hour and a half or so, until the meat is falling off the bones. Check the juices for seasoning, and if necessary reduce to an intensity you like. This needs just a green salad and good bread by way of accompaniment.


Suckling pig is very popular in Iberia and, if I recall, the speciality of the area around Toledo. It's turning up on menus here a bit more now but something you never see, and a meal I fondly remember from Madrid, is suckling lamb. OK, one feels a bit of a heel eating the minuscule chops but, oh, they were delicious.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:40

30 October 1501 - The Banquet of Chestnuts or the Ballet of Chestnuts.

Historic anniversaries are so often about the dates of battles or the deaths of the famous, so for a change here’s one of a famous party. The banquet in question was a supper held for a select group of cardinals and other nobles (plus fifty courtesans/prostitutes) at the Papal Palace in Rome, by Cesare Borgia the son of Pope Alexander VI. An account of the banquet is preserved in the official diary 'Liber Notarum' by the Prolontary Apostolic, ie the Master of Ceremonies and Protocol, Johann Burchard:

"After dinner the candelabra with the burning candles were taken from the tables and placed on the floor, and chestnuts were strewn around, which the naked courtesans picked up, creeping on hands and knees between the chandeliers, while the Pope, Cesare, and his sister Lucretia looked on. Finally, prizes were announced for those who could perform the act most often with the courtesans, such as tunics of silk, shoes, and other things."

Burchard’s account has of course been contested, some would make it yet even more scandalous while others have tried to downplay it. The 'Liber Notarum' was the official court diary and while Burchard would certainly have known about the banquet he may not actually have been there. When he says the courtesans were undressed it might only mean that they had taken off their heavy formal outer dresses and were not actually naked. Moreover Burchard was generally loyal to the Papacy and to Pope Alexander personally, and in no other writings does he mention any scandalous details which might have brought the Papcy into disrepute. Indeed Burchard may not even be the author of this particular report, nor even cogniscent that it was included, when the official diary was bound up, archived, and later published. Nevertheless Alexander's reign was already tarnished with more than a whiff of impropriety: he admitted to several mistresses and openly acknowledged Vannozza (Giovanna) dei Cattanei as the mother of his children. He'd made his son Cesare a cardinal, his other son Giovanni (Juan) he'd appointed Gonfalonier of the Papal army, and his daughter, Lucrezia was openly touted around the crowned heads of Europe for a suitably royal and diplomatically important husband.

In Italy Chestnuts have been a rural staple since at least Roman times, especially in areas not suitable for grain, and so they were often considered as just peasant or pig food. They have to be labouriously peeled and cooked to become edible, but even then, though they may be used to enliven one’s sprouts and as an accompaniment to the Sunday roast … when simply boiled or steamed are hardly decadent, licentious fare. We need something like this:



From 'Amadeus' ... Salieri tries to tempt Constanza Mozart with Capezzoli di Venere, "Roman chestnuts in brandy and sugar ...".

Modern recipes for Capezzoli di Venere are usually made with a combination of dark and white chocolate: the centre being a dark chocolate praline made from cacao, ground chestnut, butter and cream; which is clad in white chocolate; and then topped with a contrasting dark chocolate nipple. However the chestnuts eaten at Cesare’s notorious banquet were probably just soaked in brandy or candied in sugar, and possibly enrobed in marzipan (known in Spain and Italy since the 12th century) then rolled in fine white sugar with maybe a toasted-nut as a nipple on top. In 1501 chocolate was unknown to even the Pope’s chefs.

Christopher Columbus encountered cacao on his fourth mission to the Americas on 15 August 1502, when he and his crew seized a large native canoe that was found to contain cacao beans amongst other goods. Columbus took some of these beans back to Spain but cacao didn’t immediately make any impact. It was only after the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs (1521) during which Cortez himself had experienced processed cacao as a drink, was chocolate increasingly imported to Europe. In Spain, chocolate, with added sugar to counter the natural bitterness and still exclusively a drink, became a court favourite, but it was only in the early 17th century that it became more widely known throughout Europe. Finally in the 1660s, solid chocolate-nut praline (originally called 'praslin') was invented in the kitchens of César, duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin ... who was a very wealthy French sugar importer, ever on the lookout for innovative ways for people to use even more of his sugar. Modern white chocolate was only invented in the 20th century and is still not even considered to be chocolate in many countries.

So accepting the fact that Cesare’s cooks couldn’t have used chocolate in 1501, here’s a more modern but still fairly traditional (dark chocolate only) recipe for Capezzoli di Venere (Nipples of Venus):



Ingredients
6 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
16 oz. can whole chestnuts, or 1 1/4 pound fresh
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons brandy or other liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate coating:
14 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 to 1 1/2 cups pure cocoa powder

To prepare centers, melt chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool. If using fresh chestnuts, cut a cross on the flat side of each shell, put in a large pan, cover with cold water, and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove the shells and inner skins. Rince the chestnuts. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add crushed chestnuts and flavorings to the butter/sugar mixture and blend well, then stir in the cooled chocolate. Mix well. Roll into balls about 3-4 cm in diameter; if mixture becomes too soft to shape, chill for several minutes.
To coat, melt the chocolate on a plate over boiling water; let cool. Carefully roll the truffles in melted chocolate, then place on a plate of cocoa powder and allow to dry for several minutes. Dust each truffle with cocoa and place on parchment and cool in a refrigerator. Yields about four dozen truffles.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 30 Oct 2015, 14:47; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : some annoying typos)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 30 Oct 2015, 12:09

I've borrowed the idea of that chestnuts post Meles and posted it on Historum, where a new History of Food thread has opened.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 03 Nov 2015, 13:59

This being Godzilla's ( or should that be Gojira's ?) birthday, here is a Japanese fish recipe;

http://www.savoryjapan.com/recipes/fish/fugu.html

NB the recipe says monkfish or similar, fugu is the very dangerous poison fish which should only be prepared by specially trained chefs.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 03 Nov 2015, 17:42

By the way Trike I did your Czech roast pork dish (Vepřová Pečene) for a French couple who were staying here. The French are usually very conservative about food and don't generally seem to want to try anything much new, preferring to stay with familiar foods which they want to taste exactly how they think they remember how they tasted when granny used to cook them. But your dish seemed to fit the bill for something a bit new but not too adventurous. Pork roasted in a coating of onion and mustard is a typical recipe from French Alsace I think, though maybe as rôti de porc au moutade de Dijon it might be considered Burgundian ... well it's basically French anyway. But the addition of caraway (and I did add a lot) made it taste quite different, though not too extremely so for conservative French palates. You didn't give the dumpling recipe so I did it with spätzle (Bavarian/Austrian noodles, but commercially-made ones I'm afraid). It all seemed to go down a treat ... they virtually licked their plates clean! And I thoroughly enjoyed the rest myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 04 Nov 2015, 11:19

Glad to hear that you and your guests enjoyed the Czech dinner, Meles.

