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Thread: Medieval and Anglo Saxon Recipes

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    Medieval and Anglo Saxon Recipes

    A Jellie of Fyshe
    Serves 6

    Ms. Berriedale-Johnson explains that elaborate and highly decorative
    jellies were "the delight of the artistic medieval cook, often enhanced
    with edible gold and silver."

    225 g (8 oz) hake, cod, haddock, or other well-flavored white fish
    3 scallops
    75 g (3 oz) prawns (shrimp)
    2 onions, roughly sliced
    1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    25g (1 oz) ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
    1/3 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    450mL (15 fl oz, 2 cups) each white wine and water
    20g (3/4 oz) gelatine

    Put the white fish in a pan with the onions, vinegar, ginger root,
    spices, wine and water. Bring it gently to the boil and simmer for 10
    minutes. Add the scallops and prawns and cook for a further 3 minutes.
    Remove the fish; bone and skin the white fish and set it all aside.
    Strain the cooking juices and set aside to cool for several hours by
    which time a lot of the sediment will have settled in the bottom of the
    bowl. Carefully pour off the juices, leaving the sediment, and then
    strain several times through a clean teacloth. You should have
    appoximately 750mL (25 fl oz, 3 cups) of liquid left. Melt 20g (3/4 oz)
    of gelatine in a little of the liquid, cool it to room temperature, then
    mix it into the rest of the juices.

    Pour a thin layer 1 cm (1/2 inch) of the juice into the bottom of a 1.2
    liter (2 pint, 5 cup) souffle dish or fish mold and put it in the fridge
    to set. Flake the white fish into smallish flakes; remove the coral from
    the scallops and cut the white flesh into three of four pices. Once the
    jelly is firm, arrange the most decorative of the fish in the bottom of
    the dish-- some scallop coral in the middle, prawns around the outsides,
    flakes of white fish in between or however you feel inspired. Spoon a
    little more of the juice and return it to the fridge to set. Continue to
    layer the fish in the mould, setting each layer with a covering of juice
    until you have used up all the fish and juices. Leave the jelly to set
    for at least 4 hours in a fridge. Unmold and decorate with fresh herbs;
    serve as a starter.


    Crustade of Chicken and Pigeon
    Serves 6

    225-350g (8-12oz) wholemeal or wholewheat pastry (depending on whether
    you want a lid on your crustade)
    1 pigeon
    2 chicken joints (2 breasts or 2 whole legs)
    150mL (f fl oz, 2/3 cup) dry white wine
    several grinds of black pepper
    4 cloves
    15 g (1/2 oz) butter
    50g (2oz) mushrooms, roughly chopped
    25g (1oz) raisins
    3 large eggs
    salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    Roll out 225g (8 oz) of the pastry and line a 20cm (8 inch) flan dish;
    back the crust blind.

    Put the pigeon in a pot with the stock, wine, pepper and cloves and cook
    very slowly for an hour. Add the chicken and continue to cook for a
    further 45 minutes or till the meat of both birds is really tender.
    Meanwhile cook the mushrooms lightly in the butter. Remove the birds
    from the stock and bone them. Cut the flesh into quite small pieces, mix
    it with the mushrooms and the raisins and spread them over the base of
    the flan case. Beat the eggs with a fork and season with the salt,
    pepper, and ginger. Add 240mL (8floz, 1 cup) of the cooking juices and
    pour over the meat in the flan case. If you want to have a lid, roll out
    the rest of the pastry and cover the flan. Bake it in moderate oven
    (180C, 350F, Gas Mark4) for 25 minutes if uncovered, 35 minutes if
    covered. Serve warm with a good green salad.

    For a more 20th century flavor-- double the chicken, leave out the
    pigeon, and substitute 25g (1 oz) chopped fried bacon for the raisins.


    'Fenkel in Soppes' or Braised Fennel with Ginger
    Serves 6

    The original version of this recipe comes from the "Forme of Cury," a
    collection of 196 "receipts" copied by Richard II's scribes at his
    cooks' directions.

    750g (1 1/2 lb) trimmed, fresh fennel root; cleaned and cut in matchsticks
    225g (8 oz) onions, thickly sliced
    1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger
    1 level teapsoon of powdered saffron
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    2 tablespoon olive oil
    150mL (5 fl oz, 2/3 cup) each dry white wine and water
    6 thick slices of coarse wholewheat or wholemeal bread (optional)

    Put the fennel in a wide, lidded pan with the onions. Sprinkle over the
    spices and salt, then the oil and finally pour over the liquids. Bring
    to the boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or till the fennel is
    cooked without being mushy. Stir once or twice during the cooking to
    make sure the spices get well distributed. Serve it alone with a roast
    meat or griddled fish or place one slice of bread on each warmed plate,
    cover it with the fennel and pour over the juices.


    Lozenges or Curd Cheese Pastries
    Serves 6

    225g (8oz) wholemeal or wholewheat shortcrust pastry
    225g (8 oz) curd cheese
    25g (1oz) very finely chopped stem or crystallized ginger or plump raisins
    15g (1/2 oz) toasted and chopped pine nuts
    sugar to taste
    lemon juice to taste

    Roll the pastry out very thin and cut it into small rectangles--
    approximately 15x8 cm (6x3 inches). You should have at least 24. Bake
    them in a moderately hot oven (190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5) for ten minutes
    or till they are crisp and brown. Remove them and cool on a rack.

