Feast of the
Seven Deadly Sins
A Meal in Medieval Spain
Barony of Delftwood
A.S. 39 / February 12, 2005
Cocineros (Head Cooks)
Dame Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina of Robakovna
Don Eric Grenier de Labarre (Grendel)
Lady Petra Goodwin
Super-Spiffy Kitchen Staff
Lady Katrina of York
Lord Ulric of Thescorre
Lady Beatrice of Delftwood
Many thanks to the Cauldron Bleu Cooks Guild for
cookie-baking and recipe redaction sessions!
Lord Dark Oak
Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins
On the Tables
Baskets of flatbread, olives, figs, and oranges
Bowls of vermillioned eggs (slow-boiled creamy eggs)
Bowls of olive oil and almendroch (garlic-parmesan dip)
Pitchers of grape juice and water
Warm Clarea de Agua (spiced honey water) will be available by the kitchen
(roasted chicken parts with lemon-almond sauce)
Potaje de Farro (barley)
Olla de garbanzo (chickpea salad)
Blancmange of Gourds (pureed squash)
Torta of Carrots (carrot quiches with orange peel)
(roast beef with onions, wine, bacon, and herbs)
Mustard in the French fashion
(fresh mustard with cinnamon and grapes)
Berenjenas en cazuela
(eggplants roasted with parmesan, herbs, and spices)
Rosquillas (wine-orange cookies)
Whipped Hot Chocolate
(cocoa with sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of hot pepper)
Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins
Good evening! The majority of tonight's menu has been inspired by the early 16th Century Spanish cookbook, Ruperto de Nola's Libro de Cozina, which describes how to organize a household, to carve and serve food properly at feast, and to prepare many recipes. It includes the same kind of roasted meats, fried fish, and savory and sweet pies seen in the cookbooks of England, France, and Italy at this time, but there are also sauces, pottages, and other dishes unique to Spain. One of the most notable aspects of this cuisine is that cinnamon and sugar are in nearly EVERYTHING. Yes, everything. No lie!
Since this is a modern meal and most Americans do not like eating a dinner in which all of the dishes have the same flavor (nor do they wish to become diabetics!), we have adjusted or removed certain spices from some of tonight's recipes. The resulting recipes are not exact redactions of the originals, but are close enough to offer a taste of what it would be like to dine at a noble household in Castile in 1529.
Most of the following dishes are ones we redacted. Where noted, we have borrowed some existing redactions from other SCA cooks. Since Katja was involved in this meal, the original recipes and documentation are provided and commentary often is added. If you just want the modern recipes without the historical babbling, feel free to skip to them. <smile>
Please enjoy your meal tonigh. Eat, eat! You're all too thin!
Katja & Grendel
A Drizzle of Honey, pg. 246, citing Records of the Trials of the Spanish Inquisition, Cuidad Real 1483 to 1485.
“...a flat bread, and she gave a piece of it to the first person who entered... and the bread was...white, and this witness believed that it was unleavened...”
NOTE: Medieval Spanish cuisine was heavily influenced by Middle Eastern and Sephardic foods due to the influx of Moors and Jews during the 10th Century, as described in books such as Drizzle. (This book tries to determine and recreate the cooking of Spain's hidden Jews by the study of Inquisition testimonies and other records of the period.) There are several references in Jewish sources regarding the use of flatbread, and there are recipes for it in the Middle Eastern cookbooks of this time as well. Hence, we borrowed the following recipe from the Andalusian cookbook since neither Diego Granado's Libro del Arte de Cozina (1599) nor de Nola's cookbook includes a bread recipe. The time period may not be the same, but the geography is fairly close.
Loaf Kneaded with Butter
An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century
Take three ratls of white flour and knead it with a ratl of butter and when the mixing is complete, leave it to rise and make bread from it; send it to the oven in a dish and when it has cooked, turn it on the other side in another dish and return it to the oven. When it is thoroughly cooked, take it out of the oven, then cover it a while and present it.