For future reference, here is the recipe for the dumplings;

Yeast Dumplings (Houskové Knedlíky)

Roast pork and other meat dishes are often served with either yeast or potato dumplings.

Ingredients:

1/2 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon salt
4 cups instant flour
1 egg
1 cubed bread roll


Directions:


Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar. In a big bowl combine flour, salt, egg and bread roll. After yeast rises, add to mixture and knead for 10 minutes or so. Form 4 rolls on a sheet with flour. Cover and let rise. Boil salted water and gently place in water - maybe one or two at a time. Cover and cook about 20 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick. It should be light and puffy. Remove from water and slice.

and potato dumplings;

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 05 Nov 2015, 09:24

This being the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason & plot etc, here is a link to some Jacobean recipes;

http://cbladey.com/guy/html/recip1.html
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 05 Nov 2015, 10:17

I wondered about a chocolate and ice-cream ‘Bombe Surprise’...



… although it’s not very Jacobean: the earliest reference I can find to an ice-cream dessert in England is the single sweetened cream ice - no one else got one - that was served with much ceremony to Charles II at the Garter Feast of 1671.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 06 Nov 2015, 11:57

6 November 1632 – The death of the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus at the battle of Lützen during the Thirty Years War 
(actually it was the 6 November only according to the Julian calendar, it's the 16 November by the Gregorian calendar). However November 6 is the date still commemorated as Gustaf-Adolfsdage (Gustavus Adolphus Day), a national holiday in Sweden, as well as in Estonia and Finland, and traditionally celebrated with a special pastry, the Gustaf-Adolfs-bakelse.

In the 1850s a chocolaterie in Göteborg started making commemorative chocolate medallions featuring the image of the old King. Then in 1909 the pastry chef at the Bräutigam Patisserie in Göteborg devised a more elaborate cake, though still with an image of the king on top. The original had a silhouette in pink marzipan and the filling was of chocolate, lemon and cream, and the whole coated in icing … but there has never been a standard recipe, with bakeries and patisseries all having their own. A typical recipe might be along the lines of a biscuit or sponge-cake base, with layers of, maybe, custard, filo pastry, chocolate, praline, cream, fruit, berries, jam, nuts, or whatever you wish, but all usually topped off with the traditional chocolate or marzipan image of the King.

The official rules for the Gustaf-Adolf Cake Competition specify that it is "important to create the pastry with ingredients that were in Sweden in the 1600s". The rules also state that the cake can be any shape so long as it has the traditional king’s silhouette on top, "or at least something suitably kingly" … and in 2003 the Gastronomic Academy of Sweden did controversially elect a winner without the king’s image:



... but most local bakeries still stick with the traditional king’s head motif:

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 11 Nov 2015, 11:49

11 November is of course remembered as Armistice Day, but for over 1500 years it has also been celebrated as the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours, who was buried on 11 November 397 having died on 8 November.

St Martin’s Day, Martinmas, falls at the end of the agricultural year. It is the time when the last of the harvests are brought in, the time to slaughter excess livestock to be salted down and smoked ready for winter, and the time to sample the first of the new wine. It was also the date when agricultural contracts ended and hands hired for the harvest were paid off, so it was also a time of saying farewells to colleagues moving to new positions, and of welcoming newcomers into the community. In the western liturgical year Martinmas is followed by advent (starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas), 4 weeks of reflection and penance in preparation for the great feast of Christmas. Accordingly, like carnivale preceeding Lent, Martinmas and the following few days have always been something of a festival with much feasting, drinking, playing of games, story telling and mummers' plays.

As a seventeenth-century English balled puts it:

It is the day of Martinmasse,
Cuppes of ale should freelie passe;
What though Wynter has begunne
To push down the summer sunne,
To oure fire we can betake
And enjoye the crackling brake,
Never heedinge Wynter's face
On the day of Martinmasse.




Pieter Bueghel the Elder - The Wine of Saint Martin's Day. (circa 1565).

St Martin was born in Hungary, spent much of his childhood in Italy, and lived most of his adult life in France as Bishop of Tours. He is best known for the account of his using a sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. Conscripted as a soldier into the Roman army, he found the duty incompatible with the Christian faith he had adopted, and so he became an early conscientious objector. According to legend, as a simple priest his parishioners loved him so much that they insisted he become bishop of Tours. But he felt unworthy of the honor and so hid in a barn of geese until the noise made by the birds betrayed his location.

To this day the goose connection with St. Martin remains, with roast goose being traditional fare in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Scandinavia, and Poland. In Spain, Portugal and Italy the day was often more associated with pork, and in Britain as much with beef as goose, but the essential logic was the same: the need to slaughter all livestock that couldn’t be kept alive over winter and just when they were at their fattest.

So roast goose is today's "dish of the day". In my village (whose little church is actually dedicated to St Martin - Sant Marti in Catalan), after the Armistice commemoration in the morning, it’s the Fête de Châtaigne in the afternoon with a castagnade (chestnut roast) and the opportunity to sample the first of the new wines. And this evening there's a bal dansant et grillade, although that'll be baked potatoes and grilled sausages rather than roast goose.

So here’s a simple Languedocian recipe for St Martin’s Chestnut Bread to go with the roast goose (or sausages):

Dissolve 40g yeast in a glass of warm water and then mix with half cup chestnut flour and half cup of wheat flour. Leave to rise for an hour. Then mix the resulting sour dour with 350g wheat flour and 250g chestnut flour and about two cups of water, two table spoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Knead the dough then put in a warm place covered with a cloth to rise. Finaly mix in 200g crushed chestnuts, shape into a oval loaf and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 mins until dark brown.

The coincidence of Armistice Day and Martinmas is actually quite apt. St Martin was originally a soldier, and despite actually being a pacifist, in France he has sometimes been adopted by the military as "their" saint (eg during the Franco-Prussian war when, with Paris besieged, the city of Tours became the capital). He’s also of course associated with conscientious objection to military service. And in a further ironic twist geese were sacred to the very pagans that Martin was trying to convert, being associated with Mars, the Roman god of war, and the Germanic god Wotan who was associated, amongst other things, with death, battle and healing.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 11 Nov 2015, 16:02

Cuisine from Taranto;

http://jovinacooksitalian.com/2012/12/19/the-cuisine-of-italy-taranto/

Oven Roast Lamb with Potatoes

Serves 6

The meat and potatoes should he crisp and brown, with very little sauce.

