Beacon's Gate Boar Hunt 2000

First Course


Chyckens in Gravey - Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.
Limonada - Lemon Sauce - Libre del Coch, Catalan, 1520
Rice with Almond Milk - Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.
Funges - Spiced Mushrooms - Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.
Cauli Verdi - Cabbage with Fennel and Apples - Libro Della Cochina, Italian, 16th c.
Crustard Lombarde - Custard Pie with dried fruit - Harleian Mss., English, 15th c.


Chyckens in Gravey

Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.

Original Recipe

28. Connynges in Gravey
Take connynges; smyte hem to pecys; perboile hem and drawe hem with a gode broth, with almaundes, blaunched and brayed. Do therinne sugur, and powdour gynger, and boyle it and the flessh therwith; flour it with sugur & with powdour gynger & serue forth.

29. Chyckens in Gravey
Take chykens, and serue hem in the same manere, and serue forth.

Recipe by Anahita

36 lb. Chicken breasts and thighs
1-1/2 gal. Good Broth, or to cover
1 TB Salt - add more as needed
2-1/2 cups ground Almonds
1 cup Sugar
1-1/2 TB. Ginger powder

1. Parboil chicken pieces in water.
2. Drain, saving bouillon for Lemon Sauce.
3. Put chicken pieces into broth with ground almonds, sugar, and ginger powder.
4. Simmer together until tender and cooked through.
5. Serve sprinkled with sugar and powdered ginger.

Be sure to check that chicken is thoroughly cooked. One way to do this is to take a thick piece of chicen out of the pot and pierce it with sharp knife through almost to the bone. If the juice that runs out is pink, the chicken is not cooked through. Continue cooking until the juice that runs out has no pink tinge.

NOTE:
As there wasn't enough room for them in my refrigerator, i put the packages of chicken in the freezer. To thaw them, we covered them with water, and simmered them until they were thawed through, but not fully cooked. The liquid was drained off and used to make the Limonada. Then the chicken was cooked further according to this recipe.


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Limonada - Lemon Sauce

Libre del Coch, Catalan, 1520

What can i say? This was absolutely, fantastically delicious. It was served with rice cooked in almond milk and "Chykens in Gravey" both from Forme of Cury. The chickens were first pre-cooked in plain water and the resulting broth was used for the sauce. A friend in the hall told me that at the table the diners were putting the sauce on the chicken and rice, then on the vegetables, then dipping bread in it. My friends in the dining hall said that there were many requests for this recipe.


Limonada
Catalan, Libre del Coch, 1520

Original Recipe
Translation from Catalan by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain.
I send her many thanks for being so very willing to share her inspiring work.

Take blanched almonds and prepare them, and grind them in a mortar, and blend them with good hen's broth; and then take new raisins, and clean them well of the seeds, and grind them by themselves and strain them through a woolen cloth; and after they are strained, mix them with the almonds, and put everything in the pot where it must cook; and put sugar and a little ginger in that same way, and set it to cook, constantly stirring it with a stick of wood. And when it is cooked, put a little lemon juice, and then stir it a little with the wooden stirrer so that the lemon juice is well-mixed within it. And then dish it out and cast fine sugar on the dishes.


Recipe by Anahita
Makes 36 cups - 2.5 gallons
12 cups ground blanched and peeled almonds 1.
24 cups chicken broth and really good vegetable broth 2.
salt as needed 3.
2 tsp. good quality real saffron 4.
18 cups white granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered ginger 5.
12 cups lemon juice 6.
1/2 lb. whole currants 7.
  1. Grind almonds - we used a blender - obviously it took a while to process all the almonds.
  2. Mix broth from parboiling chickens and additional vegetable stock as needed in large stock pot on high fire.
  3. Add ground almonds and stir well.
  4. Add saffron, ginger, sugar, and stir well.
  5. Add lemon juice and stir well.
  6. Add currants and stir well.
  7. Simmer making sure that sugar is dissolved and sauce is well colored and flavored. I don't know how long this took. The chicken broth was already quite warm when we started. It did take around 1/2 hour for the saffron to give up its color, and then we cooked it a bit longer until it was well colored.

NOTES

This recipe made way too much sauce for the feast. With 85 diners and 36 pounds of chicken, even diners dipping bread and even their fingers into it, less than half the sauce was eaten. Next time i'll make much less.

1. A. I used already peeled almonds from the bulk bin of a store that has rapid turnover, so they were pretty fresh.
1. B. You need more than 12 cups of whole almonds to make 12 cups of ground almonds. We ground all the almonds for the entire feast first, then scooped out 12 cups, so i'm not sure exactly how many it took.

2. At the feast, I used entirely chicken broth that came from precooking 36 pounds of chicken breasts and thighs.

3. I don't know how much salt was used. The concensus was use little and diners could add more if desired. The sauce was so flavorful it didn't seem to need much.

