Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - Cxlj. Noteye - Nutty (Incomplete)

When I first came across the instructions for creating Noteye, 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. 55 Thomas Austin  I was intrigued.  The instructions call for using hazel leaves, most likely the eaves of the European Hazel or Filbert (Corylus avellana) in addition to nuts (notys) that have been fried in grease.  From previous research  Cxlij. Vyande Ryalle. - A Royal Dish (incomplete recipe), I had learned that hazel leaves are considered a forage food.  It appears that you are using them to not only color the dish, but also to impart a specific flavor. I do not have access to the leaves, so unfortunately am unable to adequately recreate the recipe 😞. My first thoughts on interpretation are below. I do hope that someone who does have access does try it and remarks upon it.

Image result for hazelnuts and leaves botanical illustration.Cxlj. Noteye.—Take a gret porcyoun of Haselle leuys, & grynd in a morter as smal as þou may, whyl þat þey ben ȝonge; take þan, & draw vppe a þrift Mylke of Almaundys y-blaunchyd, & temper it with Freysshe broþe; wryng out clene þe Ius of þe leuys; take Fleysshe of Porke or of Capoun, & grynd it smal, & temper it vppe with þe mylke, & caste it in a potte, & þe Ius þer-to, do it ouer þe fyre & late it boyle; take flour of Rys, & a-lye it; take & caste Sugre y-now þer-to, & Vynegre a quantyte, & pouder Gyngere, & Safroun it wel, & Salt; take smal notys, & breke hem; take þe kyrnellys, & make hem whyte, & frye hem vppe in grece; plante þer-with þin mete & serue forth.

141. Noteye - Take a great portion of hazel leaves, and grind in a mortar as small as you may, while that they be young; take then and draw up a thrift milk of almonds blanched and temper it with fresh broth; wring out clean the juice of the leaves; take flesh of pork or of capon, and grind it small, and temper it up with the milk, and cast it into a pot, and the juice there-to, do it over the fire and let it boil; take flour of rice, and mix it; take and cast sugar enough thereto, and vinegar a quantity and powder ginger, and saffron it well, and salt.  Take small nuts and break them; take the kernels, and make them white, and fry them up in grease; plant there-with your meat, and serve forth.

Interpreted Recipe

Handful of young hazel leaves
1 c. almond milk made with broth of pork or chicken
1/4 pd. pork or chicken, minced
1-2 tbsp. Rice Flour
2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Ginger
Pinch Saffron
Salt to taste
2-3 Hazel Nuts

Grind your hazel leaves in a mortar, you may want to add a bit of salt to them so that they grind well. As an alternative, place your leaves in a blender with a little bit of water and blend well.  Strain well.  Place your almond milk, saffron,  and ground pork or chicken in a pot along with the strained juice of the hazel leaves and bring to a boil.  Add rice flour and sugar and cook till it begins to thicken. Add vinegar, ginger and salt and cook for a few minutes more.  Meanwhile, lightly toast your nuts in grease after removing the skins.  Prior to serving, garnish with the nuts.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Feast Proposals

What have I been up to lately? I know the blog gets "quiet" so I thought I would share some of the newer things I have been learning.  I have put together three proposals because menu planning is something I do for fun.  The site has a few challenges, the first of which is very primitive (which is polite for non-existent) kitchen facilities.

Challenge 1: Put together a meal that can be served cool, room temperature or warm at best-no hot food.

Challenge 2: Clean up after the fact is going to be a challenge --wherever possible use disposable dishwear.

Challenge 3: Distance to site -- the facilities are about an hour away and I have a smallish car which will make transporting food to site interesting without multiple trips.

Challenge 3 was the easiest to resolve..I'm borrowing a truck..look out world. For food transport I am getting multiple coolers.  Ta-Dah.

So the menu.  Italian & Roman menus lend themselves best to this kind of cooking. Italian cooking specifies food "on the table", "from the credenza" and "from the kitchen".  So my first proposal was based on Scappi and La Singolare Dottrina di M. Domenico, where some of the terms I used in the proposal come from.

Proposal #1- Late 15th-Century Italian Menu 

Servitio di credenza posto in Tavola (on the table)

Capi di latte serviti con zuccharo sopra - Head of milk served with sugar above
Morselletti di biscotti - morselletti of biscuits
Uva bianchi i neve - black and white grapes
Comer Higos a la Francesa - To eat figs in the French Fashion
Biscottini alla savoiarda -Savoyard Biscuits
Biscottini di zuccaro - Sugar Biscuits

Primo servito di Credenza - First service from the side board

Insalata di mele crude - Salad of Apples and Onions
Insalata di arance tagliate a fette, servite con zucchero e acqua di rose - Sliced orange salad with rosewater and sugar
Preparare una crostata di funghi per un giorno in prestito - To prepare a crostata of mushrooms for a day in Lent
Per far crostate cioe pan ghiotto con barbaglia de porco, o presciutto - To prepare crostate -- that is, gourmand bread - with salted pork jowl or proscuitto

Secondo servizio di credenza

Salciccione cott'in vino - pork sausage cooked in a red wine broth, served cold and sliced
lingua di manzo salata e affumicata servita fredda- salted and smoked beef tongue served cold
Capponi Sopramentati serviti freddo con capparetto sopra - Chicken "Sopramentato"
Vaccina salpresa alessata, servito con petrosemolo Salted pressed beef, boiled served with parsley
Una torta di farro - A rice tart
Mustardo amabile - sweet mustard
Salsa viridis - Green Sauce
Sapor de prugne - dried plum sauce
Carciofi cotti serviti con sale e pepe all'aceto- cooked artichokes with vinegar, salt and pepper
Capperi e olive assortite - capers and assorted olives
Composto di rape, carote, cetriolo e finocchio - Pickled turnips, carrots, cucumber and fennel