Ingredients:
•2 pounds russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks, about 2 inches long
•6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
•1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
•Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
•1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
•2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut in chunks similar in size to the potatoes
•2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the potato chunks in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1/4 cup of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well, then spread over the bottom of a roasting pan or oven dish large enough to hold all the potatoes in one layer. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of grated cheese over the top of the potatoes.

In the same bowl, mix the lamb chunks with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 cup of parsley and more salt and pepper. Add the remaining cheese and the chopped garlic, again stirring to coat well. Arrange the lamb on the top of the potatoes.

Place the uncovered pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. The lamb should give off a certain amount of liquid, but if the potatoes are so dry they’re sticking to the bottom of the dish, add a little boiling water.

Bake another 15 minutes and remove the pan from the oven; turn the lamb pieces at the same time stirring the potatoes. Return the pan to the oven for an additional 30 minutes, then remove again and raise the oven heat to 425 degrees F. Stir the meat and potatoes so that most of the potatoes are on top and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to crisp and brown the potatoes.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sun 22 Nov 2015, 10:33

Not an historic anniversary but simply a reminder that today (22 November 2015) is the last Sunday before Advent and so traditionally it is ‘Stir-up Sunday’ or ‘Pudding Sunday’, … the last day to make your Christmas puddings if they’re to be ready for the up-coming Christmas celebrations. The term ‘Stir-up Sunday’ comes from the opening words of the collect for the day in Cranmer’s 1549 Book of Common Prayer:

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

... thus providing a handy reminder for all chefs, cooks, housekeepers and housewives to attend to their Christmas puddings. So unless you’ve already done so I suggest you need to get busy mixing your pud’s today. And don’t forget to make sure that every person in the household, family and servant alike, gets to stir the mixture, always clockwise "from east to west", whilst making a silent wish.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 07:40

26 November 1789 - The first official national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as proclaimed by President George Washington. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed 26 November as Thanksgiving Day but to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November, and in 1941 this was modified to the fourth Thursday in November. This year, 2015, Thanksgiving Day does actually fall on 26 November.

However what day the original 1621 Thanksgiving meal fell on is not known. It must have occurred sometime between the last days of September and first days of November, but was probably closer to Michaelmas (29 September) which was then the traditional date for harvest festivals in England. In any case the original settlers’ celebration was conducted over three consecutive days.



Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, (1914).

The classic view of the first Thanksgiving is that of the Plymouth colonists, together with members of the Wampanoag, feasting together on the rich natural bounty of their new home: turkey, pumpkin, maize, sweet and white potatoes, cranberries … all of which are still the key components of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But there is no record of what was actually eaten in 1621.The only contemporary description of the event is by Edward Winslow:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others."

The Wampanoag and colonists often ate wild turkey however it was not specifically mentioned in connection with the 1621 harvest celebration. The "fowls" that were brought back were more likely to be seasonal waterfowl such as ducks and geese. The Wampanoag had been attracted by the shooting (they thought the colony might be under attack by their enemies the Narragansett) and so they had turned up rather unexpectedly, but were then invited to stay and join the pilgrims’ celebrations. There were actually about twice as many Wampanoag (all men) as pilgrims at the event and consequently a lot of the food was inevitably provided and prepared by them. So in addition to the venison and fowls there may very well have been a lot of freshly caught river fish and shellfish gathered from the shore. Nevertheless it is roast turkey that has now become the centrepiece of the modern Thanksgiving dinner.

It is often said that the colonists had never encountered turkeys before arriving in the Americas, however the bird seems to have reached England very soon after its first arrival in Spain (from Mexico) in about 1523-4. Turkeys arrived in England through the agency of the London Levant & Turkey merchants, who usually touched in at Seville on their way to and from the eastern Mediterranean. Not familiar with its Mexican name, uexolotl, or understandably reluctant to pronounce it, the English solved the problem in their usual way and called it the 'turkie cock'. Unfortunately, in about 1530 the Portuguese brought the guinea-fowl back to Europe from one of its homelands in West Africa, and the Levant merchants picked it up too, and transported it onward to England. The guinea-fowl was not unlike a miniaturized version of the turkey in looks and in its reluctance to fly, and it seems to have been assumed that they belonged to the same family.

But although some sources claim that in 16th century England any reference to turkey really meant guinea-fowl, this is not the case. When Archbishop Cranmer framed his sumptuary laws of 1541 he classed turkey-cocks with birds of the size of crane, bustard and swan, not - as he would have done with guinea-fowl – alongside capons, ducks and pheasants. At much the same time a certain Sir William Petre was keeping his table birds alive until wanted in a large cage in his Essex Orchard, including: `partridges, pheasants, guinea-hens, turkey hens and such like." And the heraldic arms granted in 1550 to William Strickland of Boynton-on-the-Wold, the crest is described as "a turkey-cock in his pride proper", show a bird that is without doubt, a turkey proper. (Strickland’s descendants claimed he had sailed to the Americas with Sebastian Cabot, who was then in the service of Spain, and that Strickland had introduced the turkey direct to England in 1526, but there is no documented evidence to support this and it does seem rather unlikely. But either way by the 1550s Strickland had made his fortune as a Tudor turkey entrepreneur).

Turkeys, clearly identifiable as such, were also depicted by mid 16th century Flemish artists, such as this by Pieter Brueghel the elder, The Seven Deadly Sins – Envy (c.1557):

   

..... and this, by Joachim Beuckelaer, The Well-Stocked Kitchen (1566):

      
 
Turkeys were fabulously expensive when first introduced into England. However by the 1550s they’d gone down to 6 shillings each, and by the 1570s, by which time they were widely raised and were readily available at markets throughout the land, if perhaps still largely for the better off, the price had dropped to 3s 4d for a cock and 1s 8d for a hen (when a capon might cost 9d). The large difference in the price between turkey cocks and hens reflects the fact that they show extreme sexual dimorphism. Male turkeys are typically more than twice the weight of the females, and this price difference again reinforces the fact that these were proper turkeys, and not guinea-fowl which show no such dimorphism.

So the Plymouth colonists, although they might never have tasted it, were certainly not unaware of turkey before their arrival in North America. Here’s an English recipe for baked/roasted turkey from The Good Huswife’s Jewell (1596) by Thomas Dawson:

To Bake a Turkie
Take a fat Turkie, and after you haue scalded him and washed him cleane, lay him vpon a faire cloth and slit him through-out the backe, and when you haue taken out his garbage, then you must take out his bones so bare as you can, when you haue so doone wash him cleane, then trusse him and pricke his backe toghether, and so haue a faire kettle of seething water and perboyle him a little, then take him vp that the water may runne cleane out from him, and when he is colde, season him with pepper and Salt, and then pricke hym with a fewe cloues in the breast, and also drawe him with larde if you like of it, and when you haue maide your coffin and laide your Turkie in it, then you must put some Butter in it, and so close him vp. in this sorte you may bake a goose, a Pheasant, or capon.