4. A. Spend the money for real saffron. And don't be fooled by cheap substitutes. What is sold as "Mexican saffron" is just safflower. While there's nothing "wrong" with it, it lacks the incredible fragrance and flavor of real saffron. And it makes a significant difference in the flavor of the sauce.
4. B. I got some very good quality saffron, very fragrant, very red. Even so, it took about 1/2 hour before the saffron started to give up its color.

5. The powdered ginger came from the bulk section of a health food store. It is very very flavorful.

6. It took an entire box of lemons - containing at least 40 lemons - to get this much juice.

7. The currants are the standard dried currants available in the US - actually a type of tiny raisin - which can be found along with raisins in most supermarkets. A similar item was available in the Medieval and Renaissance period called raisins of Corinth or Coryns, under various spellings. A couple similar late Renaissance recipes called for the inclusion of raisins. A couple other similar recipes did not. I decided to use currants as i had them on hand. I did not grind them as the original recipe instructs.


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Rice in Almond Milk

Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.


Original Recipe

11. Ryse of flessh
Take ryse and waisshe hem clene, and do hem inan erthen pot with gode broth and lat hem seeth wel. Aftirward take almaund mylke and do therto, and clour it with safroun & salt, & messe forth.

129. Ryse of fische daye
Blaunche almaundes & grynde hem, & drawe hem vp wyt watur. Wesche thi ryse clene, & do therto sugur roche and salt; let hyt be stondyng. Frye almaundes browne, & floriche hyt therwyt, or wyt sugur.


Recipe by Anahita
20 cups rice
10 quarts vegetable broth
1 gallon almond milk
saffron to color
  1. Cook batches of rice in broth in a rice cooker. Use 1 cup rice to 2 cups broth as basic proportions, adding as much as rice cooker can take for each batch. This will take take multiple batches. When cooked, put each batch into a big pot.
  2. Make almond milk while rice is cooking.
  3. When all the rice is cooked, add almond milk and saffron to rice in big pot.
  4. Cook on low fire, stirring constantly until milk absorbed. Be careful not to let the rice stick to the pan or to burn

NOTES:

  1. We really didn't need this much rice, as the average diner goes more for the meat than for the starches. When i make it again, i will make much, much less.
  2. I goofed. I meant to cook the rice first in vegetable broth, but i forgot and used water. This explains in part why there was so much vegetable broth left over unused at the end of othe evening. The rice would probably have had a bit more flavor, but i still doubt any more would have been eaten.
  3. I would like to thank the lovely and gracious Lauren who brought her rice cooker and watched over the slow tedious process of cooking the rice and then the wheat for the frumenty in it.
  4. My thanks also to strong-armed duo of Kate the Kate and Zaida for grinding the almonds then wresting multiple gallons of almond milk out of them for various dishes.
  5. And further thanks to the generous and resourceful Sara who gave part of her head kerchief for the process, since i'd forgotten to buy cheese cloth.

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Funges

Forme of Cury, English, late 14th c.

Original

12. Funges
Take Funges and pare hem clene, and dyce hem; take leke and shred hym small and do hym to seeth in gode broth. Colour it with safroun and do therinne powdour fort.

Recipe by Anahita
adapted from recipe by Anne-Marie Rousseau

10 onions, chopped
one flat of button mushrooms, washed and halved
2 tsp. saffron
1-1/2 gallons vegetable broth

Poudre Forte (based on le Menagier de Paris, 1395)
1 TB cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grains of paradise, ground
pinch powdered nutmeg
1-1/2 TB ginger powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cubebs, ground
1/2 tsp galangal powder

1. Peel and chop the onions
2. Wash the mushrooms, then cut in half.
3. Add saffron to the broth and bring it to a boil.
4. Mix together spices for Poudre Forte, add to the broth, and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Add onion, and mushrooms to the broth.
6. Simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is mostly gone.

Serving size: about 1/2 cup mushrooms and broth per person

Notes:
1. The mushrooms were entirely consumed. I barely got to taste them myself. Gotta make more next time.

2. If you are unable to find any of the spices in the Poudre Forte, you can just leave them out. However, i suggest you try to get them all, as the taste is more complex and interesting with all of them present.


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Cabbage with fennel and apples

Italian, Libro Della Cochina, 16th c.

Original

Cauli Verdi Togli le cime dei cauli, e falle bullire: poi le cava, e friggile nell'oglio con cipolle tagliate, e bianco di finocchi, e pome tagliate; e poni dentro un poco di brodo: et poi fa' le scudelle. e gittavi su de le spezie. Possonsi eziandio fare con lo lardo, col cascio e con l'ova perdute, et ponervi de le spezie; e dara' al Signore.

Green Cabbage
Translation by Barbara Santich

in The Original Mediterranean Cuisine
Take the tips of cabbage, and boil them: then remove them, and fry in oil with sliced onion, and the white part of fennel, and sliced apple; and add a little stock: and then serve it in bowls and sprinkle with spices. And you can also cook it with salted pork fat, with cheese and with poached eggs, and add spices; and offer it to your Lord.

