Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Fryed Meate (Pancakes) in Haste for the Second Course (The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682)

A Fryed Meate in Haste for the Second Course

A Fryed Meate (Pancakes) in Haste for the Second Course (The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682) Take a pint of curds made tender of morning milk, pressed clean from the Whey, put to them one handful of flour, six eggs, casting away three whites, a little rosewater, sack, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt, and two pippins minced small, beat this all together into a thick batter, so that it may not run abroad; if you want wherewith to temper it add cream; when they are fried fryed, scrape on sugar and send them up; if this curd be made with sack, as it may as well as with rennet, you may make a pudding with the whey thereof.

1 cup creamed cottage cheese drained and slightly pressed
1 large, tart cooking apple
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. white wine
1 tsp. rosewater
1/8 tsp. each salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
¼ cup flour
Butter to fry in
Additional sugar to sprinkle on

Drain the liquid from the cheese and press it through a sieve, quarter, core, and peel the apple, then mince or grate it through the large holes of a grater. Beat together all the ingredients except the butter into a thick batter.

Heat a large skillet or griddle until a drop of water sizzles when dropped on it, and then melt the butter on it. Drop spoonful's of the batter onto the griddle, forming oval shaped pancakes about four inches long. Cook over medium heat until brown on the underside, then turn the pancakes carefully – they break easily—and brown the other side.

As they are baked, transfer the pancakes to a warmed serving dish to keep warm. Sprinkle brown sugar over them and then serve immediately.

Chawatteys (Harlieian MS 279, c. 1430)

Chawatteys (Harlieian MS 279, c. 1430)

Chawatteys (Harlieian MS 279, c. 1430) Take buttys of Vele, and mynce hem smal, or Porke, and put on a potte; take Wyne, and caste + er-to pouder of Gyngere, Pepir, and Safroun, and Salt, and a lytel verjus, and do hem in a cofyn with yolks of Eyroun, and kutte Datys and Roysonys of Coraunce, Clowys, Maces, and + en ceuere + in cofyn, and lat it bake tyl it be y-now.

3 cups chopped pork or veal (about 18 oz)
3/4 c red wine
5 threads saffron
3/4 t ginger
3/4 t pepper
3/4 t salt
1 t wine vinegar
9 egg yolks
3/8 c dates
3/8 c currants
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t mace
double 9" pie crust

Cut the meat up fine (1/2" cubes or so). Simmer it in a cup and a half of water for about 20 minutes. Make pie crust, fill with meat, chopped dates and currents. Mix spices, wine, vinegar and egg yolks and pour over. Put on a top crust. Bake in a 350deg. oven for 50 minutes, then 400deg. for 20 minutes or until the crust looks done.

Funges (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390)


(The Forme of Cury, c. 1390) - Take Funges and pare hem clere and dyce hem. take leke and shred him smal and do him to seeþ in gode broth color yt wȝt safron and do þer inne pouder fort and serve hit forth.

1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 leek, finely sliced
1 tsp. Powder Fort
1 pinch saffron

Combine vegetable broth and saffron in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add mushrooms and leeks to broth, cook until tender. Stir in powder fort before serving.

Recipe by Felice Debbage

To Stew Shrimps being taken out of their shells (The Accomplisht Cook, c. 1660)

To Stew Shrimps being taken out of their shells
To Stew Shrimps being taken out of their shells (The Accomplisht Cook, c. 1660) (To stew Cockles being taken out of the shells.)

Wash them well with vinegar, broil or broth them before you take them out of the shells, then put them in a dish with a little claret, vinegar, a handful of capers, mace, pepper, a little grated bread, minced tyme, salt, and the yolks of two or three hard eggs minced, stew all together till you think them enough; then put in a good piece of butter, shake them well together, heat the dish, rub it with a clove of garlick, and put two or three toasts of white bread in the bottom, laying the meat on them. Craw-fish, prawns, or shrimps, are excellent good the same way being taken out of their shells, and make variety of garnish with the shells.