Cranberries would have been a truly novel and unfamiliar fruit to the colonists, but if they were served at the harvest celebration they would only have appeared in the Wampanoag dishes. It would be another fifty years before an Englishman mentioned boiling this New England berry with sugar for a "Sauce to eat with Meat". In 1620s England, sugar was expensive: in 1620s New England, there probably wasn’t any at all. So to accompany the roast turkey I offer this recipe which uses "a very little Sugar" taken from, The English Hus-Wife (1615) by Gervaise Markham:

Sauce for a Turkey
Take fair water, and set it over the fire, then slice a good store of Onions, and put into it, and also Pepper and Salt and a good store of Gravy that comes from the Turkey, and boyl them very well together: then out to it a few crums of grated bread to thicken it, a very little Sugar, and some Venegar, and so serve it up with the Turkey: or otherwise, take greated Whire bread and boyl it in White wine till it be as thick as a Gallantine; in boyling put in some Sugar, and Cinnamon, and then with a little Turnsole make it a high murrey colour, and so serve it in saucers with the Turkey, in manner of Gallantine.

Turnsole was a vegetable dye prepared from Chrozophora tinctoria, a plant originally native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, but extensively cultivated throughout Europe. It provided a range of colours from violet through to a deep-purple "murrey", ie mulberry, for use in inks, dyeing fabrics and as a food colourant.

Maize was almost certainly on the original Thanksgiving menu despite not being specifically mentioned. It was a staple of the Wampanoag and soon became a fixture in the cooking pots of New Plymouth. The settlers had acquired their first seed corn by helping themselves to a cache of corn from a native storage pit on one of their initial explorations of Cape Cod. (They later paid the owners for this "borrowed" corn). It is intriguing to imagine how they processed and prepared the novel corn for the first time following its harvest in Autumn 1621. One colonist gave a hint of how they sought to prepare the unfamiliar grain in comforting terms: "Our Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh as pleasant a meat as rice." In other words it is likely they used it to prepare traditional English dishes of boiled grain porridge, and oatmeal-like bannocks … only much later did they manage to adapt it to make baked leaven loaves of bread. Maize, or Indian Corn, or Turkey Corn, or Turkey Wheat was again already known in Elizabethan England, albeit only as an occasional import from Spain and Italy, since it wasn’t found to be suitable for cultivation in Britain.

Illustrations of varieties of "Turkie Wheate" from John Gerard’s Herball (1597):



Another key "traditional" ingredient for the Thanksgiving Dinner, potatoes, whether the normal white "spud" variety or the sweet potato, were completely unknown in North America before they were introduced from England where they had been cultivated since the 1580s. (Courtesy of the Spanish again, the white potato originally came from the Andes and the sweet potato from the Caribbean). So if the Plymouth colonists ate potatoes then they must have brought them from England, and that is quite probable as it is actually how Raleigh’s so-called ‘Virginia potato’ first got to Virginia, via England and Spain, from Peru.

Pumpkin was also already known in Europe, again having first been brought back by the Spanish in the 1530s, although similar Old World gourds, cantaloupes, cucumbers and melons had been cultivated for centuries. The pumpkins (and marrows, squashes etc) of the New World (Curcurbita sp) were very similar to familiar Old World species, and so they were all very rapidly accepted into European cuisine. Pumpkins were certainly being grown in England by the 1580s, having arrived via the Netherlands from France, though they were still known by the French name of pumpions or pompions.

Here are New World pumpkins and marrows (apparently they are clearly identifiable as such by their form and particularly the shape of their cut stems, at least to expert botanists), readily on sale in the vegetable markets of 16th century Amsterdam and Antwerp as depicted by, Lucas van Valckenborch, The Vegetable Market (c.1590):





..... and these two by Pieter Aertsen, Market Scene (1569):



... and Market Seller (1567):



Anyway here’s an English recipe for pumpkin pie from, The Queen’s Closet Opened, (1655), by Walter Montagu:

To make a Pumpion Pye
Take about half a pound of Pumpion and slice it, a handfull of Tyme, a little Rosemary, Parsely, and sweet Marjoraum slipped off the stalks, and chop them small, then take Cynamon, Nutmeg, Pepper and six Cloves, and beat them, take six Eggs and beat them, and mix them, and beat them altogether, and put in as much Sugar as ypu think fit, and fry them like a froize, after it is fryed, let it stand till it be cold, then fill your Pye, take sliced Apples thinne round wayes, and lay a row of the Froize, and layer of Apples and Currants betwixt the layer while your Pye is fitted and put in a good deal of sweet Butter before you close it, when the pye is baked, take six yelks of Eggs, some Whitewine or Vergis, and make a Caudle of this, but not too thick, cut up the Lid and put it in, stir thm well together whilst the Eggs and Pumpion be not perceived, and so serve it up.

But while the Plymouth colonists were familiar with pumpkin it is doubtful that they ate pumpkin pie. In 1621 they were lacking wheat flour and making a pie from ground maize would not have been easy. Their pumpkin was probably eaten as a baked or fried vegetable, or simply boiled in a potage.

So in short while the actual first Thanksgiving meal was probably of necessity a bit of a mix-and-make-do affair, the "traditional" Thanksgiving fare, as currently consumed throughout the US, could almost be described as a fairly typical Elizabethan English menu!


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 26 Nov 2015, 10:15; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 07:57

I've read somewhere that Henry VIII hated turkey - he said it was as tasteless as wood. Will try and find the reference.

They have just had Obama on BBC Breakfast "forgiving a turkey" - a Thanksgiving tradition. This lucky absolved bird doesn't get eaten, but is sent to live out its days in peace on a farm somewhere in Virginia. I wonder what the origin of forgiving the turkey is?
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 10:25

From what I can gather, the forgiving a turkey tradition started in 1947 with Harry Truman, though it may be regarded as having started informally in the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln didn't kill his son's turkey.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 11:09

'Forgiving a turkey' sounds like a truly absurd term. The concept of 'forgiveness' would suggest that the turkey (or all turkeys) have somehow committed some form of transgression. And because of that transgression they, therefore, 'deserve' to be killed. Quite grotesque in fact.

Surely the terms 'saving a turkey' or 'sparing a turkey' might make more sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 14:09

Indeed Vizzer, saving a turkey would be more appropriate.

However, will the Russians forgive Turkey?