Barbara Santich's recipe
Finely shred 1/4 Savoy (green) cabbage, drop into boiling salted water and boil 1 minute, then drain and rinse. Finely slice 1 small onion and half a bulb of fennel. Fry in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil until soft. Peel, quarter, and core a small apple and cut into small cubes (chop). Add to onion and fennel with drained cabbage and a little stock or water. Cover and steam for 5 min., then remove lid and cook a little longer to evaporate most of the liquid. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. As a variant, add strips of pancetta to the pan with the onion and fennel. The salty tang of the pancetta contrasts nicely with the natural sweetness of the onion, fennel, and apple.

Recipe by Anahita
For 80

15 lb. Savoy and green cabbage
10 large onions
10 large fennel bulbs
20 firm apples
olive oil
4 cups stock
salt and pepper
  1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Shred cabbage.
  2. Peel, then finely slice onions.
  3. Wash fennel. Remove feathery green leaves from fennel and SAVE for salat - put in bag with salat herbs.
  4. Thickly slice white fennel bulb.
  5. Core, peel, and slice apples.
  6. Parboil cabbage in boiling salted water 1 minute, drain.
  7. Fry onion and fennel in a little oil until soft.
  8. Add apple and cabbage.
  9. Add stock, salt and pepper.
  10. Cook covered 5 min.
  11. Remove lid and cook a little longer to evaporate most of the liquid.

NOTES:
1. My thanks to several folks on the SCA Cooks list for bringing this recipe to my attention, as my copy of Santich seems to have disappeared, particularly Baronessa Ilaria and Lady Jehanne de Huguenin.

2. I felt that this was not a successful dish. First, there was too much cabbage and not enough other stuff. Second it was not seasoned enough, in my opinion. I would like to try it again, after altering the recipe, as i believe it has potential to be a tasty and satisfying dish.


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Crustade Lumbarde

English, Harleian MS., 15th c.

Original Recipes

Crustade Lumbarde - Harleian MS 279, English, 15th c.
Take gode Creme, & leuys of Percely, & Eyroun, the yolkys & the whyte, & breke hem ther-to, & strayne thorwe a straynoure, tyl it be so styf that it wol bere hym-self; than take fayre Marwe, & Datys y-cutte in .ij. or .iij. & Prunes; & putte the Datys an the Prunes & Marwe on a fayre cofynne, y-mad of fayre past, & put the cofyn on the ovyn tyl it be a lytel hard; thanne draw hem out of the ouyn; take the lycour & putte ther-on, & fylle it vppe, & caste Sugre y-now on, & Salt; than lat bake to-gederys tyl it be y-now; & yif it be in lente, lef the Eyroun & the Marwe out, & thanne serue it forth.

Crustade Lumbarde - Harleian MS 4016, English, 15th c.
Take good creme, and yolkes And white of egges, and breke hem thereto, and streyne hem all thorgh a straynour till hit be so thik that it woll bere him self; And take faire Mary, And Dates, cutte in ij. or iij. and prunes, and put hem in faire coffyns of paast; And then put the coffyn in an oven, And lete hem bake till thei be hard, And then drawe hem oute, and putte the licoure into the Coffyns, And put hem into the oven ayen, And lete hem bake till they be ynogh, but cast sugur and salt in thi licour whan ye putte hit into the coffyns; And if hit be in lenton, take creme of Almondes, And leve the egges And the Mary.

Recipe by Anahita
Makes 10 pies

15 cups whole Prunes
15 cups whole Dates
2-1/2 sticks butter
10 Nancy's brand nine-inch pie shells
6-2/3 cups Cream
3-1/2 dozen eggs
2-1/2 cups Sugar
2-1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit
  2. Coarsely chop fruit, discarding pits as necessary.
  3. Cut butter into pieces.
  4. Evenly distribute chopped fruit and butter among pie shells.
  5. Bake for ten minutes to harden.
  6. Remove from the oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  7. In a large bowl, combine cream, eggs, sugar and salt.
  8. Beat well together.
  9. Pour resulting liquid into the pie crust over fruit.
  10. Bake for twenty-five minutes at 375° for 30 min. or until custard has set when a toothpick draws out clean.
  11. Cool before serving.

NOTES:

  1. I assumed that the Mary and Marwe of the original recipes refers to bone marrow. In my desire to make the dish edible to vegetarians, i left the marrow out.
  2. There has been scholarly commentary that the "leuys of Percely" in the first recipe is a scribal error, a line accidentally copied from another nearby recipe, so i left out the parsley.
  3. I used Nancy's brand prepared pie shells because they contain pure butter and no lard, so they are suitable for the vegetarians and of good quality.
  4. The pies came out pretty well. The person who made them didn't measure the fruit as i had specified, and instead put all there was into the pie shells, so there was custard cream left over. I would have preferred them with more custard and less fruit. But they seemed to be a hit, and what bits weren't eaten at the feast were taken home by various diners, so there were no leftovers.

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