2 pounds of shrimp
¼ cup white wine
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp. bread crumbs
2-3 egg yolks
¼ cup butter
1 tbsp. capers
¼ tsp. mace
1-2 cloves garlic minced

Place all ingredients into a pot and stew until shrimps are cooked.

This is a very simple recipe that is absolutely delicious and very pretty to look at. Pictured here the shrimp is sitting on a toasted round. It reminds me a little bit of shrimp scampi. I used raw peel and eat shrimp to make this dish.  You might if you are planning on cooking for a crowd use shrimp that has already been removed from it's shell.  It was very well received at Curia as well as with the taste testers. I would definately serve this again.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gammon of Bacon (A Book of Cookrye, 1591)

Gammon of Bacon (A Book of Cookrye, 1591) – Ham and Bacon -To bake a gammon of Bacon. Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter.

-Recipe Courtesy of Dan Meyers

2 lbs. bacon, unsliced <--I used Ham
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
6 egg yolks, hard boiled
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. mace
1 pie crust

Remove skin from bacon and discard. Place the bacon in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes. Put parsley, sage, egg yolks, and spices into a bowl and mix well. Remove bacon from pot, cut open, and stuff with mixture. Wrap in pastry and bake at 350°F until done - about 1 hour.

This is a delicious savory tidbit that would make a lovely hand pie to serve at events. It tastes like a holiday in a pie crust. Please note that I used thin slices of ham that I stuffed with the stuffing and rolled into "olives" cutting them so that they fit into the pie.  

Savoury Tostyde (The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt, Opened (1669)

Savoury Tostyde With Toast and slices of Ham
Savoury Tostyde (The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt, Opened (1669) 
– Recipe Courtesy of David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook

Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye, Cheshire, &c. or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten melted Butter, that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or other boiled Sallet, or ragout of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and, if you will, Chop some of the Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or fresh-collops, or Onions, or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to melt upon a Chafing-dish of Coals, and stir all well together, to Incorporate them; and when all is of an equal consistence, strew some gross White-Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts or crusts of White-bread. You may scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel.

1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/8 lb Brie or other strongly flavored cheese
1/4 t white pepper

Melt the butter. Cut up the cheese and stir it into the butter over low heat. You will probably want to use a whisk to blend the two together and keep the sauce from separating (which it is very much inclined to do). When you have a uniform, creamy sauce you are done. You may serve it over asparagus or other vegetables, or over toast; if you want to brown the top, put it under the broiling unit in your stove for a minute or so. Experiment with some of the variations suggested in the original.

This dish has affectionately been labeled "crack cheese"--yes it is good and addicting.  As you can see from the picture, as the cheese cools it starts to harden. This does not affect the flavor, so much as the texture.  I have to confess I would eat this off of a old boot even if it was cold...ok...maybe not a boot but when I taste tested this, the bowl was licked clean ~glances at the child~ but I am not naming names. It is absolutely delicious, easy to make and easily made ahead of time and then reheated.  Note all of the variations you can use to serve it--plain, asparagus, bacon, chunks of meat, onions, anchovies or bread. I personally would serve this in a bread bowl, and then fill the remainder of the platter with goodies to dip into it.  This is the starter dish for the next "white flag feast" I do.  

Compost (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390)

A beautiful dish of Compost--a variety of pickled vegetables

(The Forme of Cury, c. 1390) Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns. scrape hem waisthe hem clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne. take an erthen panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne. whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool. & grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed. take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth.

-Recipe Courtesy of Daniel Myers

3 parsley roots
3 parsnips
3 carrots
10 radishes
2 turnips
1 small cabbage
1 pear
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pinch saffron, ground
1 cup greek wine (sweet Marsala) <--I used white wine
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. mustard <--I used a sweet and spicy mustard purchased at the local farmers market
1/2 cup currants (zante raisins)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. Powder Douce
1 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. fennel seed

Peel vegetables and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Parboil them until just tender, adding pears about halfway through cooking time. Remove from water, place on towel, sprinkle with salt, and allow to cool. Then put vegetables in large bowl and add pepper, saffron, and vinegar. Refrigerate for several hours. Then put wine and honey into a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then simmer for several minutes, removing any scum that forms on the surface. Let cool and add currants and remaining spices. Mix well and pour over vegetables. Serve cold.