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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Thu 26 Nov 2015, 16:54

@Vizzer wrote:
'Forgiving a turkey' sounds like a truly absurd term. The concept of 'forgiveness' would suggest that the turkey (or all turkeys) have somehow committed some form of transgression. And because of that transgression they, therefore, 'deserve' to be killed. Quite grotesque in fact.

Surely the terms 'saving a turkey' or 'sparing a turkey' might make more sense.


True. But it must be admitted that some turkeys can be very irritating, Vizzer.

As can we all.

Forgiving - saving - sparing. What's the difference? The turkey had a second chance after all, and is now (presumably) living happily ever after in Virginia.


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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sat 28 Nov 2015, 15:18

From Wiki, re Turkey pardoning:

John F. Kennedy unofficially spared a turkey on November 19, 1963. The practice of "pardoning" turkeys in this manner became a permanent tradition in 1989.

Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented the President of the United States with one live turkey and two dressed turkeys, in a ceremony known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. John F. Kennedy was the first president reported to spare the turkey given to him (he announced he didn't plan to eat the bird), and Ronald Reagan was the first to grant the turkey a presidential pardon, which he jokingly presented to his 1987 turkey (a turkey that would indeed be spared and sent to a petting zoo).

There are legends that state that the "pardoning" tradition dates to the Harry Truman administration or even to an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son's pet turkey (a Christmas turkey); both stories have been quoted in more recent presidential speeches, but neither has any evidence in the Presidential record. In more recent years, two turkeys have been pardoned, in case the original turkey becomes unavailable for presidential pardoning.

George H. W. Bush, who served as vice president under Reagan, made the turkey pardon a permanent annual tradition upon assuming the presidency in 1989, a tradition that has been carried on by every president each year since. The pardoned turkeys have typically ended up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. From 1989 to 2004 they were sent to a children's farm called "Frying Pan Farm Park" in Herndon, Virginia. From 2009 to 2013 they were sent to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate near Alexandria, Virginia, and in 2014 they were sent to an estate in Leesburg, Virginia once owned by former state governor and turkey farmer Westmoreland Davis. However, from 2005-2009 they were sent to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. The turkeys rarely live to see the next Thanksgiving due to being bred for large size.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Mon 30 Nov 2015, 22:35

1 December 1135 - King Henry I died of a "surfeit of lampreys".

He'd been hunting in the royal forest of Lyons-la-Forêt in Normandy and was taken ill one evening on his return to the castle at St. Denis-en-Lyons ... and after a week's illness he died there on 1st December 1135. He was about 67 years old, not a bad age for the 12th century, and so his death cannot have been entirely unexpected. The problem of course was the succession. Henry had fathered numerous children but his only legitimate son, William Adelin, had died in 1120 in the White Ship disaster, which left his daughter Matilda (Maud) as his only legitimate child. Henry had intended that the crown should pass to her and had managed to get all the nobles to swear to support her. But on his death, despite all his efforts, the succession was disputed. Stephen of Blois, one of the king’s nephews, crossed from Boulogne to England, seized power and was crowned on 22 December. Matilda however refused to give up her claim to the throne and so 18 years of bitter civil war ensued …..  a period in English history known simply as: "The Anarchy".

But in 1135 all that was in the future. So let us return to Henry’s last meal.

Henry of Huntingdon (c.1088 – c.1157), a contemporary and generally a reliable source, says that,

….. "returning from hunting at St. Denys in the "Wood of Lions" he partook of some lampreys, of which he was fond, though they always disagreed with him; and though his physician recommended him to abstain, the king would not submit to his salutary advice; according to what is written:- ‘Men strive ‘gainst rules, and seek forbidden things’. This repast bringing on ill humours, and violently exciting similar symptoms, caused a sudden and extreme disturbance, under which his aged frame sunk into a deathly torpor; in the reaction against which, Nature in her struggles produced an acute fever, while endeavouring to throw off the oppressive load. But when all power of resistance failed, this great king died on the first day of December, after a reign of thirty-five years and three months."
Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum (1853 English translation).

To a modern mind if an old man who wasn’t feeling well (but who to all intents and purposes was still hale and hearty) asked for his favourite food, we’d probably happily encourage him. But to a medieval mind this was the worst course of action. He was unwell so clearly he had an imbalance of bodily humours, and being an old man he was almost certainly suffering from an excess of "cold and moist" humour. The last thing he should have had was fish which were also exceedingly cold and moist. Any medieval doctor would have told him he was simply asking for trouble. Even so it is by no means improbable that Henry's illness was indeed brought on by his eating lampreys as it might easily have been just simple food poisoning.

There is, however, one significant omission from Henry of Huntingdon's account: there is no mention of a "surfeit". This famous detail seems to have crept in much later, and it appears to be due entirely to the 15th century chronicler, Robert Fabyan. His "chronicle" (published in 1516, three years after his death) is little more than a compilation from previous historical writers and covers the period from the days of Julius Caesar to the death of Henry VII. The earlier parts are very superficial, and the later parts are only of value when they concern matters of which Fabyan had personal experience. Regarding Henry’s death Fabyan says,

"Kynge Henry beynge in Normandy, after some wryters, fell from, or with his horse, whereof he caughte his deth : but Ranulphe [ie. Ranulph Higden] sayth, he toke a surfet by etynge of a laprey, and therof dyed, whan he had reygned full xxxv yeres and odde monethes."

However Ranulph Higden actually said no such thing. John of Trevisa's 1387 English translation of Higden’s Polychronicon says only,

"He hadde i-ete of a lampray while he was olde and feble, and he loved it alway, [though] it greyed hym evermore."

The twist which Fabyan introduced with his talk of a surfeit does not appear to have any support, and it is curious that it is his version which has achieved celebrity. But it did enable 19th century writers to point out the evils of overindulgence … such as Maria Calcott in her popular 1835 book, Little Arthur's History of England, (just one of a whole genre of Victorian moralistic histories for children):

"I must tell you the cause of his death: for I think it is a good lesson to all of us. He had been told by the physicians that he ought not to eat too much, but one day a favourite dish was brought to his table (I have read that it was potted lampreys), and he ate such a quantity that it made him ill, and so he died, after he had been king thirty-five years".

….. It would be interesting to know where she read that the lampreys were potted.


Lampreys are primitive, boneless, cartilaginous, eel-like "fish" which make their living by parasitizing other fish, to which they fasten with their jawless, tooth-like sucker and then slowly bore into the flesh of their host. They are frankly rather disgusting ...

           

… but apparently they taste delicious.

