allvenicechannel: (Default)
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 09:58 am
Recipe XII should have been fairly easy. I had myself a bit worried because it's essentially an emulsion sauce and while I haven't broken one yet I'm always worried that I will. Add to that an issue with ingredients and no measurements or ratios in the original recipe and it was far more of a headache than it should have been. I had homemade fish broth from the night before which was nice and subtle, and some lovely Italian sea salt and verjuice from a winery that Fiamma introduced me to (she buys their bottles by the case and kindly allows me to buy some from her). Unfortunately the eggs that I had purchased for this were half frozen when I pulled them out of the middle shelf of the fridge! I'm not sure what that might have done to their properties for this recipe,  but I was less than thrilled. Having no quantities, or even ratios to go by I see this as an experiment and will list both what I did, and what I will try again in the future, so unlike other recipes posted here I don't consider this one to be finished.
Update on hypothesis: As I was  working on this write up, it occurred to me that this may have been more on the mark than I thought and it's potentially my mind set that's off. The title is Broth of eggs, pure and perfect- and it did indeed come out very broth like. It just struck me as being an emulsion sauce because of how I perceived the instructions through the filter of my modern mind. Egg mixture added to heated liquid and stir like mad to me = emulsion sauce, but the title may be a much better indicator of intention than my assumptions. Perhaps this really is meant to just be a fortified broth, like many of those mentioned in medical texts of the time for invalids, the elderly, young or pregnant! I also should have left off all the spices except the salt until the final plating as per the original instructions.

XII. Brodeto de ovi schieto, bon e perfetto.
Se tu voy fare brodo [s]chieto, toy ove e batille e mettili [mille_c.] di vergiuso, e aqua freda, e sale tanto che basta. Tolli de quello brodo che tu coce, o carne o pesse che sia, e mettilo in una pentola tanto che te para che baste, e mettilo suxo la braxa da longe, e meti su questi ovi e mescholla spesso che non s’ aprenda, e poi manestra e polveriza suso de bone specie.
XII. Broth of eggs pure, good and perfect
If you want to make broth pure take eggs and beat them and put them with verjuice and cold water and salt that is enough. Take of that broth that you cook of meat or fish whatever, and put it in a pan enough that you defend that enough (big enough to stir easily), and put it over the coals from far enough (gentle heat off the coals), and put on these eggs and mix well that it does not open (curdle), and then dish and dust over good spices.
What I did:
Ingredients
2 cups= 16 oz home made fish broth
4 eggs (started with 2, added 2 more)
1/2 tsp = 1/4 oz sea salt
1/2 cup = 4 oz Verjuice
1/4 cup = 2 oz cold water
I brought the broth up to temperature, but was worried it was too hot so I cooled it but may have cooled it too much. I think this recipe would do best starting at a low to medium simmer- far below a boil as the original calls for having it far enough from the coals. I then whisked the eggs, verjuice, sea salt, and cold water together in a separate bowl. The egg mixture was added slowly to the broth and whisked the entire time to keep it from curdling. I'm not sure if it was due to the ratio of ingredients, or any potential issues cause by the eggs freezing, but it never really set or thickened. I had started with two eggs, and seeing this wasn't going to be enough I increased it to four and still wasn't happy with the texture, and the rest of the eggs were still frozen enough that I didn't consider them viable options. The flavor wasn't bad, it was just very mild.

What I'd do differently next time:
Ingredients
1 cups= 8 oz home made fish broth
4 eggs
1/2 tsp = 1/4 oz sea salt
1/4 cup = 4 oz Verjuice
1/8 cup = 2 oz cold water
I will start with these quantities and go from there. Emulsion sauces for me have usually been adding the hot liquid to the egg mixture, not the other way around but I will stick with the instructions in the original and continue to add the eggs to the broth. I'm not sure if I'll do this again exactly with fish broth or try another type as that is an option given in the original. 
  Here are the ingredients as I originally planned: 

This is the eggs, verjuice, sea salt, and cold water blended and waiting to be added to the heated broth: 

I'm now adding the egg mixture to the heated broth- please ignore the very pregnant tummy.

This is the "black and strong" spice mix from this same manuscript- I also used the "sweet spice" mix from the same source as well as the recipe just calls for "good spices".
And here are all spices added before being mixed in: 

Here's the final product plated:  
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 08:34 am

Are the pictures helpful, or just an overload? Any input would be gratefully accepted. I often try to take pictures of each step, but I'm unsure if they're helpful to others or just taking up space. :) 

XI.Butiro de grasso de mandole.
Se tu voy fare butiro de grasso de mandole per fare vivande de venerdí o de quaresima, tolgli tre libre de mandole per fare torta a quale vivanda che tu voy per XII persone, e de questo butiro se po condier tartare e altre torte. In dí che non se magna carne toy le mandole ben monde e ben lavate e ben masenate e stemperali con aqua chiara, e fai che sia ben stretto e colalli e meti questo late de le ditte mandole a bolire, e quando è ben bolito gettalo sopra una tovaia biancha. Quando è ben colada l’ aqua di sotto, togli uno bello cortello e levallo da la tovaglia, e ponilo suso lo taiero, e metilo in quella vivanda che tu voy.
XI. Butter of fat of almonds (almond butter)
If you want to make butter of almond fat to make dishes for Friday or for lent take three pounds of almonds to make a tart or whatever dish that you want for 12 persons. And of this butter you can put to flavor tartare (a sort of pie made of soaked bread, almonds and sugar) or other pies. In that one does not eat meat, take the almonds peeled and washed and well ground and stamped with clear water, and when it has been well strained and pressed put this milk of almonds to boil. And when it has well boiled throw it (put) over a white cloth. When the water has strained below take good knife and scrape from the cloth and put it above the "taiero"*and put it in whatever dish you want. * taiero. - Tagliare is to cut, tovalia is a towel. It could actually be trencher or plate which in Italian is taglière.

My interpretation
Ingredients:
7 oz almonds, 21 oz water (can be any amount in ratio of 1 part almond to 3 part clean/ purified water).
Directions: Peel (or purchase already skinned), wash and grind almonds, "stamp" with clear water- I took this to mean mix 1 part almonds to 3 parts water then blend or agitate as I usually do to make almond milk. Strain and press milk (I ran it through a sieve as I usually do when I make almond milk) then boil. It's not clear if the boiling is meant to change the texture by simply heating it, or if you're meant to condense it. I boiled the almond milk for approximately 30 minutes. Then strain again in cloth (I used quadruple layered cheese cloth) and scrape "butter" off cloth.

Here are the ingredients, measured out. 7 oz cleaned, peeled, ground almonds, 21 oz water

Here are the ground almonds having been removed from the liquid that is now almond milk

Here's the almond milk boiling, if you look closely you can see a little fat on the surface. I think the boiling helps break it down and bring out the richness a bit more.

Here I'm pouring the boiled almond milk into cheese cloth for the second strain.

It took quite a while to fully drain

Eventually I helped it along a little by squeezing the cheese cloth (with clean hands of course) and was amazed at how oily feeling it left my hands, for only being almond and water.

Eventually after the squeezing it got to be less liquid, but still very paste or butter like.

I started scraping the rest off the cloth as called for in the original, and emptied it all onto a plate for a first look


I then formed it into a more aesthetically pleasing ball, and tasted a bit and if you like almonds or unsweetened almond paste this was divine.

I could see how this would make a fabulous almond tart and be completely appropriate for lent as it's vegan (if using a crust you'd have to make your own or be careful about the shortening used).

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 08:44 am
Fantasitic on line searchable period Italian to English dictionary!! Courtesy of Eden.
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/florio/search/search.cgi

 
Units of measure I'm using: Troy pound (~373g, 12oz to the lb) to extrapolate amounts into modern oz. as it seems to be the most appropriate having been used in Renaissance Italy.

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/units/weight.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_(mass)




allvenicechannel: (Default)
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 02:25 pm

I'm on to the next recipes. I think I can do the almond butter, but looking at the next several it looks like many of them are sauces, at least one of which I've done before for a feast. I'm going to see how many I can manage to get through. :)  I'm debating though if I should try to save any of these to bring to the event this weekend as our potluck contribution.