6 C. flour (3 C. white, 3 C. whole wheat - I prefer to use King Arthur flour)
1 stick butter
1 tsp. salt
2 C. or more warm water
Melt the butter, and when cooled a little, stir it into the flour. Add the salt. A enough warm water to make it a kneadable dough. Knead thoroughly until firm and smooth. Cover and let sit for half an hour for the gluten to relax and let you roll out the dough. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Divide the dough into 2-inch balls and then roll out each to flat circles four inches in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes until they puff. Take out the sheet, flip the breads over, and bake them for 4 to 5 minutes more until they are browned to your preference. Slather with olive oil or whatever else makes you happy. Makes roughly 10 flatbreads.©2005 Chris Adler-France
A Drizzle of Honey, pg. 75
“Huevos Haminados were a favorite dish of conversos of that time in Juete who prepared them by boiling eggs with onion skins, olive oil, and ashes, imparting a vermillion color and delicate onion flavor to the eggs.”
NOTE: These are an excellent example of the Judeo-Arabic influence on Spanish cooking; the Jewish sources refer to these long-cooked creamy eggs, and ones prepared the same way are called beid hamine in Arabic sources (such as Claudia Roden's A Book of Middle Eastern Food).
Creamy Boiled Eggs
onion skins from several large onions (red onions for a purple color, yellow onions for gold)
1 C. vinegar
Put the eggs in a pan, top with the onion skins and vinegar, then add enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to low; cook for an hour. Remove the eggs, carefully crack each one all over, then put back in the pan and cook over low heat for another 2 hours. Remove, drain, and refrigerate the eggs. Peel and serve. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
Which speaks of how you make almendroch
Libre de Sent Sovi, English translation by Eden Rain
If you want to make almendroch have grated cheese and two or three cloves of garlic, and pound it all hard. And when it is ground, distemper it with hot water, and with this do not stop agitating the mortar or else it will curdle right away, but go on pounding and pounding. And it should be of a good thick manner. And if by chance it is separated, take a ladle and heat it at the fire; and when it is well heated, put it in the almendroch, and whisk it around, and it will return to its state.
1 C. parmesan
1 clove garlic
¼ to ½ C. warm water
Chop up and grind the garlic in a food processor or mortar until it is nicely mushed, then slowly add the cheese to make a thick paste. Slowly add warm water a little at a time, while grinding, until you have a smooth puree. NOTE: This is pungent stuff and may be too strong for those not fond of garlic!! ©2005 Chris Adler-France
Clarea de Agua
Ruperto de Nola's Libro de Cozina, 1529 edition, Vincente Cuenca translation and (modified) redaction
To an azumbre of water, four ounces of honey; add the same spices as the other clarea; boil the water with the honey and then add the spices off the fire.
Spices for Clarea
Cinnamon three parts, cloves two parts, ginger one part, all ground and passed through a sieve and for an azumbre of white wine add an ounce of spices with a pound of honey, well mixed and passed through a sleeve of heavy linen enough times that the wine comes out clear.
Spiced Honey Water
1 gallon water
8 oz. honey
2 oz. fresh sliced ginger
Boil the honey and water together, skim off the foam, then remove the pot from the fire and add the ginger. Let steep overnight, then strain them out through some fine cheesecloth.
Di Limonia Di Polli
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.
Ruperto de Nola's Libre del Coch, translation by Robin Carroll-Mann
Take blanched almonds and peel 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.
Chicken in Lemon Sauce
5 lbs. chicken breast halves and legs
1 onion, chopped
½ C blanched almonds
1 C. chicken stock
1 Tb. raisins
½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Grind the almonds in a food processor and add the stock. Let sit for 10 minutes, then strain and put aside. In a pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the onions. Add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides. Add the raisins, sugar, and spices, then the almond milk, cover, and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Add the lemon juice and stir before serving. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
40. Potaje de farro
You will take farro and wash it with cold water two or three times; and when you have washed it well, put it in the pot where it must cook and cast in good hen's broth with the farro all together and cook it on the fire; when it is more than half cooked, you will take good almond milk and cast it in the pot; and then you will put good sugar in the pot while the pot cooks; and when it is well-cooked, take it away from the fire wrapped in a cloth. And when it has rested well, prepare dishes and cast sugar and cinnamon on them.
NOTE: We chose to use vegetable broth (rather chicken broth and almond milk) so that gentles with egg and nut allergies could eat this.