They were much favoured by medieval nobility as they have a very meaty flesh that could still be eaten on obligatory fish days. They also lack a bony skeleton and so once the cartilaginous back bone has been removed they can be simply chopped into meaty, boneless chunks. Lampreys were trapped, much like eels, on most of England’s major rivers: the Severn, Wye, Thames, Dee, Trent, Ouse, Derwent, Tees, Tyne, Wear etc. (they never seem to have been common in Scotland), but their populations collapsed due to river pollution in the 19th century. Today they are a protected species throughout most of Europe, and are now slowly repopulating English rivers.

A lamprey pie is still traditionally presented by the city of Gloucester to the monarch on their coronation and other great occasions … and a large ornate lamprey pie in the shape of Gloucester cathedral was presented to the Queen in 2012 on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. But in 2012 the lampreys could not legally be obtained from the river Severn and came instead from Canada. They are not native to the North American Great Lakes but have managed to get past Niagara Falls via the St Lawrence Seaway and the Welland Ship Canal, and being an aggressive alien species they are now seriously damaging the lakes’ native fish stocks.

But the lampreys Henry I fatally ate were probably just simply stewed/braised in a spicy sauce, perhaps similar to this recipe (from Forme of Cury, c.1390):

"Laumprouns in gayntyne. Take laumpreys and sle hem with vinegar oþer with white wyne & salt. Scalde hem in water. Slyt hem a litel at þe nauell, & rest a litel at þe nauel. Take out the guttes at the ende. Kepe wele the blode. Put the laumprey on a spyt; roost hym & kepe wel the grece. Grynde raysouns of coraunce; drawe hym vp with vyneger, wyne, and crustes of brede. Do þerto powdour of ginger, of galygale, flour of canel, powdur of clowes; & do þerto raisouns of coraunce hole, with þe blode & þe grece. Seeþ it & salt it: boile it not to stondyng. Take vp the laumprey; do hym in a chargeour, & lay þe sewe onoward & serue hym forth."

As lampreys are virtually unobtainable in Europe any modern cook will probably have to substitute eel, or perhaps carp, both of which have a suitably solid, fairly meaty flesh (although in the UK eel populations have also suddenly dropped over just the past decade). A modern less-spicy equivalent of the medieval dish might therefore be something along the lines of the traditional French dish ‘pochouse’. This is a Burgundian speciality of freshwater fish from slow-moving rivers and lakes rather than fast flowing alpine streams ... so it uses eel, carp, pike and perch, rather than trout, salmon, char or grayling. The chunks of fish (filleted but inevitably still with some bones) are very gently poached with potatoes and onions in a white wine stock, and finally thickened with a little flour, cream and egg yolks:

 

Bon appétit.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 01 Dec 2015, 11:11

As St Andrews day is celebrated in both Scotland and Greece one enterprising lady has come up with a yummy menu combining both cuisines http://apokoronasnews.gr/st-andrews-day-greek-feast-that-crosses-borders/


Starter: Scottish smoked salmon, Greek Green salad: (Romaine lettuce, dill and spring onion with a thyme honey, extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing)

Main course: Lamb casserole with thyme honey and sage — served with Steamed Carrots and broccoli – drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (An ancient Greek recipe originating from the Minoan civilization, 3650 to 1400 BCE); Rumblethumps, a traditional Scottish Borders dish made from potatoes, cabbage and onion; Cretan Boureki, a potato, marrow (or pumpkin) and chopped fresh mint bake, with feta and riccotta cheese. All served with steamed carrots and broccoli drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt

Dessert: Cranachan with Greek thyme honey , served with Drambuie
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 01 Dec 2015, 12:59

Is the cranachan made with Greek yoghurt instead of cream? That would work.

Poor old Henry may have been a victim of cyclostome poisoning:


Lampreys and hagfish can cause cyclostome poisoning with GI problems. Their cheek secretions have an anticoagulant toxin that is not destroyed by cooking. Soaking the fish for several hours in brine may reduce the toxicity. The Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and the River Lamprey (Lampretia fluviatilis) are considered poisonous. The Sea Lamprey is found on both sides of the Atlantic. The River Lamprey is found in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, Ireland and France and the rivers into those seas.


cyclostome poisoning
Poisoning from eating Myxinidae or Petromyzontidae generally characterized by nausea, vomiting, dysenteric diarrhoea, tenesmus, abdominal pain, and weakness, with recovery within several days. Most poisonings are reported as due to failure to de-slime the fish. Poison is reported removed or inactivated by covering the fresh fish with salt and leaving it in concentrated brine for several hours prior to cooking. (See also: fish poisoning, toxic)


It was an incompetent cook what done it!
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 01 Dec 2015, 14:51

That’s interesting ferval and might also explain the bit about, "... he partook of some lampreys, of which he was fond, though they always disagreed with him", ... so he might have been particularly sensitive to the toxin (I wonder if it's a bit like an allergic reaction, like with prawns, where some people show extreme reaction while others have no ill effects at all). It also explains the particularly detailed medieval instructions for preparing lampreys, compared to the usual brief instructions given for other fish (ie just de-scale and gut).

For example, from The Forme of Cury (c.1390), "Take laumpreys and sle hem with vinegar oþer with white wyne & salt …" [Take the lampreys and soak them in vinegar or otherwise with white wine and salt …]

Or, from The Noble boke of Cokery (c.1450),"If þu have qwyk lamprey, lete hym blood in þe nape into a vessel. Mak water hover þe fyr nyʒ scaldynge hot; cast þann þe lamprey in a litil hay into þe panne, & with þe hay slyppe of þe skynne, þan vente hym fro þe gyle to þe novele, þann pyk out þe bon þat goth þorw hym with a knyfys point, ….."
[If you have a live lamprey, let him bleed by the nape into a container. Make water over the fire nearly scalding hot; then put the lamprey in a little hay into the pan, and with the hay (presumably to get a grip), slip off the skin from the gill to the navel; then pick out the bone that goes through him with a knife point ….]

The other thing about lampreys is that being parasitic on large predatory fish they are, barring hungry kings, effectively at the top of the food chain, and therefore concentrate toxic metals like mercury and cadmium within their flesh. It probably wasn't a problem in 12th century Normandy, but might have been an issue when they were still being fished from heavily polluted industrial rivers like the Tyne, Tees and Thames.


PS I like ID's menu .... never heard of rumblethumps before, but with a lovely name like that I need to look 'em up.


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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Tue 01 Dec 2015, 18:31

Here's the City of Gloucester's ornate lamprey pie made by RAF chefs for the 1953 coronation ... I hope they properly prepared their lampreys to get rid of the all toxins.