XI. Butiro de grasso de mandole.
Se tu voy fare butiro de grasso de mandole per fare vivande de venerdí o de quaresima, tolgli tre libre de mandole per fare torta a quale vivanda che tu voy per XII persone, e de questo butiro se po condier tartare e altre torte. In dí che non se magna carne toy le mandole ben monde e ben lavate e ben masenate e stemperali con aqua chiara, e fai che sia ben stretto e colalli e meti questo late de le ditte mandole a bolire, e quando è ben bolito gettalo sopra una tovaia biancha. Quando è ben colada l’ aqua di sotto, togli uno bello cortello e levallo da la tovaglia, e ponilo suso lo taiero, e metilo in quella vivanda che tu voy.
XI Almond butter
If you want to make butter of almond fat to make dishes for Friday or for lent take three pounds of almonds to make a tart or whatever dish that you want for 12 persons.  And this butter you can use to flavor tartare (a sort of pie made of soaked bread, almonds and sugar) or other pies.  For when one does not eat meat, take the almonds peel, wash grind well and stamp with clear water.  And when it (the almond milk) has been well strained and pressed put this milk of almonds to boil.  When it has well boiled pour it over a white cloth (that is presumably suspended to allow liquid to drain away).  When the water has strained below take good knife and scrape (the butter) from the cloth and put it on the taiero (trencher see note) and use the butter in whatever dish you want. * taiero. - Tagliare is to cut, tovalia is a towel.  It could actually be trencher or plate which in Italian is taglière.
 

XII.Brodeto de ovi schieto, bon e perfetto.
Se tu voy fare brodo [s]chieto, toy ove e batille e mettili [mille_c.] di vergiuso, e aqua freda, e sale tanto che basta. Tolli de quello brodo che tu coce, o carne o pesse che sia, e mettilo in una pentola tanto che te para che baste, e mettilo suxo la braxa da longe, e meti su questi ovi e mescholla spesso che non s’ aprenda, e poi manestra e polveriza suso de bone specie.
XII Broth of eggs pure, good and perfect
If you want to make a pure broth take eggs and beat them and add verjuice and cold water and enough salt that.  Take broth that you have cooked your meat or fish or whatever in, and put it in a pan enough that is large enough and can be stirred easily and put it gentle heat from the coals, and add the beaten eggs and mix well so that it does not open (curdle), and then pour into a serving dish and dust with good spices.


XIII. Brodeto de pessi.
Toy lo pesse e lesallo, poy toy petrosilo e noce e una molena de pan e pasta insiema, e toy specie dolze e forte e fai bolire insiema e meti sopra lo pesse ed è bono perfetto, etc.
XIII Little broth for fish
Take the fish and boil it, then take parsley and walnuts and the crumb of bread and grind these all together, and take sweet and strong spices and let it boil altogether (in the fish broth) and put it over the fish and it is good, perfect etc.


XIV. Ciuiro overo sauore negro a cengiaro.
Se tu [voy] fare savore negro a porcho salvazo, toy la carne soa ben cocta e ben batuta e ben pesta in mortaro, e toy medola de pan ben arsa che sia ben negra e ben mogliata in aceto e ben macinata per si e ben colata e mescolata con la carne macinata, e metige pevere longo, e melegette, e zenzevro, e ben pesto queste tre cosse a lo speciale, e mectile suso il savore con aceto e con brodo magro de la carne, e meti a bolire questo savore per si in uno vaso.  Questo savore de’ essere negro e possente de specie e agro da aceto.
XIV Ciuiro or sauce black to ash gray for boar
If you want to make a black sauce, take meat that is well roasted/cooked and beat it to a paste in a mortar, and take the middle (no crusts) of bread and toast until it is black.  Soak this toasted bread in vinegar, break it up and sieve it well and mix it with the shredded meat.  Add long pepper, grains of paradise and ginger and grind these three things to a smooth paste.  Put the above meat paste a sauce made with vinegar and with lean broth of the meat, and boil this stew/sauce in a pan.   This sauce should be black and strong with spices and sharp with vinegar.
*Ciuiro is actually a term for a specific style of stew, most likely related to the French civet.


XV. Ciuiro over sauore a ceruo, etc.
Se tu voy fare carne de ceruo alessa, fai fare lo savore de la carne soa similmente come quella dauante ed è bono.
XV Ciuiro or relish for hind (deer, venison) etc.
If you want to make meat of hind boiled, you can make the stew of the meat as in the previous recipe and it is good.


XVI. Ciuiro a carne de cavriolo o de livore alesso o rosto per lo megliore che tu voy, etc.
Fai similmente como è dito de sovra del porcho salvazo, e se tu dà questa saluaxine calde, uole metir in lo savore; e se sono frede metigele.
XVI Ciuiro for meat of roebuck or of hare
Boil or roast the meat for the best (result) that you want, etc.  Make it in the same way as that given above for the boar.  And if you put this dish hot you want to put it in the sauce and if you want it cold mix them (together without heating).

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 02:18 pm

I've talked with the cheese Goddess Alienora about coming over and working with her on this for a day of playing with intentional milk spoilage and the tasty by products of such. Recipe X. Butiro de chaxi freschi/ Butter of fresh cheese really requires that I be able to make my own cheese from scratch so that I can play with the milkfats and be able to manipulate them in ways that I think will be different, if not difficult to impossible with pre-made cheeses.  I'm thinking in addition to the goat cheese (she has her own working far, with milk goats) I will also try at least one version with cow's milk if I can find it unpasturized. This is going to be one of those project for when I have a free weekend and so does she. : )

X.  Butiro de chaxi freschi, etc.

Se tu voy fare butiro de casi freschi per fare alchuna cossa, toy VI casi freschi apestati al piú che tu poy, e quando eno ben pestati e destemperati con aqua freda chiara, el grasso tornarà disopra; toilo e ponilo sul tagliero, e poylo dare con quela vivanda che tu vole, e in torta che tu vole e starà bene.

X. Butter of fresh cheese, etc.
If you want to make butter of fresh cheese to make other things, take 6 fresh cheeses and mash them the most that you can, and when they are well mashed temper with clear cold water.  The fat comes to the top, take and prick with with a knife, and then put it with what dish you want, and in tarts if you want it is good.

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 08:31 pm

When I was putting away the leftovers I spilled a bit of the sauce on my notes so I'm going to transcribe them before heading to bed (so I can make out the broth-logged squiggles). I'll add pictures tomorrow (edit to add: or once I find my card reader).

VI. Brodo de polastri.

Se tu voy fare brodo de polastro, toli polastri e fali alisare, toy mandole monde e maxenale e destenprele con il brodo de li polastri, e aqua rosata, e agresta, e destempera ogni cossa insema. E poy toy canella e zenzevro, e garofali mezi maxenati, e mezi tagliati menuti, e meti entro questo brodo, e fa bolire ogni cossa in sembre. E poy che i vano a tavola, meti li polastri dentro lo brodo, e fa che siano ben caldi. Quando tu manestri, metelli del zucharo per suso le scutelle e serà bona vivanda.

VI. Chickens with broth
If you want to make chickens with broth.  Take chickens and let them cook in water.  Take skinned almonds, grind and mix with the chicken broth (see note) and mix in rose water and verjuice.  Take cinnamon, ginger and cloves, grind half and chop half of each spice.  Add these spices to the almond broth and boil everything together.  To serve, put the chickens in the broth and make sure that everything is hot.  When you serve put sugar over the bowl and it will be a good dish.
* There is no indication in the text that the ground almonds and chicken broth are strained to make chicken broth.  Hence you may be leaving the ground almonds in the broth.
My interpretation:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 cups previously home made chicken broth, 1/2 tsp rosewater (could be doubled if you like the floral taste, my testers don't), 1 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1 tsp ground (or 1/2 oz. ground & 1/2 oz un-ground if you're going to sift it out later) each cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, sprinkle 1/2 tsp sugar over top before serving.