1 C. pearled barley
3 C. vegetable broth
Bring broth to a simmer over medium heat, add the barley, stir, cover, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Stir before serving. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
Olla de garbanzos
A Drizzle of Honey, pg. 61
In a 1520 to 1523 trial, Isabel Garcia, a conversa from Hita, was accused of making a one-pot Sabath dish of “chickpeas, onions, spices, and honey.”
NOTE: All the chickpea recipes in de Nola and Granado appear to be warm stews. We decided to prepare this as a cold salad since the Spanish texts don't seem to have a green salad and we needed something light.
15-oz can of chickpeas, drained
1/3 sweet onion, diced
2 Tb. honey
1 tsp. coriander, freshly ground
Salt and pepper to taste.
Toss all together thoroughly in a bowl and serve. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
237. Manjar blanco de calabazas or blancmange of gourds
Take the most tender of the gourds and prepare them, well-scraped with a knife until they are white, and then cut them into pieces as big as your hand, and set water on the fire. And when it boils, cast in the gourds. And when they are cooked, remove them. And put them into a clean cloth. And then make almond milk according to the quantity of the gourds. And squeeze them very well, in such a manner that all the water comes out. And then put it in the pot or kettle where you must make the blancmange; and cast the gourds into the milk; and cast in the sugar that you see is necessary; and let it go to the fire; and before you cast in the gourds, sprinkle them with rosewater; and these gourds need to be beaten a lot; and let them have a good fire so that they boil well; and stir them constantly in such a manner as if they were thick gourds; and when you see that they are thoroughly mushy... let it come off the fire; and then prepare dishes, and upon each one cast fine sugar.
1 large butternut squash
Peel and cut up squash into 2-inch cubes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the squash, and simmer until cooked through. When the squash is cooked, drain and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and rosewater, then add enough butter so that you can puree the cubes into a mashed potato-like texture. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
Torta de carrots
Diego Granado's Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599, translation by Robin Carroll-Mann
Wash and scrape the carrots, and remove them from the water and cook them in good meat broth, and being cooked remove them and chop them small with the knife, adding to them mint and marjoram, and for each two pounds of chopped carrots a pound of Tronchon cheese and a pound and half of buttery Pinto cheese, and six ounces of fresh cheese, and one ounce of ground pepper, one ounce of cinnamon, two ounces of candied orange peel cut small, one pound of sugar, eight eggs, three ounces of cow's butter, and from this compostion make a torta with puff pastry above and below, and the tortillon with puff pastry all around, and make it cook in the oven, making the crust of sugar, cinnamon, and rosewater. In this manner you can make tortas of all sorts of roots, such as that of parsley, having taken the core out of them.
1 lb. carrots
8 oz. ricotta
1 Tb. butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
pinch ground mint, marjoram
1 tsp. minced orange peel
1 Tb. sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the ricotta. Clean, peel, and boil the carrots until soft. Mash and mix with the ricotta, butter, and spices. Pour into a pie pan, smooth, and bake for 30 minutes.
111. Dobladura de ternera
Roast good veal and when it is more than half-roasted, remove it from the fire and from the spit; and cut it to pieces the size of two fingers or even smaller; and then take an onion, well-peeled and clean and cut it very small, and gently fry it with good meat broth that is fatty and when it has been gently fried, moderately, take streaky bacon, and cut it just like the veal. And then cast the veal and the bacon in the casserole with the onion and gently fry everything together. And after gently frying it, put into the casserole: ginger, and cinnamon, and cloves, all well-ground; and give it three or four stirs; and then take a little malmsey or wine of San Martin, and a little bit of vinegar and cast it into the casserole. And then make milk from almonds which are not peeled, but only rubbed with a very rough hemp-tow, and grind them with a crustless piece of toasted bread soaked in vinegar and watered down with meat broth; and when the cinnamon is nearly cooked, cast in the almond milk and let it cook until it is quite thick, and then put it on plates. There are many who cast parsley, and mint, and marjoram in the casserole, but if you do not cast it in, it doesn't matter much.