Who I wonder ever actually ate it? I can't quite see Liz and Phil keeping that in the fridge and slowly working their way through it ... a slice every day in the lunchbox to take to work!?! In 1953 there was still some rationing so I'm sure quite a lot of people would have been more than pleased to sample its somewhat unusual calories. But much as I like pies I'm not too keen on them when they've been hanging around more than a few of days ... it would have to be eaten or otherwise disposed of in about a week of being presented. So what happened to it? Please don't tell me all that work just went for pig food.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 02 Dec 2015, 13:41

Bartholomew Roberts was getting ready to tuck into a plate of Salmagundi, when HMS Swallow appeared to put an end to his career as a pirate:

Salmagundi

Salmagundi has been a popular cold dish for centuries, often incorporating other cold meats, fish and a variety of vegetables. This recipe can be made using chicken only and leaving out the duck. Select firm-textured vegetables and arrange the ingredients in ever-widening circles to create an attractive effect.

SERVES 8

1 oven-ready duckling, weighing about 2.3 kg (5 lb), thawed if frozen
salt and pepper
1 oven-ready chicken, weighing about 2 kg (4 1/2 lb), thawed if frozen
450 g (1 lb) carrots, cut into 0.5 cm (1/4 inch) wide strips
450 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled
150 ml (1/4 pint) vegetable oil
75 ml (5 tbsp) lemon juice
pinch of mustard powder
pinch of sugar
450 g (1 lb) shelled peas, cooked
1 cucumber, sliced
225 g (8 oz) tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
4 eggs, hard-boiled (optional)
mayonnaise (optional)
slices of stuffed olives and radishes, to garnish
1. Weigh the duckling, prick the skin all over with a skewer or sharp fork and sprinkle with salt. Place breast-side down on a rack or trivet in a roasting tin. Roast in the top of the oven at 200°C (400°F) mark 6, basting occasionally, for 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) .
2. Weigh the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow roasting tin and roast below the duck on the lowest shelf of the oven for 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) plus 20 minutes. Cool both for 1-2 hours or until cool enough to handle.
3. Using a sharp knife, make a slit along each side of the breastbone of both the chicken and duck. Remove and discard the skin.
4. Carefully remove all the flesh from the carcasses of both birds. Discard the carcasses and cut the flesh of the birds into thin strips, about 5 cm (2 inches) long.
5. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and leave to cool, then dice finely.
6. Make the dressing by whisking the oil, lemon juice, mustard and sugar together with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Choose a large oval platter for making up the salmagundi. Place the potato and peas in the bottom of the dish to give a flat base. Arrange the carrot strips or a layer of cucumber on top, following the oval shape of the platter.
8. Pour over a little dressing. Next, arrange a layer of cucumber or carrot, slightly inside the first layer so that it may be easily seen.
9. Top with more layers of chicken meat, peas, tomato slices, celery and duck meat. Make each layer smaller than the previous one so that the lower layers can all be seen. Sprinkle each one with dressing. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used.
10. If using the eggs, shell and halve them, then top each half with a little mayonnaise, if used. Garnish with a few radish slices and stuffed olives, arranged round the edge of the dish.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Wed 02 Dec 2015, 13:49

Re the Coronation lamprey pie, this recipe appeared for the Coronation and has stayed with us ever since;

Coronation Chicken:
Ingredients
2 free range chicken breasts, skin removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
knob of butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons madras curry powder
2 tbsp tomato purée
100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine
100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock
1 tbsp apricot jam
150ml/5fl oz mayonnaise
75ml/3fl oz crème fraîche
1 large mango, peeled, stone removed, flesh diced
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
dash Tabasco sauce
50g/2oz flaked almonds (toasted lightly dry frying pan)
green salad leaves, to serve
Preparation method
1.Rub the olive oil all over the chicken. Scatter over the lemon zest and season with the salt and black pepper.
2.Steam the chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through, then set aside to cool.
3.Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the shallot and chilli and fry for five minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Add the wine and continue to cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half.
4.Stir in the jam and stock, continue to simmer until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
5.Mix the mayonnaise and the crème fraiche in a bowl until well combined, then stir in the curry dressing. Fold in the mango, spring onions, lemon juice and coriander.
6.Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Fold this into the mayonnaise mixture. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and Tabasco to taste. Serve with a green salad, and dress with the toasted almond flakes.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 11 Dec 2015, 22:36

12 December 1602 – In the early hours of the morning, the forces of the Catholic Duke of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel I, together with those of his brother-in-law, Philip III of Spain, launched a surprise attack on the staunchly Protestant, independent city-state of Geneva. The original plan was to send a group of commandos over the walls, who would then open the gate and let the main force in. According to legend, Catherine Cheynel (known as Mère Royaume) lived with her husband, Pierre Rayaume and their 14 children above the Port La Monnaie town gate. Getting up in the night to check on her simmering stockpot she spotted the attackers scaling the walls below her, and so promptly emptied the large cauldron of hot soup over their heads, followed by the heavy iron pot itself. The commotion that this caused roused the night guard, who promptly raised the alarm. The town’s citizens rushed to defend the battlements and the attackers were forced to retreat. The Genevese lost 18 men in the fighting while the Savoyards suffered 54 fatalities, one of whom had been killed by a blow on the head from Mère Royaume’s heavy iron cauldron. After the defeat, the Duke of Savoy was obliged to accept a lasting peace, which was sealed by the Treaty of St Julien on 12 July 1603.

The event is still commemorated annually in Geneva as the 'Fête de l'Escalade'. Celebrations traditionally include large marmites (cauldrons) made of chocolate and filled with marzipan vegetables and wrapped in the Geneva colours of red and gold. So today’s dish of the day is a thick winter vegetable soup of carrots, leeks, potatoes, turnips and cabbage, (Savoy of course).  And if one then covered the cooked soup with slices of bread and grated gruyère cheese, and popped it into a hot oven until the cheese was bubbling, it would actually be a soupe à la Savoyarde.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 11 Dec 2015, 23:21



Where not to be standing 413 years ago today, unless one liked soup - a lot.

Charles fancied himself as a military leader of the first order but in fact everything he attempted was a fiasco. After he was beaten in Geneva and the conspiracy led by the Genevan Catholic bishop to convert the town back to the Roman church failed, Charles joined another conspiracy to win back Serbia from Muslim rule. Not only did he agree to become King of Serbia but he even agreed to switch to the Orthodox religion to secure his new crown. That all came to nought when the Serbs quite pragmatically concluded that now was maybe after all not a great time to revolt, probably upon hearing that Charlie's nickname Testa d'feu, "Head of Fire", also translated as less hot headed and more brain-frizzled.