Egges yn Brewte - Poached eggs with Cheese- Gentyll Manly Cokere, MS Pepys 1047, C. 1490

Egges yn Brewte 

This is another recipe from Curia Regis brunch. It is a beautifully simple, perfectly period recipe for poached eggs served with a surprisingly simple pan sauce of milk, flavored with saffron, pepper and ginger and then topped with cheese.

Egges yn Brewte (Gentyll Manly Cokere, MS Pepys 1047, c. 1490) Take water and seethe it. In the same water break your eggs and cast therein ginger, pepper and saffron, then temper it up with sweet milk and boil it. And then carve cheese and caste thereto small cut. And when it is enough serve it forth.

Eggs in broth
- Take water and boil it. In the same water break your eggs and caste therein ginger, pepper and saffron, then temper it up with sweet milk and boil it. And then carve cheese and caste thereto small cut. And when it is enough serve forth.


1/4 cup of milk per egg
1/8 tsp. ginger and pepper
1-2 threads of saffron or to taste

I used Butterkäse cheese for this recipe.  If you have not tried this cheese, please take time to do so.  It is delicious, creamy, buttery, sweet, slightly salty and mild in flavor with just a touch of acidity.  It  was a perfect accompaniment to the eggs.

Poaching eggs can be tricky.  The method I use is explained in a previous post .Cj. Eyron en poche. I do diverge from Pepy's instructions. Using this method I discovered made it impossible for me to achieve the "pan gravy" I wanted for the eggs, so I simmered the milk with the spices in a separate pan, cooked the eggs till they had set and then gently placed them in the warm milk, cutting a few slices of the cheese on top.  When the cheese had melted I served it to the taste testers on toast.

Why isn't there toast in the picture? Soggy toast is a very sad thing to see and I was unable to take a picture with the eggs sitting prettily on the toast.  Eventually I gave up and just placed the eggs on the dish by themselves.

This dish received rave reviews from taste testers and brunch participants alike.  It would be a lovely dish to serve to a small crowd or on a special occasion if you wish to follow the directions as given by Pepys.  For large crowd I would recommend oven baking the dish.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rose Conserve - The Queen-like Closet (1675)

Old Fashioned Rose Petal Jam

Conserve? Jam? Jelly? Marmalade? Cake? Paste? Compote? Butters? Curds? What are they? Before electricity and the advent of modern day refridgeration and freezing food preservation was an art. It still is, don't get me wrong, but think about it. Living seasonally has made me much more aware of how necessary it was to carefully preserve summer and fall bounties to make it through the leaner winters and springs. I can't go into my garden and pick a quart of fresh strawberries in winter, but I might be able to go into my cellar and bring up cabbages, turnips, apples or a winter squash. Our ancestors were geniuses! They had to be. Many of us would be lost if we had to survive without electricity or refridgeration for more then a few days. they lived their lifetimes without it.
Sugaring is a method of food preservation, along with smoking, salting, drying and pickling. I have become fascinated with the way sugar was employed in the diet of our ancestors. It was thought to be a medicine so I can't help but thing that the copious amounts that were used in cooking was medicinal as well as functional for flavor. It's a fascinating part of food history with a wide variety of methods employed to create the final product. The Food History Timeline offers this quote to support the long history of preserving food with honey or sugar: 

