Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shakespeare in Food - January 2008

Diva: Tamara

Drinks: Nicole
Selection of wine

1 gallon apple cider
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
2 tsp nutmeg
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c brown sugar

Simmer 2 cups cider with spices for 10 minutes. Add remaining cider, juices, and brown sugar. DON’T BOIL Enjoy!

Appetizer: Aven

To make a Sallet of Lemmons
The Good Huswifes Jewell, Thomas Dawson, 1596
Cut out the slices of the peel of the Lemmons long Waies, a quarter of an inch one piece from an-other, and then slice the lemmon very thin, and lay in a dish Crosst, and the peels about the Lemmons, and scrape a good deale of sugar upon them, and so serve them.

The Modern Version:
4 large lemons
6 T sugar (raw sugar works best, if you can find it)

After washing and drying the lemons, use a vegetable peeler and remove narrow strips of peel lengthwise, half an inch apart, and reserve. (Though less authentic, I use a zester to remove the strips since it is much easier and makes a more esthetic presentation). Slice the lemons as thinly as possible. Remove seeds.
Arrange the slices on a platter in an X pattern, sprinkle the sugar over them, and garnish with the lemon peel. Pass a bowl of additional sugar when serving for guests who prefer a sweeter flavor.

Love's Labour's Lost, V, 2:
ARMADO (for Hector): "The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty, Gave Hector a gift------"
DUMAIN: A gilt nutmeg.
BEROWNE: A lemon.
LONGAVILLE: Stuck with cloves.
DUMAIN: No cloven.

Trayne Roste of Skirwittes and of Apples

Parsnips & apples skewered and batter-fried, then dressed with honey

Our modern recipe is an adaptation based on three medieval recipes, from Harleian MS 4016 and Forme of Cury.

From Harleian MS 4016. A Boke of Kokery:

Trayne roste. Take Dates and figges, and kutte hem in a peny brede; And þen take grete reysons and blanched almondes, and prik hem thorgh with a nedel into a threde of a mannys length, and one of one frute and a-noþer of a-noþer frute; and þen bynde the threde with the frute A-bought a rownde spete, endelonge þe spete, in maner of an hasselet; And then take a quarte of wyne or Ale, and fyne floure, And make batur thereof, and cast thereto pouder ginger, sugur, & saffron, pouder of Clowes, salt; And make þe batur not fully rennyng, and noþer stonding, but in þe mene, that hit may cleue, and than rost the treyne abought the fire in þe spete; And þen cast the batur on the treyne as he turneth abought the fire, so longe til þe frute be hidde in the batur; as þou castest þe batur there-on, hold a vessell vndere-nethe, for spilling of þe batur. And whan hit is y-rosted well, hit wol seme a hasselet; And then take hit vppe fro þe spit al hole, And kut hit in faire peces of a Span length, And serue of hit a pece or two in a dissh al hote.

Gode Cookery translation:

Train roast. Take dates and figs, and cut them in a penny breadth; and then take great raisins and blanched almonds, and prick them through with a needle into a thread of a man’s length, and one of one fruit and another of another fruit; and then bind the thread with the fruit about a round spit, along the spit, in manner of a haslet. And then take a quart of wine or ale, and fine flour, and make batter there-of, and cast there-to powder ginger, sugar, & saffron, powder of cloves, salt; and make the batter not fully runny, and neither standing, but in the middle, that it may cleave, and then roast the train about the fire in the spit; and then cast the batter on the train as it turns about the fire, so long till the fruit be hidden in the batter; as you cast the batter there-on, hold a vessel underneath, for spilling of the batter. And when it is roasted well, it will seem a haslet; and then take it up from the spit all whole, and cut it in fair pieces of a span length, and serve of it a piece or two in a dish all hot.

From Forme of Cury:

Hasteletes of fruyt. Take fyges iquartered, raysouns hool, dates and almaundes hoole, and ryne hem on a spyt and roost hem; and endore hem as pomme dorryes, & serue hem forth.

Gode Cookery translation:

Haslet of fruit. Take figs quartered, raisins whole, dates and almonds whole, and run them on a spit and roast them, and gild them as pomme dorryes, & serve them forth.

From Forme of Cury:

Frytour of pasternakes, of skirwittes, & of apples. Take skyrwittes and pasternakes and apples, & perboile hem. Make a batour of flour and ayren; cast þerto ale & yest, safroun & salt. Wete hem in þe batour and frye hem in oile or in grece; do þerto almaund mylke, & serue it forth.