As there weren't any amounts or descriptions of parts (i.e. bone in or bone out, whole chopped up chicken or parts) and I had previously made and reserved broth from scratch that wound up being lovely I chose to go with the route most conducive to my audience. If I were serving more I could easily at least double the amount of chicken in this recipe without changing the rest- with this recipe being so  vague there is a lot of room to experiment. I will likely come back and revisit this at some point, perhaps for event food or a feast as I think it would be feasible and very nice for either one.

 

VII. Bon savore da polastri.

A fare bon savore a polastri, toy pomegranate e fane vino a mane, e meti in quello vino ben specie dolze, e se ti parese tropo forte, mitige anexo pesto, altrimente aqua rosa. Altri usa a fare vino de pome granate agre e vino de bona uva dolze, e meti questi doy vini in sembre e spesie dolze assai. Se tu non avesti uva meti un pocho de melle, e fai bolire: li specie vole esser crude: non vole star fatto che se guasta.

VII. (7) Good taste/relish of chickens (pullets)
To give good flavor to chickens, take pomegranate and make wine by hand (juice), and put into that wine good sweet spices, and if it seems to you too strong, mix aniseed ground, or rose water.  Or use wine (juice) of pomegranate sharp and wine of good sweet grapes, and put these two wines together and enough sweet spices.  If you don't have enough grapes put in a little honey and let it boil: the spices will be raw: you do not want it to be made that spoils, spills, wastes (guasta). *  savore is a taste or relish, given context could also be called a sauce. Guasta translates as spills, wastes or spoils.  Given context may indicate that the sauce will be spoiled if you cook too much.
My interpretation:
8 oz pomegranate juice (unsweetened, preferably fresh), 1/4 tsp sweet spice mix, 1/2 tsp rosewater, 1 1/2 tbsp honey.
This sauce was so simple, just add all the ingredients and simmer, and it was the surprise star of the night.  I wound up using some wonderful local honey, and it made for a fantastic balance of sweet sour that totally brightened up the meal with a burst of flavor and color.

 

VIII. Brodeto de starne bon.

Brodeto de starne; toy late e mandole, e rosi d’ ova, e zafarano, e gresta, e specie dolze, e fa bolire tanto che sia coto, e serà bono.

VIII. Sauce thickened with eggs good with partridge
To make a sauce thickened with eggs for partridge.  Take almond milk, egg yolks, saffron, verjuice and sweet spices.  Mix all together and heat gently until the mixture thickens and it will be good.

My interpretation: 
1 cup almond milk (or 1 cup water, 1/3 cup ground almonds tempered then strained to remove solids), 3 egg yolks, 1/4 cup verjuice, 1/4 tsp crushed saffron, 1 /2 tsp sweet spice mix. I added all the ingredients except the eggs as I was juggling 3 other dishes and held off until I was ready to focus attention on this sauce.
I was most concerned about this sauce, being heavily egg based I thought it might break and develop an unpleasant texture. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised and the texture was perfect. Once I added the egg yolk I whisked it often, but not constantly and even before the yolk was added the saffron gave it a gorgeous color. Although the pomegranate sauce was more popular over all and had a more distinctive flavor, I was happiest with this sauce. I thought the flavor was a slightly spicy saffron custard sauce with an under current of almond.   

 

IX. Brodeto camelino a caponi.

Se tu voy fare brodeto camelino per XII persone a caponi, toy VI caponi grassi, e toy tre libre de mandole, e toy doe onze de specie fine, e pevere longo, e noce moschade ben peste insembre, e toy li caponi e lesali, e quando sono alessi traili fura, e lasali refredare e toy le mandole con la gussa e lavale bene e mazenali. Destemperale con el brodo de y caponi magro, e metilo a bolire, e uno pocho de vino agro e agresto, e tolle specie peste assai quando sono ben boliti queste cosse trai indrieto per menestrare e non mettere li caponi dentro dal brodeto per scudelle, e meti suso de le specie piú fine che tu poy avere.

IX. (9) Carmeline sauce for capons
If you want to make carmeline sauce for 12 people with capon, take 6 fat capons and take three pounds of almonds, and take two ounces of fine spices, long pepper, and nutmeg well ground together, and take the capon and boil, and when they are enough done, and let them chill, and take the almonds with the husk (skin) and wash them well and grind.  Temper with the broth of the fat capons and set it to boil, and a little sharp wine and verjuice, and take spices ground enough when it is well boiled this thing take behind (at one side) for serving and don't put the capons into the sauce in the bowl, and put over it the finest spices that you have.

For 12:6 fat young chickens, 3 lb almonds, 2oz fine spices, long pepper, and nutmeg. Boil capons until cooked then chill. Peel, wash, grind almonds, temper with broth from capons. Boil with sharp wine and verjuice, and enough of spices.

For 6:3 chickens- to create broth, 1.5 lb almonds, 1 oz fine spices, long pepper, and nutmeg.

For 3 :1 ½ chickens to create broth, .75 lb almonds, ½ oz fine spices long pepper, and nutmeg, sharp wine and verjuice

My interpretation:
1 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup ground almond, 1/4 cup verjuice, 1/2 tsp fine spices, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp long pepper. 
I really liked this sauce too, but the flavor profile was way too close to the main dish and so it got lost. By itself, it was delicious and is definitely worth re-visiting as a side to a different dish.  

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 12:01 pm

V. Bramagere.
Se tu voy fare bramagere per XII persone, toy iiij libre de mandole, e una libra de rixo, e iiij galine, dui libre d’ onto frescho, e una libra e mezza de zucharo, e mezo quarto de garofalli, e toy le mandole, e  mondale, e servane quantità de entriegi, e le altre fa maxenare, e maxena e destempera cum aqua chiara pocha, e colale bene per stamegna, e toy lo rixo ben mondo e ben lavato ad aqua chalda e ben raschado, zoè suto con toaglia, e falo pestare lo spiciale, over sedazare, e staciare, e toy li petti de le galine e fali lesare pocho, e filali sottile e frigelli in lo onto con pocho focho in una pignata persi, e meti a fogo lo lacte de le mandole, e servane doe scudelle. Quando lo lacte, bolle destempera la farina de lo rixo con quello late crudo, e metile a bolire, e trailo in dreto suso la braxa, e meti incontinente le polpe e sfilato e l’ onto de struto dentro questa vivanda, e mescola spesso, e metigli del zucharo. Quando è coto e tu manestra, mitige de l’aqua rosata per sopra le scutelle, e poy zucharo, e poy mandole sofrite bianche, e poy garofalli. Questa vivanda vole essere biancha como neve, e streta, e potente de specie.
If you want to make blancmange for twelve people, take four pounds of almonds, one pound of rice, four hens (chickens), two pounds of grease (lard), a pound and a half of sugar and half a quarter (two ounces) of cloves.  Peel the almonds, reserve some whole, grind the remainder and prepare almond milk by soaking with clean water and straining.  Take rice that has been hulled, picked over, washed with hot water and dried and grind to a fine powder and strain.  Take the chickens that have been cut into pieces and boil them a little.  Shred the cooked chicken meat finely and fry gently in the grease.  Meanwhile put most of the almond milk in a pan and bring to a boil.  Mix the reserved, cold, almond milk with the rice flour and allow it soak.  When the almond milk boils mix it with the soaked rice flour and return to the pan.  Boil the rice flour and almond milk together until it thickens, immediately add the shredded fried chicken and the fat from the pan.  Mix this mixture frequently to prevent burning and sticking and add the sugar.  When the dish is cooked pour into a bowl to serve.  Dress the dish with rosewater, sugar, the reserved almonds that have been fried and cloves.  This dish should be very white like snow and potent with spices.

1/4 amts. to serve 3 people (I think I could have served 10-12 easily): 1 lb almonds,  1/4 lb rice (flour), 1 hen, .5 lb lard, .375 l lb sugar, .5 oz cloves.

Peel almonds, leave some whole (not mentioned here, but inferred later in the recipe is Toast/ fry  the almonds that are left whole) grind the rest, and prepare almond milk with clean water (I used 3x the volume of the ground almonds in filtered water and let steep, occationally mixing/ whisking). Boil cut up chickens, shred meat then fry in lard. Take hulled (white) rice and grind into rice flour- (I used a pure rice flour purchased at local asian market as I've had limited success grinding, soaking and drying rice into flour). Boil most of the almond milk, mix the cold almond milk with rice flour and let soak (I also skipped this step as with experimentation I've learned that it just makes the mix clumpy), when the first milk boils mix it with the soaked rice flour and boil the rice flour/ almond milk until it thickens, add the shredded fried chicken and fat from pan. Mix frequently to prevent burning- add sugar.