"The earliest kind of jam making...dates back to pre-Roman times, when fruit pulp was mixed with honey and spices and dried in the sun. In the first century AD, Greeks made a preserve, using their abundant crops of quinces, by stuffing pieces of peeled and pipped raw fruit tightly into jars filled with honey. After a year the fruit became soft as wine-honey'. This Greek quince preserve was called melomeli' (apple: melo, in honey: meli). The Romans later reversed the words into melimela' and improved the preserve by cooking the fruit in the honey with pepper and spices and sealing the jars to make them airtight. Quinces had a high pectin content so that when cooked, preserves made with them would have had a very solid texture. Pectin is a vital ingredient for successful jelly and jam making... By the 17th century...cane sugar was more readily available, and preserving fruit with sugar became an affordable option. Recipes that previously used honey were easily adapted...The English had their own particular version that included pieces of warden pear, but seemed to prefer the Portuguese quince preserve. Using their sugar from India and their abundance of quinces, the Portuguese had developed their own specialty, which they called marmelada' (like the Roman melimela')...As early as the sixteenth century, little chests of marmelada were included in the cargoes of Portuguese merchant ships arriving in English ports. Gradually the same process was applied to other fruits, which then came to be known as a marmalade' of pears, damsons, or plums..." ---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard, chapter on sugar (p. 163-174)
The main differences when discussing the different ways to preserve with sugar are the methods used to incorporate the sugar, the kind of fruit used, the size of the fruit, the addition of additional ingredients (booze, spices, nuts, additional fruit) and the proportion of sugar to fruit. Some of the methods we will discuss today were used in period, others (such as fruit curds) would not have been available. 

Preserve is a "catch all" word but when referring to sugaring as a method of preservation, fruit preserves are whole or pieces of fruit suspended in a jelly or a syrup.  Preserves may or may not include additional spices, alcohol, acids or pectin. A great example of a period fruit preserve is .x. Wardonys in syryp which creates pears that have preserved in a syrup flavored with red wine, sugar, vinegar, ginger and saffron. 

What is a conserve? Conserves are a jam which is made up of fruit, or in this case flower petals, mixed with sugar and sometimes other things such as nuts or spices. They can be referred to as "posh jams" and have a consistency that is softer then jam and very spreadable.

If a conserve is a jam, what is a jam? Great question! Jam's consist of a fruit (or flower petal) that has been chopped, crushed, mashed into small pieces and cooked with sugar until it gels. Sometimes additional pectin or an acid of some kind is added to the jam.

Jellies are a mixture of fruit (or petals) and sugar which has been cooked then strained so that the juice becomes the primary ingredient. By definition jellies should be clear without added fruit or spices.

Marmalades are specifically any citrus fruit that has been chopped and then preserved with sugar. The fruit is peeled and the peeled is cooked for a long, slow period of time to soften it before the sugar is added. Ideally a marmalade will be between the consistency of jam and jelly and consist of peices of the peel suspended in a clear jelly. The word marmalade dates back to the Greek melimēlon, which refers to quince stored in honey. My interpretation of Hannah Wooley's orange marmalade can be found here: The Queen-like Closet (1675) - LXXXVI. To make the best Orange Marmalade. - Orange Marmalade. Another more time consuming example of a marmalade is Sir Hugh Platt's To preserve Oranges, after the Portugal fashion which creates an orange marmalade inside of a whole preserved orange peel. 

A "cake" consists of fruit and sugar that has been cooked, pureed and then dried and I believe is the grandfather of our modern day gummy candies or fruit rollups dependant upon how thick you make your sheets and how long you allow them to dry. A good example of this kind of recipe is my interpretation of  Hannah Wooley's dried peaches.

Fruit pastes consists of fruit and sugar, sometimes spices that have been cooked over low heat for a very long period of time until they become concentrated in their flavors. They are then spread onto a tray or a sheet similar to the method you would use for the "cakes" and then dried in an oven. I recently published my interpretation of Sir Hugh Platt's To Make Quidinia of Quinces (Delights for Ladies, Sir Hugh Platt, 1600) which makes a beautiful fruit paste of quince.

Compotes may contain fresh or dried fruit, whole or in pieces and other ingredients that have been cooked in a sugar syrup that may be fortified with liquor or spices and cooked slowly to allow the fruit to keep it's shape. While conserves or jams may be saved for later, compotes are most normally used right away. If that were not confusing enough a coulis is basically a compote that has been pureed to a smooth consistency.

