Serf 'n' Turf II
Incipient Shire of Hartstone
Sponsored by the Barony of Thescorre
October 14, 2000
Food Research by THLady Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina
Bill of Fare
Cracked Wheat Bread with butter and honey
Chicken and Lemon Zest Soup
Beef Roll with Herb Stuffing
Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters
Rice with Pine Nuts
Spinach and Fruit Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Sausage-Stuffed Pasta with Cameline Sauce
Balsamic-Marinated Portobello Mushrooms
Meal prepared by
The Stone House Restaurant
Brian Ginter, owner
Carl Strak, chef
THL Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina: food research, menu booklet preparation
Lord Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg: menu booklet publisher
The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today, Barbara Santich, 1995. Contains original recipes from L'Arte della Cucina, translation 1966, and Libre de Sent Sovi, translation 1979.
The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, and Silvano Serventi, 1998. Contains original recipes from Martino's Libro de Arte Coquinaria, 1400.
De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine (On Right Pleasure and Good Health), Platina, 1470, translation by Mary Ella Milham, 1998.
The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, 1660.
An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the Thirteenth Century, Charles Perry translation, published in A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Duke Sir Cariadoc of the Bow, 1987.
Kitab al Tibakhah: A Fifteenth Century Cookbook, Charles Perry, translation, Petit Propos Culinaries #21. (Original author Ibn al-Mubarrad), also published in A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Duke Sir Cariadoc of the Bow, 1987.
Today's menu was inspired by several period Italian cookbooks, including Platina's On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Epulario (The Italian Banquet), and Martino's Libro de Arte Coquinaria, all from the 1400s.
For most of these dishes, the chef drew from two modern books on Medieval cooking, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Cuisine for Today, by Barbara Santich, and The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, and Silvano Serventi. His dishes are Stone House originals.
The dishes draw on recipes from different areas of the Mediterranean. The forms of some of the chef's dishes are a little different from their Medieval inspirations: a chicken soup instead of a stew, pasta shells instead of ravioli, rice with pine nuts instead of almonds… Some dishes contain a few New World ingredients. Most of the resulting dishes are thus delicious modern re-interpretations, but are not accurate redactions of Medieval dining.
If this meal were served during our period of study in a manor which prided itself on serving some foods in "the French way" or perhaps was owned by a crusader who'd sampled and liked some Arabic food, the meal might have looked like the following…
On Bread, On Right Pleasure and Good Health
(Milham translation, pg. 121)
…Anyone, therefore, who does baking should use flour (farina) which is well-ground from wheat, although farina is so-called from far, ground grain. From this, he should separate the bran and the inferior flour with a very fine flour sieve, then put the flour, with warm water and some salt, on a baker's table closed in at the sides, as the people at Ferrara in Italy are accustomed to do. If you live in damp places and a bit of leaven is used, the baker, with help from his associates, kneads to that consistency at which bread can be made fairly easily. Let the baker be careful not to put in too much or too little leaven, for, from the former, bread can acquire a sour taste, and, from the latter, it can become too heavy to digest and too unhealthy, since it binds the bowels. Bread should be well-baked in an oven and not used the same day, nor is it especially nourishing when made from very fresh wheat and if it digested slowly.
Chicken and Lemon Zest Soup:
Limonia of Chicken, Libro della Cucina
(translation pg. 68, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
Fry chicken with salted pork fat and onions, and grind unblanched almonds and combine with pork stock, and strain, and cook with the chicken and spices. If you don't have almonds, thicken the liquid with egg yolks; and when it is nearly time to serve the dish, add the juice of lemons or bitter oranges.
Qamhiyyah, Kitab al-Tibakhah
translation pg. E-1, A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks
Wheat is taken and boiled in a little water until it gives up its starch. Then water is added and meat is put in it.
I Have Seen a Couscous Made with Crumbs of the Finest White Bread, An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century
translation pg. A-1, A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks
For this one you take crumbs and rub with the palm on the platter, as one rubs the soup, and let the bread be neither cold nor very hot; put it in a pierced pot and when it’s steam has left, throw it on the platter and rub with fat or moisten with the broth of the meat prepared for it. I have also seen a couscous that one makes from a fat chicken or stuffed and fattened capons and it was as if it were moistened only with fat.