Pour into bowl and serve. Dress with rosewater, sugar and reserved almonds that have been fried and cloves.

I also have several in process pictures of the meat yeild from each peice of chicken as I shredded it- the breasts yielded a crazy huge amount, the back and wings barely anything. I wasn't sure if the last post was picture overload so I left out the bulk of them. I also got pictures of making the almond milk, and the almond rice goo before the chicken was added. 

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Monday, May 10th, 2010 12:31 pm

Here are the transcriptions, translations and notes on these three recipes I'll be interpreting: 

V. Bramagere.

Se tu voy fare bramagere per XII persone, toy iiij libre de mandole, e una libra de rixo, e iiij galine, dui libre d’ onto frescho, e una libra e mezza de zucharo, e mezo quarto de garofalli, e toy le mandole, e  mondale, e servane quantità de entriegi, e le altre fa maxenare, e maxena e destempera cum aqua chiara pocha, e colale bene per stamegna, e toy lo rixo ben mondo e ben lavato ad aqua chalda e ben raschado, zoè suto con toaglia, e falo pestare lo spiciale, over sedazare, e staciare, e toy li petti de le galine e fali lesare pocho, e filali sottile e frigelli in lo onto con pocho focho in una pignata persi, e meti a fogo lo lacte de le mandole, e servane doe scudelle. Quando lo lacte, bolle destempera la farina de lo rixo con quello late crudo, e metile a bolire, e
trailo in dreto suso la braxa, e meti incontinente le polpe e sfilato e l’ onto de struto dentro questa vivanda, e mescola spesso, e metigli del zucharo. Quando è coto e tu manestra, mitige de l’aqua rosata per sopra le scutelle, e poy zucharo, e poy mandole sofrite bianche, e poy garofalli. Questa vivanda vole essere biancha como neve, e streta, e potente de specie.

 

V. (5) Bramangere (Blancmange)
If you want to make bramangere for 12 persons take 4 pounds of almonds and one pound of rice and 4 hens, two pounds of fresh grease, and a pound and a half of sugar, half a quarter of cloves.  And take the almonds and peel them and reserve a quantity whole, and the others grind, and distemper with a little clear water, and strain them well through a colander, and take the rice well peeled (hulled) and well washed with hot water and well picked over, then suck (dry) with a cloth, and pound it smooth, very fine, and sift, and take the pieces of the hen and let them boil a little, and shred very thin.  And fry in the grease on a little fire (softly) in a pot (probably covered pot), and put to the fire the almond milk and reserve (some) in a bowl.  When the milk boils distemper the flour of the rice with some of the raw (cold) milk and put it to boil and thicken over the coals, and put immediately the flesh in threads and the grease melted into this dish, and mix often, and put to it the sugar.  When it is cooked and ready to serve put rose water over the bowl and then sugar and then the almonds blanched and fried, and then cloves.  This dish must be very white, like snow and sparing (streta) and potent of spices. *  streta is translated as strict, precise or sparing.  Given context may indicate a simple dish.

V.  Blancmange.
If you want to make blancmange for twelve people, take four pounds of almonds, one pound of rice, four hens (chickens), two pounds of grease (lard), a pound and a half of sugar and half a quarter (two ounces) of cloves.  Peel the almonds, reserve some whole, grind the remainder and prepare almond milk by soaking with clean water and straining.  Take rice that has been hulled, picked over, washed with hot water and dried and grind to a fine powder and strain.  Take the chickens that have been cut into pieces and boil them a little.  Shred the cooked chicken meat finely and fry gently in the grease.  Meanwhile put most of the almond milk in a pan and bring to a boil.  Mix the reserved, cold, almond milk with the rice flour and allow it soak.  When the almond milk boils mix it with the soaked rice flour and return to the pan.  Boil the rice flour and almond milk together until it thickens, immediately add the shredded fried chicken and the fat from the pan.  Mix this mixture frequently to prevent burning and sticking and add the sugar.  When the dish is cooked pour into a bowl to serve.  Dress the dish with rosewater, sugar, the reserved almonds that have been fried and cloves.  This dish should be very white like snow and potent with spices.

 

4 lb almonds, 1 lb rice, 4 hens, 2 lb lard, 1 1/2 sugar, 2 oz cloves.
Break down by 1/4: 1 lb almonds,  1/4 lb rice (flour), 1 hen, .5 lb lard, .375 l lb sugar, .5 oz cloves. 
Peel almonds, leave some whole (not mentioned here, but inferred is Toast/ fry  the almonds that are left whole) grind the rest, and prepare almond milk with clean water. Boil cut up chickens, shred meat then fry in lard. Take hulled (white) rice and grind into rice flour. Boil most of the almond milk, mix the cold almond milk with rice flour and let soak, when the first milk boils mix it with the soaked rice flour and boil the rice flour/ almond milk until it thickens, add the shredded fried chicken and fat from pan. Mix frequently to prevent burning- add sugar. Pour into bowl and serve. Dress with rosewater, sugar and reserved almonds that have been fried and cloves.
 

VI.           Brodo de polastri.

Se tu voy fare brodo de polastro, toli polastri e fali alisare, toy mandole monde e maxenale e destenprele con il brodo de li polastri, e aqua rosata, e agresta, e destempera ogni cossa insema. E poy toy canella e zenzevro, e garofali mezi maxenati, e mezi tagliati menuti, e meti entro questo brodo, e fa bolire ogni cossa in sembre. E poy che i vano a tavola, meti li polastri dentro lo brodo, e fa che siano ben caldi. Quando tu manestri, metelli del zucharo per suso le scutelle e serà bona vivanda.

VI. (6) Broth of chickens (pullets)
If you want to make broth of chickens, take chickens and let them simmer, take almonds skinned and pounded and distemper with the broth of the chicken, and rose water and verjuice, and temper everything together.  And then take cinnamon, ginger and cloves half ground, and half cut small, and put into this broth and let everything boil together.  And then when it goes to the table, put the chickens into the broth, and see that it is good and hot.  When you serve, put the sugar above the bowl and it will be a good dish.

VI. Chickens with broth
If you want to make chickens with broth.  Take chickens and let them cook in water.  Take skinned almonds, grind and mix with the chicken broth (see note) and mix in rose water and verjuice.  Take cinnamon, ginger and cloves, grind half and chop half of each spice.  Add these spices to the almond broth and boil everything together.  To serve, put the chickens in the broth and make sure that everything is hot.  When you serve put sugar over the bowl and it will be a good dish. * There is no indication in the text that the ground almonds and chicken broth are strained to make chicken broth.  Hence you may be leaving the ground almonds in the broth.


No amounts given in this recipe- bone in chicken, skinless boneless (I'm guessing not as that would make for a less rich stock). I also wonder if at some point the whole spices are sifted back out of the broth, at which time the chicken is removed as well because it calls tell you to put themn back in and make sure everything is hot.

Chicken, skinned almonds, chicken broth, rose water, verjuice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, sugar. 

 

VII.         Bon savore da polastri.

A fare bon savore a polastri, toy pomegranate e fane vino a mane, e meti in quello vino ben specie dolze, e se ti parese tropo forte, mitige anexo pesto, altrimente aqua rosa. Altri usa a fare vino de pome granate agre e vino de bona uva dolze, e meti questi doy vini in sembre e spesie dolze assai. Se tu non avesti uva meti un pocho de melle, e fai bolire: li specie vole esser crude: non vole star fatto che se guasta.