Gode Cookery translation:

Fritter of carrots, of parsnips, & of apples. Take parsnips and carrots and apples, & parboil them. Make a batter of flour and eggs; cast there-to ale & yeast, saffron & salt. Wet them in the batter and fry them in oil or in grease; do there-to almond milk, & serve it forth.

Modern recipe:

2-3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into finger-sized pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into finger-sized pieces
3 c flour
4 eggs, beaten
3⁄4 c flat ale
1 tsp. yeast
Pinch of saffron
1⁄2 tsp. salt
Oil for deep-frying
Wooden skewers

Beat together the flour and eggs; mix in the ale, yeast, salt & saffron. Allow to rest at room temperature for several minutes. Place alternate pieces of apple & parsnip on the skewers, shish-kabob style. Dip the skewers in the batter then fry in hot oil until brown. Remove and drain. Place on a serving platter and drizzle honey over all. Serve.

Haslet was the intestines and organ meats of animals of the hunt, the “offal” that is rejected today. In the Middle Ages, however, this part of the animal was a sought-after trophy, and “haslet,” roasted on a spit, was brought into the feast hall with great ceremony and presented with honor. The first two period receipts present a mock haslet, composed of fruits roasted in such a way as to resemble the real thing. In the first receipt, the haslet is made of fruit strung together with needle and thread, such as popcorn or cranberries on a modern Christmas tree. These strings of fruit, each the length of a man’s height, are wrapped around a spit, and as they roast are basted in a wine batter. In the second receipt, fruit is placed on a spit and given a coating of batter of flour and egg yolks as they roast. The third receipt is a simple fritter recipe of apples, carrots, & parsnips. Our modern version, therefore, is an adaptation of all three of these fried fruit recipes.

Using the apples & parsnips of the third recipe, our haslet is placed on skewers, the spit used in the second recipe. Recipes 1 & 2 have the haslet coated in batter; recipe 3 deep fries the batter-coated fruit pieces. Our haslet is thus made by placing alternate pieces of apple and parsnip on a wooden skewer, dipping this in batter, then deep-frying in hot oil until brown. The end result looks very much indeed like roasted meat on a small spit, but with a decidedly different taste! Our final garnish is honey, an appropriate substitute for almond milk and the most popular medieval sweetener.
The name Trayne Roste refers to the length and arrangement of the haslet along with its cooking procedure – a “train” of roasted items.

Salad: Lovina
Arugula Salad with Marjoram Dressing and Myzithra Cheese

For the dressing:
¼ c fresh lemon juice
6 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated lemon peel
½ c olive oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Toss half arugula and half mixed greens with dressing and top with cubed myzithra and halved cherry tomatoes.

All's Well That Ends Well, IV, 5:
CLOWN: Indeed, sir, she was the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.

Soup: Ashley
Carrot Ginger Soup

6 cups vegetable stock
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
1 lb. carrots
2 garlic cloves
2-inch piece fresh ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 orange
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

First, dice the onion: Cut the onion in half lengthwise and peel each half. One at a time, place the onion halves, cut side down, on the cutting board. Make a series of lengthwise cuts perpendicular to the board, then a series of horizontal cuts with the knife blade parallel to the cutting board, and lastly cut crosswise to create 1⁄4-inch dice. Be sure to stop just short of the root end; it holds the onion together as you cut. Next, slice the carrots: Peel the carrots, then cut them into slices 1⁄4 inch thick. Finally, mince the garlic: Place the garlic cloves on a work surface, firmly press against them with the flat side of a knife and pull away the papery skin. Mince the garlic.

Prepare the ginger and orange zest
Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the thin beige skin from the fresh ginger, then use a rasp grater to grate enough ginger to measure 1 1⁄2 tsp. Use the same fine rasps to grate 1⁄2 tsp. zest from the orange. Make sure to grate only the colored portion of the orange peel, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Reserve the orange for another use.

Sweat the vegetables
Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted and the foam begins to subside, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it softens and is just translucent, about 10 minutes. You do not want the onion to take on any color. This process of slowly cooking the vegetables without letting them brown is called sweating. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots and salt to the pot and stir to coat the carrots well with the butter.

Simmer the soup
Add 2 cups of the reserved stock to the pot. The stock should cover the carrots; if not, add more stock. Place the pot over high heat. As soon as you see large bubbles begin to form, reduce the heat until only small bubbles occasionally break the surface of the liquid and cover the pot. After a minute, check to make sure the stock is still at this gentle simmer. Re-cover and cook until the carrots are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 20 minutes. Uncover and remove from the heat. Let the soup cool to lukewarm.

Puree the soup
Insert an immersion blender into the pot and puree the soup, moving the wand to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly pureed. Take care to immerse the blade completely to prevent spattering. (You can also use a food processor or blender for this step.)

