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Showing posts from November, 2018

Harleian MS. 4016, (~1450) Guisseƚƚ.

Guisseƚƚ.-- An interesting dish which makes very thrify use of bread that has been turned into bread crumbs, eggs and broth flavored with parsley and sage and colored with saffron. Sounds a lot like dressing, yes? My recipe creates many small, irregularly shaped "curds", or dumplings.  Bonus? The broth thickens as the bread cooks leaving you with a gravy that you can use elsewhere.  I do not recommend using it with your dumplings.  They become very sticky and unappetizing!  The instructions can be found in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55by Thomas Austin. Harleian MS. 4016, ab. 1450 A.D. 
The instructions are just vague enough that I wasn't very certain of what I would end up with once it had been interpreted and cooked.  I was half expecting a wet mucky (and unappetizing) unbaked dressing.  What I ended up with was something that close…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lij. Gyngaudre.

This is one of several recipes that I will interpret but will not prepare. Eating fish offal is just a little bit more adventurous then I prefer. While eating offal is part of the new movement of nose to tail dining, where no part of an animal is wasted, eating specific fish offal carries with it particular risks related to toxins in our water. Cod liver is enjoyed in many parts of the world and if you cannot find it at your local fish market, it can be ordered through Amazon. The liver is described as being creamy and fishy and mild in the bitter offal flavor.

If you are feeling adventurous you can prepare the recipe below, and if you are not feeling so adventurous, you can prepare this using an assortment of fish fillets and omit the livers. Fish heads contain a surprising amount of meat, including the cheek and jowl and collar considered to be the tastiest and most succulent bits of meat on a fish.  You can also eat the tongue, the area around the eye socket, lips and eyes.