VII. (7) Good taste/relish of chickens (pullets)
To give good flavor to chickens, take pomegranate and make wine by hand (juice), and put into that wine good sweet spices, and if it seems to you too strong, mix aniseed ground, or rose water.  Or use wine (juice) of pomegranate sharp and wine of good sweet grapes, and put these two wines together and enough sweet spices.  If you don't have enough grapes put in a little honey and let it boil: the spices will be raw: you do not want it to be made that spoils, spills, wastes (guasta).
*  savore is a taste or relish, given context could also be called a sauce.
    Guasta translates as spills, wastes or spoils.  Given context may indicate that the sauce will be spoiled if you cook too much.

VII.  Good relish for chickens.
To give a good flavor to chickens.  Take grated apples and squeeze out the juice.  Put into the apple juice good sweet spices.  If it seems to strong, mix dill/anise ground (see note), or rose water.  Alternatively use the juice of grated sour apples and juice of good sweet grapes mixed together with enough sweet spices.  If you do not have grapes put in a little honey and let it boil.  The spices should taste raw, not cooked, don’t allow it to cook to much or the sauce will spoil. * Anexo could be either aneto – dill or anice/anace/anacio – aniseed


This recipe also lists no amounts, so I will have to experiment.

Juice of Pomegranates or Apples- if apples what breed would be most appropriate? My attempt at translating this comes up with Pomegranate, so I'm not sure if I'm missing something, maybe the apple is an alternate but I can't seem to get a clear translation of "de pome granate ". The rest of the ingredients are:” good sweet spices”, dill/ anise ground, or rose water, sweet grape juice, honey as grape juice alternate
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 11:20 am

After consulting with people on the SCA_cooks list for suggestions and my housemate who's a cook it was finally decided to cut the chicken into 7 pieces by cutting down the breast, leaving the wings attached, cutting apart the legs and thighs and back. This yeilded 2 breast pieces w/wings + 2 legs + 2 thighs + 1 back = 7! I was a little worried about the huge breasts (I'm guessing larger than they would have had in 1500's Italy) cooking thoroughly without overcooking the rest, but it all came out perfectly.
This is pretty image intense, so I'm going to put it behind a cut.
 

click for pictures and further information )

These first two images are of all the ingredients, first all ingredients all together, then all the ingredients other than meat and lard.


Our housemate dosen't eat any pork or porkfat so I did one half the chicken as close to the original recipe as possible, and the other was sauteed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and I later used it to test any taste difference in vinegar based almond milk made with either peeled or unpeeled almonds.
Cooking in lard

Cooking in EVOO

This is both red wine vinegar almond milks, the one on the left is made with skinned almonds, the one on the right, with unskinned.

The chicken having been drained of fat and put back into the pan for simmering the sauce down and finishing cooking- the first is the lard browned with the skinned almond milk, the second is with EVOO and the unskinned almond milk.


Both with fruit and spices added to soften and blend flavors. I used all of the named spices measured by weight, as well as some "sweet spices" from a recipe in the same source.



Sauce just before plating- description in original source says "this dish should be sharp and sweet and red in color" and I think I managed to hit all three perfectly. :)

Final plating and presentation for the Ambrosino cooking in Lard, with almonds and spices on top as directed.

final plating and presentation for ambrosino cooked in EVOO.

</lj>
The final recipe (which was supposed to be for 2 but filled 3 people, with leftovers) was 1 whole chicken, cut as described above into 7 peices, enought lard to sautee (my burner is a bit tilted so I wound up using about 3 tbsp), 4 oz skinless almonds divided in 1/2 (with one half kept whole and the other ground for almond milk), 2 oz red wine vinegar, 2 oz currants, 2 oz dates (I cut into rounds), 2 oz prunes (I cut into 1/4), 1/4 oz fresh ginger, 1/12 whole nutmeg freshly grated, 1/6 oz cloves, 1/6 oz saffron, 1 stick true cinnamon broken into large peices.

Brown chicken pieces in lard, until well but not over browned (this took about 15-20 minutes each side), grind almonds for almond milk, soak ground almonds in 3times the volume of red wine vinegar, drain fat then return chicken to pan, strain solids from almond milk and add to pan with chicken, spices and fruit to simmer down for sauce- until chicken is done by meat thermeter &/or juices run clear (it took approx. 30 minutes). Plate chicken then top with sauce, skinless almonds and a sprinkle of sweet spice mix*

Final verdict was- delicious, but both testers prefer how I usually make this dish with boneless skinless chicken - usually just breasts or thighs (partially due to my beloved's lifelong dislike of eating meat off the bone), and more fruit. The sauce and flavor balance was wonderful! It was a little puckery, but the simmering and spices really brought out the sweetness of the fruit to help balance it. Myself and the other pork friendly taster had some of both versions and with how flavorful the sauce was there didn't seem to be any noticeable flavor difference between the two fats, or the two variaitons of almond milk. The sauce was dark enough in color that the strained almond skins didn't cause any noticeable visual variations either.

*the spice mix used is from this same source: LXXIV Sweet spices, enough for many good and fine things, which I have documented here and will go back and provide a link to later.

allvenicechannel: (Default)
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 11:50 am
After exhaustion induced hiatus, I'm trying to get back on track with working my way through Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco and next up is a favorite in my house- Chicken Ambrosino. It's still a bit of a challenge as I'm trying to go back over the instructions step by step and do a new interpretation, hopefully closer to the source.

This is still extremely rough. I'm looking at two different translations, and looking back at the original trying to figure out any differences. I'm still trying to learn early culinary Italian (specifically Venetian, which is just different enough to cause headaches), so I'm mostly relying on the translations others have done.

One of the instructions that currently has me puzzling is “Take the capons and dismember them and make into seven pieces of each". I'm envisioning cutting the wings as one piece each, the thighs and legs together, separating the breasts from the back and splitting them, and leaving the back whole. Does this make sense? By my tally that would then be 2 wings +2 thighs&legs, + 2 breasts, 1 back, to = 7 pieces. However, as far as cooking time goes, the wings will be done far before the other pieces. Any advice on how to achieve 7 pieces per chicken that will be a more logical cooking choice?

I’m also pondering one of the measurements given- it lists two pounds of almonds but in the cooking instructions first calls for “whole peeled almonds” to be added to the sautéed chicken and spices to be simmered, and then later for “un-skinned almonds” to be ground and tempered with vinegar then strained to make an almond milk- but no measurements are given at this point. I’m debating if I should assume that the 2 pounds of almonds initially called for should be split evenly between whole peeled, and un-skinned, at 1 pound each.

Here is the transcription and translations I’m currently working from:
IV. Ambrosino bono e perfecto et cetera.
Se tu voi fare ambrosino per XII persone, toy VI caponi magretti e ij libre de mandole, e una libra de uva passa, e 1 datali, e una libra de brognole, e 1 1/2 de genzevro fino, e una 1/2 entra noce moschate e garof. E zafarano intrego, e meza libra de specie dolçe fine, e toy li caponi e smenbrali e fane septe peze de l’ uno, e mitili a sofrizer in lardo desfato e colado in una cita. E quando sono ben sofriti, la prima cossa che tu gli mitti sia lo zenzevro roto e le noce moschate taiate ben trite, e canella rota in bone peçe, e garofalli intrigi, e mandole intriege monde, e datali intrigi ben lavati, e meti dentro specie dolçe [in] gran quantità, e fay coxere un pocho; e quando è coto trai indrieto; quando è coto meti le prime mandole con le gusse non monde, e macenali e destempera con aceto pocho, e quando è cota la vivanda, cola li mandole e mettili sugo con specie e zafarano asay. Questa vivanda vuole essere agra e dolza e vermiglia e stretta, traila indietro e dala per scudelle e polveriza specie di sopra le scudelle.
IV. Ambrosino good and perfect and such~ dueling translations
If you wish to make ambrosino for twelve persons take six fat capons and two 2 pounds of almonds and one pound of dried grapes (another translation has this as currants) and 1 dates and one pound of prunes. Also take 1 1/2 of fine ginger (no measure is given but ounces seem more likely than pounds), half between nutmeg, cloves, and whole saffron (alternate translation: half a whole nutmeg, cloves, saffron) and half pound of sweet spices. Take the capons and dismember them and make into seven pieces of each, and put them to sauté in melted lard and strain in a vessel (alternate: fry the clean lard in the pan. And when they are well sautéed , the first thing you put on them is the broken ginger, and the nutmeg, sliced well stamped and cinnamon broken into good pieces, and whole cloves, and whole peeled almonds, and whole dates well washed, and put in sweet spices in great quantity, and make it cook a little,: and when it is cook turn it out; when it is cooked put the first almonds with the things not peeled.
(alternate translation: When the capons are well fried add the saffron rubbed, the nutmeg that has been chopped finely, the cinnamon broken into pieces, whole cloves, whole peeled almonds, dates, currants and prunes. Add a large amount of sweet spices and let it cook a little longer. When it is cooked reduce the heat or remove from the flame. Take un-skinned almonds, grind and temper with a little vinegar, strain the almonds and add the almond milk to the dish, and add to the sauce spices and enough saffron. This dish should be sharp and sweet and red in color. Serve in a bowl with powdered spices over it).