    Meanwhile mix the curd cheese with the ginger or raisins, the pine nutes
    and the sugar and lemon to taste. Set aside. When you are ready to
    serve, sandwich together two pieces of pastry with the cheese mixture.
    They can be used as a dessert or as a snack.


    Griddled Trout With Herbs
    Serves 6

    The herbs below are what might have been used in Anglo-Saxon East
    Anglia, but use whatever you might fancy. Try to use fresh, although
    dried is acceptable.

    6 fresh cleaned trout
    6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1-2 tablespoons dried
    75g (3 oz) soft butter
    18 fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
    leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
    6 fresh sage leaves or 1 scant teaspoon dried
    1-2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
    6-9 grinds black pepper

    Put one sprig or generous shake of rosemary down the middle of each
    fish. Chop all the other herbs and seasonings and mash them into the
    soft butter. Use this to coat the fish generously on each side. Griddle,
    barbeque or grill it for 4-5 minutes on each side or till the skin is
    well browned and the flesh flaking off the bone. Baste now and then with
    the butter which runs off. Serve at once with lot of fresh bread and a
    salad or a simple green vegetable.


    Hare, Rabbit, Veal or Chicken Stew with Herbs & Barley
    Serves 6

    In 7th century England, herbs were one of the few flavourings available
    to cooks and were used heavily...

    50g (2oz) butter
    1 -1.5kg (2-3 lb) (depending on the amount of bone) of hare or rabbit
    joints, stewing veal or chicken joints
    450g (1lb) washed and trimmed leeks, thickly sliced
    4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
    175 g (6 oz) pot barley
    900 mL (30 fl oz, 3 3/4 cups) water
    3 generous tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
    2 bay leaves, salt, pepper
    15 fresh, roughly chopped sage leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried sage

    Melt the butter in a heavy pan and fry the meat with the leeks and
    garlic till the vegetables are slightly softened and the meat lightly
    browned. Add the barley, water, vinegar, bay leaves and seasoning. bring
    the pot to the boil, cover it and simmer gently for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or
    till the meat is really tender and ready to fall from the bone. Add the
    sage and continue to cook for several minutes. Adjust the seasoning to
    taste and serve in bowls-- the barley will serve as a vegetable.


    Small Bird and Bacon Stew with Walnuts or Hazelnuts
    Serves 6

    6 fatty rashers of bacon, chopped roughly
    3 cloves garlic
    4 pigeons or other small game birds (6 if very small)
    225 g (8 oz) mushrooms, whatever variety, chopped roughly
    75 g (3 oz) roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts or walnuts
    300 ml (10 fl oz, 1 1/4 cups) real ale
    150 ml (5 fl oz, 3/4 cup) water
    2 or 3 bay leaves
    a little salt and freshly ground black pepper
    6 coarse slices brown bread

    Fry the bacon, with the garlic, till it is lightly browned in a heavy
    bottomed casserole. Add birds and brown on all sides. Add the mushrooms
    and nuts, continue to cook for a couple of minutes, then add the ale and
    water with the bay leaves.

    Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for 2 - 2 1/2 hours--
    the birds should be falling off the bone. Remove the birds from the
    juices, cool juices completely and remove any excess fat. The birds can
    be served whole on or off the bone. If the latter, carve them while they
    are cold then return to the skimmed juices and reheat gently. Adjust
    the seasoning to taste and serve either the whole birds of the slices on
    the pieces of bread, with plenty of the juices and "bits". A good green
    salad to follow is the best accompaniment.


    Summer Fruit, Honey, and Hazelnut Crumble

    Serves 6

    ....A baked dessert like this would have been sunk in the embers of the
    log fire with a cauldron or pot upturned over it to form a lid...

    1 kg (2 1/2 lb) mixed soft summer fruits-- raspberries, loganberries,
    strawberries, currants, bilberries or whatever is available
    honey or brown sugar to taste
    75 g (3 oz) tasted hazelnuts
    75 g (3 oz) wholemeal or wholewheat brown breadcrumbs

    Put the fruits in a pan or microwave dish with about 20 cm (1 inch)
    water in the bottom and cook gently for 10-15 minutes (4-6 minutes in
    microwave), or till the fruits are soft without being totally mushy.
    Sweeten to taste with honey or brown sugar (Saxons would have used
    honey); how much you need will depend on what fruits you have used.
    drain the excess juice and save to serve with the pudding. chop the
    hazelnuts in a processor or liquidiser until they are almost as fine as
    the breadcrumbs, but not quite, then mix the two together. Spoon the
    fruit into an ovenproof dish and cover with a thick layer of hazelnuts
    and crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven (180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4) for 20 - 30
    minutes or till the top is slightly cruncy and browned. Serve with lots
    of cream or plain yogurt and the warmed fruit juices.

  2. #2
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    The Griddled Trout with Herbs.....sounds very much like the Roast Chicken Stuffed with herbs recipe that I cook often. (free range chooks only)...

    I grow all these herbs in my garden for this Trout dish...I think I will definitely cook this.

  3. #3
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    Yum! Except the Jellie, hmmm....fish jello, no. I have plenty of local pidgeons! But I wouldn't eat them:-P and they are protected. eyes: Thanks, I will definetely put these in my collection for when I have a regular kitchen (yes, even the jellie:-)

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