Another lunch menu

First a little reminder to myself.  An iPad is a wonderful thing, but when you have to leave it on the windowsill on the other side of the kitchen for connectivity etc, and you are relying on swipe to unlock each time and calling up the web to access your recipes you will begin to swear and sweat and wish you’d just printed the stupid things off.  So print the recipes out, always and without fail, and that way you can also have each recipe where you happen to be working on the dish and you don’t have to worry about eggy fingers or milk spilling etc. etc.

In an effort to try to keep track of lunches and recipes I’ve worked on I just wanted to make a quick post on what I remember of my most recent one:

1. Venetian stuffed eggs or Ove Plene

from  Louise Smithson’s “Translation of Libro Di Cucina/ Libro per Cuoco (14th/15th C.)  Medieval Cookery, 28 Mar. 2005. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://helewyse.medievalcookery.com/libro.html>

If you want to make stuffed eggs.  Take the eggs and put them to boil and make sure that they are hard cooked.  When they are cooked pull them out (of the hot water) and put them in cold water.  Peel and slice (the eggs) in half and remove the yolk (reserve).  Take the fattest sweetest cheese that you have.  Take the best herbs that you have, peel them (from the stalk) wash and grind them together in a mortar.  When they (the herbs) are well ground take the egg yolks, the cheese and spices and put them in the mortar with the good herbs.  Grind all these things together to make a fine paste and temper (mix) with raw eggs until it is good (has the right consistency).  Meanwhile put a frying pan over the fire.  Take the egg halves and stuff with the paste (of egg yolks and cheese) and put them to cook (in the frying pan).  When they are cooked remove from the pan and powder them with sugar before serving them hot to the table.  And if you want to serve them savory take them (without sugaring them), etc.

I used mozzarella cheese, parsley, chives, basil, margoram and Poudre Douce with salt.  mmmmmmm.

2. Fave (Martino of Como’s The Art of Cooking p 66)

Take some fava beans, and sage, and onions, and figs, and some apples, as above, and some good herbs as well, and mix together; and fry in a pan with oil; and after you have finished preparing this fry, remove and top with some good spices.

I used dates the first time I tried this, (couldn’t find a fig kind on the day) and then for dinner on New Year’s Day I made it again with figs the second time.  I personally prefer the taste of the figs personally but both are fine.  I used roughly equal amounts of beans, chopped apple and onion and maybe about 2/3 figs/dates.  I used lots of fresh parsley as well.  For spice I used cinnamon, clove and ginger.  On New Years I roasted loin of pork with apple and black pudding stuffing and it all worked fantastically.

Also from the Art of Cooking I used the Frictata recipe.  At one stage I pulled this enormous golden mountain from the oven, it was glorious looking, it nearly upset me to think of its inevitable collapse, but in the end the sagging wasn’t quite as horribly as I was afraid it would be.

Beat the eggs well together with a little water and milk to make the frittata softer; likewise, add some good cheese that has been grated and cook the frittata in good butter to make it more fatty. Not that, for it to be good, it should not be stirred or overly cooked. If you wish to make it green, take the things mentioned above and add the water from the following herbs: chard, a generous amount of parsley, borage, mint, marjoram, and a lesser amount of sage, passing through a stamine to obtaine their water; then remove the herbs that will have been crushed in the stamine.
Another way to make a frittata with herbs is to take the above herbs, finely chop, and fry in good butter or oil, and then by mixing them together with the eggs and the other ingredients mentioned above, you make the frittata which should be carefully cooked when well seasoned, but not overcooked.

I used 16 eggs, about a cup of milk, a good solid chunk of butter and parmesan cheese, and finely chopped sage, a little thyme, basil, marjoram and lots of parsley.

3.  Beef Stew – a variation on a beef stew I worked on at Yuletide University last year that was very popular and stuck in my head as the first time I thought ‘christmas spices’ actually do work with beef, who knew!?   This one I don’t have the original source for as I begged it from the feast cook, Lady Melisande, I must try and source it at some point.  This is the small quantity version I received, obviously I increased the quantities for full lunch serving 🙂

Beef with Prosciutto and Currants

500g (1lb) rump or Topside of veal
100g (3.5oz) prosciutto (I replaced this with bacon, for budgetary reasons)
1 small onion
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
0.5-1 teaspoon cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons currants
0.5 cup veal/beef or chicken stock
3 eggs
0.5 cup verjuice

Slice the beef into strips, finely chop the bacon/ prosciutto and onion. Fry onion in olive oil until soft and transparent, add prosciutto and meat and cook, turning with a fork, until the meat has lost its pinkness. Add spices, including plenty of pepper, currants and stock and simmer over moderate heat for 10-15mins, uncovered; by the end of this time most of the liquid should have been absorbed or evaporated. Beat eggs with verjuice and add to pan, stirring.  Continue stirring until thickened.  This sauce helps hold the meat together.  Serve hot.

I also cooked a large amount of rice.

4. Fungi de Monte: Basically mushrooms cooked with sliced onion or leek, with nutmeg, lots of pepper, oil and salt.

5. Cucummern: lots of sliced peeled cucumber tossed in olive oil with lots of black pepper.

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