I'm using the Troy pound (~373g, 12oz to the lb) to extrapolate amounts into modern oz. as per suggestions here, it seems to be the most appropriate having been used in Renaissance Italy.
Break down in oz. by Troy pound:
6 young chickens, 2 lb almonds, 1 lb currants, 1 lb dates, 1 lb prunes, 1 1/2 oz ginger, 1/2 oz nutmeg, cloves, saffron and 1/2 lb sweet spices.

?? Oz chicken (how many pounds/ oz per whole chicken?), 24 oz almonds, 12 oz currants, 12 oz dates, 12 oz prunes, 1 1/2 oz ginger, 1/2 a whole nutmeg, cloves, saffron and 6 oz sweet spices. With the different translations, I'm wondering if some of the spices should instead be 1/6 oz nutmeg, 1/6 oz cloves and 1/6 oz saffron as that would be "1/2 (oz)between".

I plan on at least cutting this recipe in 1/2 if not further.
Breaking down all measurements by half (to serve 6)gives a tentative: 3 young chickens, 12 oz almond (6 oz whole peeled, 6 oz unpeeled), 6 oz currants, 6 oz dates, 6 oz prunes, 3/4 oz ginger, 1/4 oz whole nutmeg, 1/4 oz cloves, 1/4 oz saffron, (or should it be 1/12 oz each?).
For two people:
1 young chicken, enough lard to sauté, 4 oz almonds (2 whole peeled, 2 un-peeled), 2 oz currants, 2 oz dates, 2 oz prunes, 1/4 oz ginger, 1/12 whole nutmeg (or 1/6 oz), 1/6 oz cloves, 1/6 oz saffron.
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Friday, March 19th, 2010 04:43 pm
This is still extremely rough, I'm looking at two different translations, and looking back at the original trying to figure out why they're so different. I definately like E's 2001 translation better, at this point it just looks closer- I'm still trying to learn early culinary Italian.

IV. Ambrosino bono e perfecto et cetera.
Se tu voi fare ambrosino per XII persone, toy VI caponi magretti e ij libre de mandole, e una libra de uva passa, e 1 datali, e una libra de brognole, e 1 1/2 de genzevro fino, e una 1/2 entra noce moschate e garof. E zafarano intrego, e meza libra de specie dolçe fine, e toy li caponi e smenbrali e fane septe peze de l’ uno, e mitili a sofrizer in lardo desfato e colado in una cita. E quando sono ben sofriti, la prima cossa che tu gli mitti sia lo zenzevro roto e le noce moschate taiate ben trite, e canella rota in bone peçe, e garofalli intrigi, e mandole intriege monde, e datali intrigi ben lavati, e meti dentro specie dolçe [in] gran quantità, e fay coxere un pocho; e quando è coto trai indrieto; quando è coto meti le prime mandole con le gusse non monde, e macenali e destempera con aceto pocho, e quando è cota la vivanda, cola li mandole e mettili sugo con specie e zafarano asay. Questa vivanda vuole essere agra e dolza e vermiglia e stretta, traila indietro e dala per scudelle e polveriza specie di sopra le scudelle.
IV. Ambrosino good and perfect and such~ dueling translations
If you wish to make ambrosino for twelve persons take six fat capons and two 2 pounds of almonds and one pound of dried grapes (another translation has this as currants) and 1 dates and one pound of prunes. Also take 1 1/2 of fine ginger (no measure is given but ounces seem more likely than pounds), half between nutmeg, cloves, and whole saffron (alternate translation: half a whole nutmeg, cloves, saffron) and half pound of sweet spices. Take the capons and dismember them and make into seven pieces of each, and put them to saute in melted lard and strain in a vessel (alternate: fry the clean lard in the pan. And when they are well sauteed , the first thing you put on them is the broken ginger, and the nutmeg, sliced well stamped and cinnamon broken into good pieces, and whole cloves, and whole peeled almonds, and whole dates well washed, and put in sweet spices in great quantity, and make it cook a little,: and when it is cook turn it out; when it is cooked put the first almonds with the things not peeled.
(alternate translation: When the capons are well fried add the saffron rubbed, the nutmeg that has been chopped finely, the cinnamon broken into pieces, whole cloves, whole peeled almonds, dates, currants and prunes. Add a large amount of sweet spices and let it cook a little longer. When it is cooked reduce the heat or remove from the flame. Take unskinned almonds, grind and temper with a little vinegar, strain the almonds and add the almond milk to the dish, and add to the sauce spices and enough saffron. This dish should be sharp and sweet and red in color. Serve in a bowl with powdered spices over it).

Renaissance Italy used the Troy pound (~373g, 12oz to the lb) so that's what I'm using here to extrapolate amounts into modern oz.

6 young chickens, 2 lb almonds, 1 lb currants, 1 lb dates, 1 lb prunes, 1 1/2 oz ginger, 3 broken sticks cinnamon?, 1/2 oz nutmeg, cloves, saffron and 1/2 lb sweet spices.

?? Oz chicken (how many pounds/ oz of per chicken?), 24 oz almonds, 12 oz currants, 12 oz dates, 12 oz prunes, 1 1/2 oz ginger, 1/2 a whole nutmeg, cloves, saffron and 6 oz sweet spices. With the differnt translations, I'm wondering if some of the spices should instead be 1/6 oz nutmeg, 1/6 oz cloves and 1/6 oz saffron as that would be "1/2 (oz)between".
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 09:43 am
I love this sauce, it's like getting bare knuckle punched in the face with garlic, but at least the roasting mellows it, a bit. It's good with all kinds of meats, as a dip, on bread, just about anywhere garlicky goodness would be welcome. If you choose a veggie broth it would also be totally appropriate for lent as well. :)

III. Agliata
Agliata a ogni carne, toy l’aglio e coxilo sotto la braxa, poi pestalo bene e mitili aglio crudo, e una molena de pan, e specie dolçe, e brodo; e maxena ogni cossa insema e fala un pocho bolire e dala chalda.

III. Agliata, garlic sauce
Agliata for every meat, take the garlic and cook it under the coals then grind to a paste well and mix it with raw garlic and crumb of bread, sweat spices and broth, and mix each thing together and let it boil a little and serve it warm.