Braised beef with wine
6 to 10 lbs. beef "knuckle" (you can use shoulder or rump)
salt and pepper (we used cubebs and grains of paradise)
2 onions, quartered
3 to 4 C. beef broth
2 strips bacon, chopped
1 C. sweet wine (we actually found Malmsey! but Marsala works well)
1 Tb. fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. dried marjoram
Cut off any connective tissue and silverskin from the meat, leaving the fat. Put a heavy pan, preferably cast iron, over high heat, and when hot add enough oil to film the bottom. When smoking, season the meat well with salt and pepper, then sear on all sides in the pan. Remove the meat and deglaze the pan with the wine. Place the meat in an electric roaster (or a roasting pan for the oven) and add the pan drippings, enough broth to come up one-quarter of the meat, and the seasonings. Braise for 20 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. ©2005 Eric France and Chris Adler-France
155. Otra mostaza francesa muy buena
Ruperto de Nola's Libre del Coch, translation by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain.
Take a caldron which will hold two cantaros, and fill it with red grapes and set it to cook upon the fire until it is reduced by half and there remains half a caldron which is one cantaro; and when the grapes are cooked, remove the scum with a wooden spoon; and stir it now and then with a stick; and strain this must through a clean cloth and cast it into a cantaro; and then cast in the mustard, which should be up to a dishful well-ground, little by little, stirring it with the stick. And each day you should stir with it, four or five times a day; and if you wish, you can grind with the mustard three parts cinnamon, two parts cloves, and one part ginger. This French mustard is very good and lasts all year and is mulberry-colored.
Another very good French mustard
One handful fresh red grapes
1 C mustard seeds
½ C. wine or cider vinegar
Grind the seeds and add the vinegar, then stir. Puree the grapes in a food mill or food processor and add to the mustard. Stir well and add the spices to taste. Let sit for at least a day or two for the flavors to blend. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
50. Berenjenas en cazuela
Take eggplants and peel off the skin very well, and cut each one of them into three or four pieces and cook them in good mutton broth, with a pair of onions; and cook them until they are well-cooked; and being cooked, take them out of the pot and chop them very finely on a chopping block, and then cast on them good cheese of Aragon, grated, and some egg yolks. And resume chopping with your knife as if it were for stuffing for kid, and cast fine spice upon it and put all these spices in the casserole, well-mixed: ginger, mace, nutmeg and green coriander and parsley; and then take the casserole to the oven; and when it is cooked, cast sugar and cinnamon on top.
1 eggplant, sliced into rounds
1 sweet onion, sliced into rounds
½ C. grated parmesan
2 eggs, boiled and peeled, the yolks removed and chopped
1 tsp. coriander, freshly ground
1 Tb. fresh parsley, minced
Roast the eggplants and onions until browned, then remove, chop up, and put into a pot. Add the cheese, egg yolks, and seasonings, then roast for 10 minutes. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
Para hazer rosquillas (To make rosquillas)
Diego Granado's Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599, translation by Robin Carroll-Mann, small modification of a redaction by Robin Carroll-Mann
For forty egg yolks, a pound of ground sugar, and as much white wine as will fit in the shell of an egg, and a little anise, and a little cinnamon, and a little cow's butter, and a little orange flower water. Knead everything with fine flour, and cast in what should be necessary to conform to the quantity of eggs. Knead with a light hand, so that you do not break the dough, which should not be very hard, nor very soft, but well pummelled, and being good, make the rosquillas the size that you wish. Have on the fire a kettle of water, and when it begins to boil, cast the rosquillas within, in such a manner that they do not go one on top of another, and cast them in until they ascend. Upon ascending they are cooked. Put them in some kneading troughs, and being cooled, remove them and send them to the oven to cook, which should be quite temperate.