Beef Roll with Herb Stuffing:
Veal Rolls with Herbs, Libro de Arte Coquinaria
(translation pg. 78, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
First take lean meat from the rump and slice it in long thin pieces and beat well with the blade of the knife on the board or table, and take salt and ground fennel seed and sprinkle it over the pieces of meat. Then take parsley, marjoram, and some good salted pork fat and chop all these together with a small amount of good spices and spread over the slices of meat. Then roll up together and put on the spit to cook. But do not let it become too dry at the fire.
Deep-Fried Broccoli and Cauliflower:
Fritters, Libro della Cucina
(translation pg. 151, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
Similar fritters can be made with chopped onions, catmint, and other herbs; fry them in oil or lard. Take flour, and mix all the ingredients together with egg whites, and add elderflowers or other flowers if you wish, and make different colours as you please, and cook them in boiling lard.
Rice with Pine Nuts:
Rice with Almond Milk, Sent Sovi
(translation pg. 159, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
If you want to cook rice with almond milk, and you want it to be good, take the rice, and wash it two or three times in hot water. Then spread it on a plate and let it dry in the sun. Put a pan on the fire with water; add salt and oil. And when the pot boils, add the rice, and return to the fire. And when it is boiling well, lift the pot from the heat and put it on the brazier, so that it is away from the smoke. And when it begins to thicken, keep stirring and don't stop. And when the rice is cooked and has absorbed the water, add the almond milk; and when it is thick enough, take it off the heat. And serve it in bowls; and take sugar or honey or oil or spices, and sprinkle on, to make it even better.
Spinach and Fruit Salad:
On Preparing a Salad of Several Greens, On Right Pleasure
(translation pg. 124, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
A preparation of several greens is made with lettuce, bugloss, mint, catmint, fennel, parsley, sisymbrium, origan, chervil, cicerbita which doctors call teraxicon, plantain, morella and other fragrant greens, well washed and pressed and put in a large dish. Sprinkle them with a good deal of salt and blend with oil, then pour vinegar over it all when it has sat a little; it should be eaten and well chewed because wild greens are tough. This sort of salad needs a little more oil than vinegar. It is more suitable in winter than in summer, because it requires much digestion and is stronger in winter.
Ravioli for Meat Days, Libro de Arte Coquinaria
(translation pg. 60, The Medieval Kitchen)
To make ten platefuls: take a half libra of aged cheese and a little of another fat cheese and a libra of fat hog's tripe or calf's head, and cook it in water until very tender. Then chop it well and take nice herbs, thoroughly chopped, and some pepper, cloves, and ginger; and if you add the chopped breast of a capon, so much the better. And mix all these things together. Then make the dough very thin and enclose the mixture in the dough as it should be. And these ravioli should be no larger than half a chestnut; and cook them in a broth of capon or good meat, colored yellow by saffron when it boils. And let them boil for the time two paternosters. Then serve and put on top grated cheese and sweet spices mixed together. You can make similar ravioli with breast of pheasant, partridge, and other birds.
Cameline Sauce, Libro per Cuoco
(translation pg. 61, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
To make the best cameline sauce, take blanched almonds and grind them and sieve them, take dried currants and cinnamon and cloves and a little of the inside of the loaf, and grind all these together and mix with verjuice and it's made.
Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms:
Mushrooms with Sauce, Sent Sovi
(translation pg. 127, The Original Mediterranean Cuisine)
If you want to make mushrooms with sauce, parboil them, and when parboiled drain well and fry in oil. Then make this sauce: take onion, parsley and coriander, and grind them well and combine them with spices and vinegar and a little verjuice. And then slice the mushrooms, and when they are fried, add them to this sauce. Or you can serve them cooked over the coals with salt and oil.
Metheglin, The Accomplisht Cook
Take all sorts of herbs that are good and wholesome, as balm, mint, rosemary, fennil, angelica, wilde time, hysop, burnet, agrimony, and such other field herbs, half a handful of each, boil and strain them and let the liquor stand till the next day, being settled take two gallons and a half of honey, let it boil an hour, and in the boiling scum it very clean, set it a cooling as you do beer, and when it is cold take very good barm and put it into the bottom of the tub, by a little and a little as to beer, keeping back the thick settling that lyeth in the bottom of the vessel that it is cooled in; when it is all put together cover it with a cloth and let it work very near three days, then when you mean to put it back up, skim off all the barm clean, and put it up into a vessel, but you must not stop the vessel very close in three or four days, but let it have some vent to work; when it is close stopped you must look often to it, and have a peg on the top to give it vent when you hear it make a noise as it will do, or else it will break the vessel. Sometimes make a bag and put in good store of slic't ginger, some cloves and cinamon boild or not.
©2000 Chris P. Adler