My interpretation:
Take two heads (not clove, whole head) of fresh garlic. Cut off just the tops and wrap in tinfoil with a little water. Roast on a cookie sheet for about 45- 60 minutes at 350. Once they’ve cooled, squeeze out the garlic and throw out skins. It should yield approx. 1/2 cup of roasted garlic mush. Add 1/4 cup fresh raw garlic chopped or crushed; blend in either food processor or blender until perfectly smooth. Add broth* and bread crumbs** until desired consistency is achieved. Add Venetian sweet spice mix to taste***
*The original manuscript calls for broth, I've used either chicken or beef, and have also made a tasty vegetarian alternative with either veggie broth, or vinegar which adds a slight back-kick to the in your face garlic flavor. I'd start with adding 1/8 cup of both the liquid of your choice and the bread crumbs and keep going with one or the other until its the thickness you'd like. You can either make this quite pasty or fairly liquid. If it needs to travel you can also make up the garlic paste and add the liquid on-site.
**I make my own bread crumbs by running white bread through the food processor. It's both cheeper and less gritty than the cans of "bread crumbs"
***LXXIV. Specie dolce per assay cosse bone e fine / LXXIV Sweet spices, enough for many good and fine things
1/4 oz. cloves, 1 oz. "good" ginger, 1 oz. "soft or sweet"cinnamon, 1 oz. Indian bay leaves

Serves 4 garlic lovers or up to 8 flavor weenies. :) Also great made in big batches, as it's not delicate and won't break on you. If you want to make it easier you can used pre-peeled garlic in the same ratio and roast it in tin foil with a little water or in a covered dish with just a little water so it doesn’t dry out. For a 100 person wedding feast I've used about 10 heads of roasted garlic and went heavier on the raw crushed garlic and only had about 1/4 cup left over. For my brother's smaller wedding I used about 4 heads, and one of the attendees decided it was a great chip-dip, and BBQ glaze. :) You won't have the most romantic breath after eating it, but you probably won't get sick for at least a week either.
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Friday, February 26th, 2010 03:33 pm
3 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp clairified lard (or for one piece EVOO)
1/2 medium onion (I think I could have added more)
1/4 tsp sweet spice mix, from same manuscript... See below
1/4 tsp black and strong spice mix, from same manuscript
1/2 tsp ginger, 1 pinch clove, 1/8 tsp grains of paradise
sauce was
1 1/2 cup ground un-peeled almonds
1 1/2 cup Agresto/ Verjuice/ sour grape juice
6-10 threads of saffron

The spice mixes are one's I've done previously to donate to largess. Here's the source information: http://ayeshadream.livejournal.com/302581.html
Here's my interpritation, and what they look like in the bottles w/ lables:
http://ayeshadream.livejournal.com/310674.html
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Thursday, February 18th, 2010 02:07 pm
II.Ambroyno.
Se tu voy fare ambroyno, toy polastri e smenbrali, toy cipole bene trita e frigeli in lardo colato, e mitili specie dolce e forte, e zenzevro, e cenamo, e garofali, e melegette, e taglia menuti con coltello, e mitili a frizere ogni cossa in sembre. E toy mandole non monde, e maxenate, e toy agresta, e zafarano, insema. Quando sono cocti meti sopra li polastri. A tri polastri vole libre ij de mandole.

II. (2) Ambroyno (a sweet food) {Chicken in spicy onion and almond sauce}
If you want to make ambroyno, take a hen and chop in pieces, take onions well minced and fry them in strained lard, and put in sweet and strong spices, and ginger, and cloves, and grains of paradise, and cut them small with a knife and put them to fry everything together. And take un-peeled almonds and grind them and take verjuice and saffron together. When it is cooked put it over the hen. For three hens you want a pound of almonds.

I'm going to make this for dinner tonight. Rather than using a whole chicken I'm going to start with the chicken breasts I have and try it, and I'll likely do another trial next week with a cut up full fryer. One of the big things with this recipe is that is dosen't really seem to give any
measurements other than the final note of a pound of almonds if you're using three hens. I guess my question would be by only using the breasts what percentage of the chicken should I factor in for the quantity of almonds? 1/2, 1/3, 1/4?

I'm cooking dinner for 3 adults so I'll be using 3 chicken breasts and as one of the diners dosen't eat pork or pork fat, I'll be doing two variations of this recipe. The first one that will be more true to the original will have the two chicken breasts, minced onion, fried in clairified lard then spices and ground almond, verjuice and saffron added.

The other chicken breast and onion will be sauteed in a little extra virgin olive oil, then the rest added as above.

Its interesting to me that this dosen't seem to call for straining out the almond solids as is usually done with almond milk, whether water, vinegar or verjuice based, whereas another just two down from this one "IV. Ambrosino bono e perfecto et cetera" specifies "when it is cooked first put in the almonds with the shell not peeled (unskinned) and grind and distemper (mix) with little vinegar and when it is cooked the dish, strain the almonds". To me this dosen't sound like an oversite, I think you're meant to leave the almond solids in to thicken the sauce. I may try the lard free version with strained verjuice based almond milk just to see what the final flavor and texture results of both are.
allvenicechannel: St. Mark's Lion, Symbol of Venice (pic#410719)
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 10:04 am
I did another run through of the Almond milk pudding and was really happy the results and the information that came out of it.

I tripled the amount of almond milk as that would have been the yield from the amount of almonds listed. I whisked in the full amount of rice starch then transferred it to a container as I wanted to see how well it would hold. We went to a foodie friend's house for a gathering and while there we tried the pudding and it was quite nice, kind of a cross between an almond pudding and cream of wheat. While it isn't listed in the original recipe, it seemed to lend itself well to being molded as it came out of the container in perfect form.

The interpretation/ recreation is currently:
18 oz Almond milk
3 oz Amido/ starch (I used rice starch, but will be trying wheat starch next)
1.5 oz sugar (I used superfine baker's sugar)
1.5 oz peeled pine nuts
.015625 oz cloves (I'll call it .02)

I'm still planning on trying it with home made starch and the the wheat starch that Fiamma gave me over the weekend when I stopped by to purchase some lovely verjuice from her for the next recipe, Ambroyno.

Thank you to everyone who gave me some great input, most especially Eden!
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Saturday, February 13th, 2010 11:21 am
I went to my local grocery store that carries Bob's Red Mill products, but sadly they didn't have any wheat starch as it was a very limited selection. I then went to a local Asian supermarket (which was an adventure this close to Chinese new year) and while they didn't have any wheat starch, they did have rice starch so this first set of experiments was using that. There are still some questions, but I think I'm off to a good start.

Here's the translation I've been working from to start things off:
I. (1) Amidono of starch {Almond milk pudding}
If you want to make starch dish for 12 people, take two pounds of almonds and one pound of amido/starch. And half of sugar and take ½ of peeled pine nuts and half a quarter (1/8th) of cloves, and take the almonds well peeled and well crushed, and temper them with clear water well boiled and separate the milk and set it to boil, of that that remains raw put to soften the starch. When the milk has boiled enough, temper the starch and put it into and mix thick for serving, and put in enough sugar, and dust with scrapes of sugar and cloves and whole pine nuts. And if you want to make it for more persons or for less, make it like this to this same recipe and it is a perfect food.

Using the weights kindly supplied by Antonia and others I recalculated the amounts given for a 1/4 recipe using the Troy pound.

6 oz Almond
3 oz Amido/ starch
1.5 oz sugar (I used superfine baker's sugar)
1.5 oz peeled pine nuts
.5 oz cloves

I started with a water based almond milk and left roughly half out, which I mixed with the rice starch. Once the almond milk had boiled I poured that into the starch/almond milk mixture and then back into the pan to slowly bring it back up to temperature. At this point I was struggling with lumps quite a bit, but after managing to work most of them out added the sugar to taste leaving some for garnish and added some of the cloves and the pine nuts.

I wasn't very happy with this first try. The texture wasn't great and having measured out all the ingredients, but adding the sugar and cloves slowly the clove was still much, much too overwhelming. I could definitely see it's potential as it was quite tasty if visually unappealing before the clove was added.

The second run through was done by having measured out the calculated amounts again, but this time adding things slowly until the right balance seemed to be reached. I also realized that as this starch was already light and fluffy, having the consistency of powdered sugar that it likely didn't need the step of "softening" which greatly increased the lumpiness.

This time I brought all of the almond milk (6oz) to a boil and sifted the starch into it and then whisked it smooth. The resulting texture was nearly perfect. However when I reached 1 oz of the starch, it set perfectly and I chose not to try to over saturate it to add the other 2/3 of the called for amount. I then whisked in most of the sugar to taste, plated it and sprinkled it with a bit more sugar, pine nuts, and a pinch of clove.

The result was very well recivied. My stunt non-foodie even asked for more and there was nothing left at the end!

I've got some theories as to why the interpretation that seemed to work best had differnent measurements than the original. The first is the almonds/ almond milk. Not having been given the amount of boiled water used for the almond milk I used to measurement given for the almonds as a placeholder and I'm fairly certain this was the biggest miscalculation. When I make almond milk I typically will use 1 cup of skinless almonds to 3 cups of water, which yeilds 3 cups of almond milk + solids to be strained. If I were to increase the amount of almond milk by three that would put the texture just about perfect, and would increase the bulk enough that the amount of sugar wouldn't overpower the delicate flavor (but that may have been what they were aming for as sugar=prestige).