Terzo servizio di credenza

Per fare la pizza di molti strati, comunemente freddi pasta secca a strati- To make pizza of many layers, commonly called a cold dry layered pastry.
Mandorle e noci fresche   -Fresh walnuts and almonds
Pere e mele - Pears and Apples
Cascio- cheese
Neve di latte, servita con zuccaro - Snow of milk
Cialdoni fatti a scartocci - Wafers made like paper

Levata la tovaglia-Raise the tablecloth

Finnocchio dolce verde- Sweet Green Fennel (Candied Fennel Stalks)
Stecchi in piatti con acqua rosa   Toothpicks in plates with rose water
Conditi, & confettioni a beneplacito  Confits and candies to one's taste

Proposal number two is based on one of the personas of the current prince/princess.  This is a Japanese style feast.  I will be the very first to admit there is NOT a lot out there on pre-Edo period food.  Edo period is late for us, so the first challenge was to come to an understanding of what was and what was not available in period, including cooking methods.  While the methods and foods are plausible, and some of the recipes can be traced to sources in period--not all of the dishes you find here have historic roots.  The saving grace is that Japanese cooking is very traditional.

This is at best a guess of what would have been served.

Proposal #2 - Muromachi period (1336–1573) Honzen Ryori (本膳料理) Style Meal 

Seasonings on the table include: Shoyu, Pickled Ginger, Rice Vinegar and Salt

Hon-Zen-first tray:

Namazu kabayaki (catfish kabayaki--catfish in lieu of unagi or eel--pan fried catfish, with a sweet and spicy sauce made of soy, mirin, sake and sugar)
Gohan - Rice
Mikawa ae (cucumber, wakame salad with imitation crab)
Namasu (daikon and carrot salad)
Crane broth (roasted duck or chicken, udon noodles and mushrooms in broth)
Edamame (lightly steamed and salted soybeans)

Nino-zen - Second Tray
Shimofuri (lightly steamed fish) served with Sho no Irizake (a sauce made with sake, komgu, umeboshi and bonito flakes)
Ebi No Umani (Shrimp simmered in Sake serve with a sauce of sake, mirin, dashi and soy)
Sumashi-Jiru (clear clam soup)
Kikka Kabu (pickled turnips cut into the shape of chrysanthemum flowers)
Gohan - Rice

Sanno-zen - Third Tray
Kuri Gohan (chestnut rice)
Kabocha no Nimonao (simmered squash or pumpkin
Matsutake soup (clear mushroom soup)
Shōga pōku-maki nasu (ginger pork rolls stuffed with eggplant)
Kakuni (braised pork belly)

Okashi お菓子 (Sweets)

Anmitsu-  a selection of fruits, agar agar jelly,  green tea with jasmine and lLychee ice cream, mochi, red bean paste drizzled with a sweet sugar syrup

The last proposal, French, because our lovely princess has a French persona. This is based on Le Menagier. 

Proposal #3 - French Feast based on menus from Le Menagier de Paris ~1393

Premier plateau - First Platter 

Pastez de champignons - Mushroom Pies 
Parma Tartes- Meat Pies
Viandes tranchées froides avec leurs sauces - Cold sliced chicken and pork with two sauces 
Calaminee- Calaminee
Froide sauge - Cold Sage
Saucisse avec calimafrey - Sausages with Calimafrey sauce (Mustard Jance)
Salade au vinaigre- Salad with Vinegar
Olives et câpres Olives and Capers

Deuxième plateau - Second platter

Cretonne de Pois Nouveaux - Cretonnee of  peas 
Viande salée et grossière composée de bœuf et de jambon - Salted and coarse meat that is to say beef and ham 
Boulettes de viande - Meatballs
Moutarde- Mustard
Tarte aux herbes, œufs et fromage - A tart of herbs, cheese and eggs 
Bourbelier de sanglier à la sauce épicée - Bourbelier of wild boar in spiced sauce
La maniere de faire composte - The way to make composte (honeyed vegetables)
Gelées pour un jour de viande - Jellies for a meat day

Troisième plateau - Third platter

Poires d’angoisse - Pears in Syrup 
Tailliz de karesme - Lenten Slices
Flaons de cresme de lait - Cream Flans 

Boute Hors

Epices de chambre - Chamber spices
Fruit Confit - candied fruit
Noix sucrées- Sugared nuts 

All three menus can be prepared with the challenges presented at site.  The Japanese style feast was chosen.  The food is food that was available in the Muromachi period (1336–1573).  Most of the recipes are from a  partially translated 17th-century Japanese cookbook --which is the earliest cookbook currently available.  There are a couple of additions that are out of period, namely soy sauce in favor of the more period Sho no Irizake, because of its familiar flavor, and ice cream, which is an 18th century invention...but...ICE CREAM? This is one of the times I'm happy to fall out of period...I'm an ice cream junkie.  As I work out the recipes I will be posting them on the blog.  My project is set aside for a few more months I think.


Update: 7/102019 Challenge 4--No cooking surface on site (stove, oven, etc.) Grill time baby!! :-)  This is not my first rodeo cooking without a kitchen.  My very first feast was done at a site that had forgotten we had rented the kitchen and tore it out the week of the event.  The sink was two brand new trashcans and a hose, the site generously provided a very nice outdoor grill, and guests donated camp stoves.  Feast was tasty--venison pie, grilled duck with sauce, and coney in cive, cooked in broth made from boiling the duck prior to grilling it....YUM YUM!