20 egg yolks
½ pound sugar
4 Tb. unsalted butter, softened
1 Tb. sweet wine (we used mead, since that's what we had in the house)
1 tsp. orange extract (we used this since my orangeflower water walked off somewhere...)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 to 5¼ C. flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large, wide pot with water, at least 4 to 5 inches deep, and bring it to a boil. Keep the water at a constant simmer. Beat the egg yolks lightly in a bowl, and stir in the sugar, butter, wine, orange extract, and cinnamon. Gradually add enough flour (mixing well and continually) to create a sticky but moderately firm dough. Roll a piece of dough into 1-inch ball. Flatten it slightly, then poke a hole in the center to create a doughnut-like ring. Drop several, one at a time, into the simmering water. They will sink like stones to the bottom of the pot, then expand slightly and become whiter and wrinkled. In about 4 to 5 minutes, they will suddenly float to the surface of the water. As each one rises, remove it gently with a slotted spoon or a skimmer, and place on a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper or a Silpat) to drain and dry. Continue shaping and simmering the rest of the dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned, and remove to cooling racks. Makes 3 dozen.
Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke
Capt. John Wadsworth 's Physitian General for the Kingdome of Spaine, 1631.
The Receipt of him who wrote at Marchena, is this: Of Cacaos, 700, of white Sugar, one pound and a halfe, Cinnamon,2. ounces; of long red pepper, 14, of Cloves, halfe an ounce: Three Cods of the Logwood or Campeche tree; or in steade of that, the weight of 2 Reals, or a shilling of Anniseeds; as much of Agiote, as will give it the colour, which is about the quantity of a Hasellnut. Some put in Almons, kernells of Nuts, and Orange-flower water.
The Cacao, and the other Ingredients must be beaten in a Morter of Stone, or ground upon a broad stone, which the Indians call Metate, and is onely made for that use: But the first thing that is to be done, is to dry the Ingredients, all except the Achiote, with care that they may be beaten to powder, keeping them still in stirring, that they be not burnt, or become black; and if they be over-dried, they will be bitter, and lose their vertue. The Cinamon, and the long red Pepper are to be first beaten, with the Annisseed; and then beate the Cacao, which you must beate by a little and little, till it be all powdred; and sometimes turne it round in the beating, that it may mixe the better: And every one of these Ingredients, must be beaten by it selfe, and then put all the Ingredients into the Vessell, where the Cacao is; which you must stirre together with a spoone; and then take out that Paste, and put it into the Morter, under which you must lay a little fire, after the Confection is made ...
In the Indies they take it two severall waies: The one, being the common way, is to take it hot, with Atolle, which was the Drinke of Ancient Indians (the Indians call Atolle pappe, made of the flower of Maiz, and so they mingle it with the Chocolate, and that the Atolle may be more wholsome, they take off the Husks of the Maiz, which is windy, and melancholy; and so there remaines onely the best and most substantiall part.) Now, to returne to the matter, I say, that the other Moderne drinke, which the Spaniards use so much, is of two sortes. The one is, that the Chocolate, being dissolved with cold water, & the scumme taken off, and put into another Vessell, the remainder is put upon the fire, with Sugar; and when it is warme, then powre it upon the Scumme you tooke off before, and so drinke it. The other is to warme the water; and then, when you have put it into a pot, or dish, as much Chocolate as you thinke fit, put in a little of the warme water, and then grinde it well with the molinet; and when it is well ground, put the rest of the warme water to it; and so drinke it with Sugar.
8 C. whole milk
8 Tb. natural (not Dutched) cocoa
8 Tb. hot water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. hot pepper (we used ground Ancho peppers)
2 Tb. sugar (we used turbinado)
Mix together the cocoa and spices with the sugar. Add enough hot water to make a paste, then add the milk, stirring vigorously. To simulate the molinillo used in period to froth the drink, pour into a blender and whip for a few seconds before serving. ©2005 Chris Adler-France
de Nola, Ruperto, Libro de Guisos, Manjares y Potajes, Intiulado Libro de Cozina, 1529, English translation by Vincent F. Cuenca, self-published, 2001.
de Nola, Roberto, Libre del Coch, 1520, English translation by Robin Carroll-Mann (Lady Brighid ni Chiarain) 2001, webbed at: http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.text.
Gitlitz, David M. et. al., A Drizzle of Honey, St. Martin's Press, NY 1999.
Granado, Diego, Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599; parts webbed at http://www.florilegium.org
Libre de Sent Sovi, 14th Century, translation by Eden Rain, 2001. Recipes published in the Madrone Culinary Guild pamphlet, A Brief Overview of Early Spanish Cuisine.