My theory on the completely overwhelming cloves is that they would have been more garnish, and as the description was "scrapes of sugar and cloves" that they weren't ground which difuses the flavor much more powerfully and might to some degree have been eaten around.

I'm still planning on doing at least one more run with this recipe using my almond milk theory, and I've had quite a bit of fun!
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 11:23 am
I've actually started on the process of recreating this first recipe, but I've already hit a slight bump in the road. In this first recipe, there's an ingrediant I need to make before I can continue on, a recipe within a recipe if you will.

It mentions amido/starch, one pound of it to be exact. Fiamma was nice enough to find reference to it in Cindy Renfrow's glossery, http://www.thousandeggs.com/glossary.html:
* Amydone, amidon , amidum= Starch from wheat or rye. Basically, wheat (or rye, rice) is soaked in water for several days; the water must be changed several times. Then the wheat is pounded and put into water again. This mash is filtered somehow and dried in the sun. The result seems to be starch that must be powdered again before it is put to use.

As rice was one of the options listed, I decided to use an arborio rice and measured out 2 cups rice to 2 cups water in a clear airtight container. Over the course of a week I changed the water 4 times, trying to drain it as completely as possible and replacing the same amount of water.

The issue is, it seems to have fermented. When I took it out and started to grind it in my mortar and pestle it smelled so off to me I just tossed it all. I'm not sure if it was a factor of the container being airtight, or that I should have been changing the water morning and night and not for a full week. I'll definitely be experimenting further, perhaps with a clay pot, and/ or for a shorter time.
allvenicechannel: St. Mark's Lion, Symbol of Venice (pic#410719)
Friday, January 22nd, 2010 10:45 am
I love cooking, feeding people, history, and I really, really love Venice. We've all got to eat, why not bring all of these things together for one delicious adventure?

I've been playing with Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco (14th/15th c.) (Anonimo Veneziano) almost as long as I've been playing with historical food in general. A friend (baroness_fiamma on LJ) once gave me a link to the online version and I ran with it and haven't looked back since.

I plan to start with the first recipe, and work my way through it in order. I will mostly be cooking this for my friends and family (and myself), so it will also be an adventure in how some modern paletes relate to these foods.
I'm not giving myself a time limit at this point, but I will aim for one recipe per week depending on life, and the logistical needs of that recipe. Some of these are well loved and often repeated favorites, other's I've never tried before.

I will try to follow the historical directions and ingredients as closely as possible, and will clearly state where I make any changes.

Here's the information on the sources I'll be referencing through out this project:
Translation of Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco(14th/15th c.)(Anonimo Veneziano)
Translated 2002 CE by Helewyse de Birkestad (MKA Louise Smithson) from the transcription of Ludovico Frati (ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899 prepared and made available online by Thomas Gloning.
Thomas Glonings transcription in Italian can be found here, http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/%7Egloning/frati.htm
****************************
* Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco (14th/15th c.) (Anonimo Veneziano)
* -- This version based on: Ludovico Frati (ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899.
* -- Other edition in: E. Faccioli: Arte della cucina. Milano 1966, Vol. I, 59-105. (useful notes!)
* -- Ms.: Biblioteca Casanatense No. 225, 15th c.
* -- Digital version: Thomas Gloning, 22.12.2000; v.1
* -- © You may use/ distribute this version for non-profit use only (scholarly, private use) provided that
* this header is included. Please report errors: gloning@mailer.uni-marburg.de
*****************************************
You may use/ distribute this version for non-profit use only (scholarly, private use) provided that this header is included. Contact me by email at, smithson@mco.edu or at helewyse@yahoo.com
allvenicechannel: (Default)
Thursday, January 21st, 2010 10:51 am
It just occurred to me that not only should I start using this account more, I should definately start using it for all of my Venice-centric (or at least related) research.

Having just found out about this upcoming and amazing conference in April I'm dying to go, but debating whether staying home would be the more responsible choice. Here's the information: http://www.rsa.org/meetings/annualmeeting.php

So, I've still got visions of attending that April Renaissance Society of America conference, and the mancreature has been saying things like "well, would you regret not going", and "if you can do it...", which makes it hard to be responsible and tell myself I shouldn't put another trip on my credit card while I'm not yet done paying off the last one.

So, I just happened to stumble across some flight prices online and they seem to range from $1198 to $1441, round trip. Strangely enough the cheeper ones seem to be the flights with less layovers, but they are in Germany and maybe they assume no one want to fly through Frankfurt? The hotel options seem to vary widely and it's hard to tell from their little blurb which ones might be a good choice. Prices for Air & hotel packages range from $1186 to $1656. If price was the absolute bottom line the package for $1186 looks astoundingly good as it's actually below the lowest price for flights alone!
$1186 Piave Hotel 3.2 of 5 rating
$1193 Hotel Ariston 3.3 of 5 rating
$1204 Hotel Alla Salute 301 of 5 ratings
If this actually looks like it may possibly happen I'll need to verify where the lectures I want to attend will be located and if we want to have that weigh on where we stay (if I can talk a friend into going with me.

Some of the Lectures I'm particularly interested in:
CAROLINE CASTIGLIONE, BROWN UNIVERSITY
Unauthorized Editions: Women Writing on the Household in Late Renaissance Rome Few women authored printed works on the management of households and the raising of children in Renaissance Italy. Although women of all classes were heavily involved in such labor, the authorities in print on such subjects were largely male. This paper will examine manuscript writings by Roman women who considered the travails of family life from a woman’s point of view. While such writings remained unpublished and were largely epistolary in form, they suggest that female reticence on such subjects in print belied the loquacity of female interlocutors on matters medical, familial, social, and psychological. This paper will investigate the extent to which women used their writing on such themes to “talk back” to male authorities about contested issues. How did these unpublished authors resolve the concomitant dilemma created by their claims to authority and knowledge, since even the best run households were beset by illnesses and childhood death?

Università Ca’ Foscari - San Basilio - Aula 2C
REWRITING CONVENTIONS IN LATE RENAISSANCE ITALY
Organizer: GIOVANNA BENADUSI, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
Chair: JOHN JEFFRIES MARTIN, DUKE UNIVERSITY
GIOVANNA BENADUSI, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
The Law and the Fabric of Everyday Life in Tuscany
This paper addresses the significance of notarial documents, in particular last wills, for women in late Renaissance Italy. Recent scholarship has suggested that in their last wills upper-class women devised different forms of agency in order to circumvent the structures of patriarchy. But many of the women who drafted last wills had no wealth to speak of, yet they dictated last wills in great numbers. By shifting the focus from patrician women to ordinary women, my paper questions the conventional assumption that all last wills were naturally embedded in the same legal and familial logic of upper-class families. A close reading of the relationships that crystallized between notaries and their lower-class clients demonstrates how last wills became an accessible public outlet where notaries combined the prescribed law of statutes with the concerns and needs of their clients, who used the destiny of their possessions to weave together the law and their everyday life.

Archivio di Stato - Aula della Scuola di Archivistica, Paleografia e Diplomatica
THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE PAST II
Organizer: DAVID KARMON, COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS Chair: REBECCA ZORACH, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO Respondent: CAMMY BROTHERS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA KARLA MALLETTE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, ANN ARBOR
Lingua Franca in the Mediterranean
During the early modern period, travelers in the Mediterranean attested the existence of a new language specially adapted to the needs of Mediterranean merchants and travelers: the lingua franca. The term franca — a Romance borrowing of an Arabic borrowing of a Greek borrowing of a Latin word — referred to Western Christians, or “Franks.” And the language, a pidgin Italian, allowed members of distinct linguistic, ethnic, and confessional communities to communicate throughout the Mediterranean. In this talk, I will address the emergence and the development of the language between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, arguing that the evolution of the
new tongue must be understood against the backdrop of economic, social, and military history. And, like the dragomans, renegades, and corsairs who used the tongue, the lingua franca attests to the uneasy yet fascinating transition from medieval to modern, and the accommodations — both private and social — that this process demanded.