Finish the soup
Preheat an oven to 200°F and place individual bowls in the oven to warm. Return the soup to medium-low heat and gradually whisk in the remaining 4 cups stock. Stir in the ginger and the orange zest. Reheat gently, stirring every now and again, until the soup is hot, about 10 minutes.

Side Dish: Colleen
Sweet Potato & Leek Gratin

1 pound leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces, and soaked in cold water to cover
2 Ts whole unsalted butter
2 Ts olive oil
¼ c garlic, minced
2 c heavy cream
2/3 c dried currants or diced pitted prunes
¼ c fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound sweet potatoes or garnet yams, peeled
1 ¼ pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and reserved in cold water

Lift the leeks from the water in which they're soaking so any sand remains in the water. Drain the leeks in a colander. Melt the butter and olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and stir in the leeks, and garlic.

Cover and lower the heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the currants or prunes, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a heavy-bottomed 5-quart casserole. Using a Japanese mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Do the same with the Idaho potatoes. Beginning with Idaho potatoes, arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the casserole. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then spoon 2 Ts of leek cream over the potatoes. Repeat with sweet potatoes: layer, season, and spoon leek cream over them. Continue in this way, alternating Idaho and sweet potatoes, until all are used. With your hand, or a rubber spatula, press down firmly on the potatoes. Drizzle the remaining leek cream over the top layer. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the gratin is bubbling around the edges and a knife slides into it easily. Remove to a warm place and let rest for 15 minutes.

Slice the gratin into wedges or squares and serve. It may be prepared ahead and reheated in a 300-degree F. oven.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Entree: Stacey
Stacey's Caramelized Onion, Artichoke and Potato Shepherd's Pie:

Pie crust for a double crust pie
1 large onion, caramelized in 3T. butter
1 can artichoke hearts (packed in water), roughly chopped
3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 can cream of celery soup
½ c dry white wine
1T fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp herbs d' Provence
pinch of cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bottom crust in pie pan. Boil potatoes until tender than slice thick.

Layer potatoes, then artichokes, then caramelized onions in pie pan. Make a sauce of celery soup, wine and spices--if too thick add a splash of half and half. Spread 3/4 of the sauce on top of vegetables. Reserve a small amount of sauce to warm up and use as gravy if you want. Place top crust on pie. Make some vents and decorations on top. Bake on a cookie sheet in oven about 45 mins. until crust is golden. Keep checking because oven temp. and time might vary. Enjoy!!!!

Dessert: Erin

Rice Pudding Recipe

2 ½ c (600 ml) of whole milk
1/3 c (66 grams) of long or short grain white rice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ c (50 grams) dark brown sugar
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
1/3 c (40 grams) raisins (I used golden)

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk, rice and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar until well mixed. Add a half cup of the rice mixture - a tablespoon at a time - beating to incorporate.

Add egg mixture back into the saucepan of rice and milk and stir, on low heat, for 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Be careful not to have the mixture come to a boil at this point. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat and stir in the raisins and cinnamon.

Serve warm or cold.
Serves 2-3.

Alternative Dessert just for fun:
Bittersweet Chocolate Custard

Yield: 6

2 ½ c milk (lowfat works just fine)
¾ to 1 c semisweet chocolate chips (depending on how deeply chocoholic you are)
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready six ovenproof custard cups and a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Place the milk and chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until all the chips are melted. Remove from heat and sir until blended. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add the milk mixture, scraping in all the wayward clumps of chocolate, and whip until frothy.

Divide the batter among the custard cups. Place them in the baking pan, and half-fill it with water. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the custards are solid in the center when shaken.

Carefully remove the cups from the baking pan. Cool to room temp, then cover each one tightly with plastic wrap and chill.

WildCard: Sara

Blend frozen strawberries with white wine, bubbly water, and lemonade. Proportions were what fit in the blender with ice--garnished with berries and lemon.

Lottery: Mariah
Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Body Lotion for all!


Anonymous said...

Hello Divas--I thought you needed a comment on your fabulous blog. Thanks for a lovely evening last night. I looked up the Shakespeare evening you referenced, and it all looks delish. I think I'll try the Shepherd's Pie. I also liked the Shakes-berry smoothies. Very cute.

Tina V-P

Stacey said...

Tina--let me know how you like it. I kind of combined a couple of recipes and I think it turned out pretty good. I have made it numerous times since and it is a home run recipe because my husband and both kids will eat it!!

mvpjmp said...

Hi Stacey. We made it and enjoyed it very much. We also thought it would be good with sauteed mushrooms (but we add mushrooms to everything!).