He promptly became an enthusiastic Catholic frizzled-brain again and took the credit for French troops (temporary allies at the time - but then all his allies proved temporary) liberating the town of Alba from Spanish rule. But after that he went back to being disaster prone. When his French allies declared war on Spain (and then him) he joined with the Spanish in the War of the Mantuan Succession and lost enough battles to find himself bereft of Spanish friends. Amazingly he then joined up again with the French against the Spanish, but rather confused matters by inadvertently aiding a Spanish recapture of Susa. By this stage he was totally confused himself and declared himself neutral, standing his army down. At which point Richelieu invaded Savoy itself and the neutral Charlie was forced to be pals again with the French, but this time on their terms, one of which being that he retire from military leadership altogether.

It was around then that Charles finally found an intelligent solution to his confusion. He caught a fever and died.

Had he nominated his own commemorative dish at that point it might well have been humble pie.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 18 Dec 2015, 19:01

18 December 1892 – The first performance of the fairy-tale ballet The Nutcracker, (with a score by Tchaikovsky and choregraphy by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov), was held at the Imperial Marinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. The short two-act ballet wasn’t an immediate commercial success but it has now, together with its music, firmly established itself on the Christmas repertoire.


The Nutcracker, premier performance 1892.

The libretto provides for plenty of gastronomic possibilities: there’s the Nutcracker himself, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Mother Ginger in the land of Sweets, Chocolate and Candies. But the initial protagonists are the Gingerbread Soldiers (fighting against the mice), so I guess one can’t go wrong in marking the occasion by making gingerbread men.



Gingerbread, or at least something with basically the same name, has been around in England since medieval times, although originally gyngebrede usually meant simply preserved or crystallized ginger, and wasn’t applied to biscuit-like desserts made from sugar, spices, flour and bread-crumb until the 15th century, and even then the spices would as often be aniseed and nutmeg alongside the ginger.

The following recipe from 'A Daily Exercise for Ladies & Gentlewomen', by 'Widow Helme' (London, 1617) is essentially much the same as that written down nearly two centuries earlier in the Boke of Cookerye (c.1450).

To make red Ginger-bread, commonly called Leach-lumbar.
Grate and dry two ʃtale Manchets [ie white bread], either by the fire, or in an Ouen, ʃift them through a Sieve, and put to it Cinamon, Ginger, Sugar, Liquuorice, Anis-ʃeed: when you haue mingled all this together, boile a pint of red wine, and ʃtirre it, that it be as thick as a Haʃtie-pudding; then take it out, and coole it, and mould it with Cinamon, Ginger, Liquorice, and Anise-ʃeede, and rowle it thinne, and print it with your mould, and dry it in a warme Ouen.

As the above suggests it was common to stamp or shape the gingerbread paste in a mould to make a shaped medallion or heraldic device, but it is Elizabeth I (or at least her cooks) who is often credited with the idea of specifically making gingerbread 'men' after she had such biscuits individually made to resemble visiting dignitaries, all suitably clothed and attired with coloured icing, comfits, marzipane, sugar pearls etc.

This hard English type of gingerbread went to the Americas with the colonists but once there it seems to have gradually softened into something more like we would know today. The first published American cookbook, American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons (Connecticut, 1796) has recipes for three types of gingerbread including a soft variety baked in small loaves... and George Washington's mother, at about the same time, supposedly made a soft gingerbread sponge/biscuit/cake that was very much appreciated by the French general Lafayette during his visit.

So, having made your gingerbread soldiers all you now need to do is make some chocolate or sugar mice to go as their balletic adversaries.

But if, like me, you don’t have a sweet tooth, then I can offer this recipe for 'Nutcracker Cocktail' that I found online:

Ingredients:
A cup of almond milk
4 shots of Frangelico liquor
2 generous shots Russian vodka
4 tablespoons whipped cream
A pinch or so of grated nutmeg

Bung all except the cream and nutmeg in a cocktail shaker with a cup of ice-cubes. Shake well. Pour into two glasses, top with the cream and dust with the nutmeg. Enjoy.



Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 19 Dec 2015, 08:29; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Fri 18 Dec 2015, 21:35

Yes, "Nutcracker Cocktail" Meles meles. Cheers.

And up to New Year, your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day   Sat 19 Dec 2015, 17:42

19 December 1843 – the novella, 'A Christmas Carol', by Charles Dickens, was first published ... and was sold out within the week.

"...... But now, the plates being changed by Miss Belinda, Mrs. Cratchit left the room alone—too nervous to bear witnesses—to take the pudding up, and bring it in. Suppose it should not be done enough! Suppose it should break in turning out! Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard and stolen it, while they were merry with the goose—a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid! All sorts of horrors were supposed.

Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper. A smell like a washing-day! That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook's next door to each other, with a laundress's next door to that! That was the pudding! In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered—flushed, but smiling proudly—with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that, now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing."



And so quite simply I give you Mrs Beeton’s original 1861 recipe for 'Christmas Plum Pudding' (with her notes to the cook):

Ingredients.
—l ½ lb. of raisins, ½ lb. of currants, ½ lb. of mixed peel, ¾ lb. of bread crumbs, ¾ lb. of suet, 8 eggs, 1 wineglassful of brandy.

Mode.
—Stone and cut the raisins in halves, but do not chop them; wash, pick, and dry the currants, and mince the suet finely; cut the candied peel into thin slices, and grate down the bread into fine crumbs. When all these dry ingredients are prepared, mix them well together; then moisten the mixture with the eggs, which should be well beaten, and the brandy; stir well, that every thing may be very thoroughly blended, and press the pudding into a buttered mould; tie it down tightly with a floured cloth, and boil for 5 or 6 hours. It may be boiled in a cloth without a mould, and will require the same time allowed for cooking.

As Christmas puddings are usually made a few days before they are required for table, when the pudding is taken out of the pot, hang it up immediately, and put a plate or saucer underneath to catch the water that may drain from it. The day it is to be eaten, plunge it into boiling water, and keep it boiling for at least 2 hours; then turn it out of the mould, and serve with brandy-sauce. On Christmas-day a sprig of holly is usually placed in the middle of the pudding, and about a wineglassful of brandy poured round it, which, at the moment of  serving, is lighted, and the pudding thus brought to table encircled in flame.

Time.—5 or 6 hours the first time of boiling; 2 hours the day it is to be served.

Average cost.—4s.
 
Sufficient.—for a quart mould for 7 or 8 persons.
 
Seasonable — on the 25th of December, and on various festive occasions till March.

Note.—Five or six of these puddings should be made at one time, as they will keep good for many weeks, and in cases where unexpected guests arrive, will be found and acceptable, and as it only requires warming through, a quickly-prepared dish.

'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management', Isabella Beeton (1861).


..... Well it's either that or just humbugs!

I
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