Fruit butters are cooked fruit which has been pureed until smooth and then added to sugar and heated gently until the fruit darkens. They are not cooked until they jelly, but rely on the high pectin content of the fruit to create thickness. They have a much lower sugar content then jams, conserves or jellies. According to the FDA, fruit butter can only be made and labeled such from eight fruits; apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, and quince.

Curds are a mixture of fruit, sugar, butter and eggs that have been cooked together to form a smooth creamy spread that *must be refridgerated* in order to keep. 

The queen-like closet; or, Rich cabinet stored with all manner of rare receipts for preserving, candying & cookery. Very pleasant and beneficial to all ingenious persons of the female sex. By Hannah Wolley offers this fascinating recipe for a conserve of roses that I had to try. I find it delicious but it is one of those things that you will either like or not like. I like to serve mine over ice cream or on bread. The most common rose used was the apothocary rose, or Rosa gallica officinalis, prized for its scent. This rose is believed to have originated in Persia and legend has it that the rose received it's color from a nightingale who so loved the white rose that it grasped it tightly, the thorn piercing the nightingale and that it was the nightingales blood that turned the white rose red. Thus the rose also became known as the Dasmask rose. Whatever it's origins, it is known that the rose was brought to England with the return of the crusade knights sometime in the 12th or 13th century. 

LXXXVIII. To make Conserve of red Roses. 

Take their Buds and clip off the Whites, then take three times their weight in sugar double refin'd; beat the Roses well in a Mor∣tar, then put in the sugar by little & little, and when you find it well incorporated, put it into Gally Pots, and cover it with sugar, and so it will keep seven years.


1 part very fragrant rose petals
3 parts sugar

Fortunately for us we do not need to use a mortar. Do be sure to clean your roses very well. I usually pick mine in the morning, wash them very quickly with water and remove the petals and then store them in the refridgerator overnight. I do this to humanely kill any pests that chose to cling to the petals. Sorry guys :-( The next day I gently rinse them again and dry them on a towel, clip off the bitter white end of the petal and then place it and the sugar into my blender and blend until well blended. At this point I put it into jelly jars and store in my fridge.

While I would have LOVED to have shown you a picture of this, I only had enough conserve to make 2 pint jars both of which have been consumed. So you get a *bonus* recipe--Rose petal jam. For those who you didn't know, my rose bushes were very hard hit a few years ago in winter and many of them died. I am slowly replacing them, but my rose yields are still somewhat small. Early in the year I had enough roses to make the conserve. However, in the second blooming I had enough petals to make rose petal jam, something I intend to give away as a gift this year along with violet syrup.

Old Fashioned Rose Petal Jam                                                                      Makes about 3 pints

1 1/2 cups water (I used bottled)
Approximately 2 cups (more is better) lightly packed fragrant rose petals (alternatively you could use dried petals keeping in mind that 1/3 cup dried is equal to 1 cup fresh just be sure what you use is *food grade*)
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pectin (as an alternative you could cook 1 green apple with your rose petals skin, pips and all. The apple should contain enough pectin to make thicken to jelly. I chose the pectin)

Bring roses and water to a simmer in a sauce pan and simmer for about ten minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not be disappointed that the color is not what you would want, the brilliant red color will come when you do the next step--it's magic! Add lemon juice and watch the magic happen. Simme for another ten minutes or so. While it is simmering add pectin to remaining sugar and stir to prevent clumping when you add the remaining sugar and pectin to your jam. Do so a spoonful at a time making sure that it is well incorporated before adding the next spoonful. Cook for another 20 minutes or so and then remove it from the stone and put into your jars. It will seem very loose--but do not worry as it cools it will set. This is best used in two months or, go ahead and process through canning for longer term storage.

I hope you enjoy this unusual and tasty treat as much as I do.

Gallipot ~1650