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
Oil

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.












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