recipe

Pipefarces

Let’s talk pipefarces.

Earlier this year, I had been lazily researching for an idea I’d had for a class, which essentially was how to pad your medieval menu with food that’s easily relatable to the modern palate. Several years ago, I’d discovered that whipped cream was a medieval treat, but discovering pipefarces blew that out of the water.

Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll the slices of cheese in the batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also be made using beef marrow.

Mozzarella sticks? In a medieval cookbook? Yes. Yes, mozzarella sticks, as we know and love them today, in Le Menagier de Paris, 1393.

The recipe is easy enough — roll cheese slices in a simple batter and fry them. For this feast, I had my kitchen staff dip the cheese in egg, then breadcrumbs, repeat that, and then place them in the hot oil. Though not the precise same method, this one is tried and true, and resulted in perfect mozzarella sticks. (I also pre-made some gluten-free mozz sticks using gluten-free breadcrumbs!) I’ll take the steps to combine the flour and egg mixture the next time I make these for an event.

Lord Ulrich Eisenhand and Rohesia Whytemere, my fry cooks! Photo by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.

 

Recipe: Subtlety – Lutefisk

I know what you’re thinking. “Lutefisk as a subtlety? Have you lost your mind?” The answer to that it yes, and probably. I call this a subtlety, because subtleties were food that was meant to be entertaining.

Here are three pieces of important background information for those may be unaware:

1. Lutefisk is a traditional Scandinavian dish of aged whitefish cured in lye, then cooked in some fashion. Some lovingly describe it as “putrid.”

2. Lutefisk was added to my Viking World Tour menu for White Hart in 2014, representing a dish from Iceland.

3. I like surprising people. And puns.

That last note is important. My co-feastocrat, Lady Odette, pulled off the execution flawlessly after I told her my idea. I heralded in the dish to increase the nervousness of my feast patrons, and had the servers hold the dish high when taking it out. It was served to HRM and the other tables at the same time, and the reactions were exactly what I had hoped for: groans and relieved laughter, because instead of preserved lye-fish, they got candy!

Here’s how you can force tasty puns upon your own friends!

image

Lutefisk Subtlety

Ingredients:
Chocolate for melting (bars or chips)
Swedish fish

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a metal bowl resting partially in a pot of hot water. Whisk to ensure there are no clumps, then pour into your choice of piping tools (or just some wax paper rolled into a cone). Pipe onto wax paper in the shape of a lute. Let cool, then decorate with Swedish fish. Enjoy the groans from your friends.

Stuffed Eggs Recipe

In the pursuit of foods that would be very recognizable to the modern palate for my 2013 Helvetia menu, I found myself with another 16th century German recipe, this time from the anonymous Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch. Christianne Muusers had already translated and adapted this recipe over at her blog Coquinaria, and I had great success with it. What’s not to love about medieval fried and ‘not-so-deviled’ eggs?

Stuffed Eggs

The original author used the Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch, as published by Hans Wiswe (edition 1956, p.36), recipe 32, and the Ehlerts translation in modern German, in the Kochbuch des Mittelalters, p.77.

32. Item wyltu maken halve eygere, de ghevullet syn, nym eigere unde sede de hart. Snyt se mydden eyntwey. Nym den doder dar uth den wytten. Stot de doder yn eynen moser. Wen se ghestot synt, so sla dartho roe eigere. Nym salvie unde krusemynte, peper unde safferan. Unde vulle den doder wedder yn dat wytte. So legge se in bottere unde brat se aff alle hart. Nym etick unde ander eygere. Make darover eyn gud so:et. Honnich, peper unde saffran do dartho. Solte dat tomathe. Unde giff dat hen

If you want to make halved eggs that are stuffed, take eggs and boil them hard. Cut them in two. Take the yolks from the whites. Pound the yolks in a mortar. When they are mashed, mix in raw eggs. Take sage and costmary, pepper and saffron. And stuff the yolks back in the whites. Then lay them in butter and bake them very well. Take vinegar and other eggs. Make a good sauce of these. Add honey, pepper and saffron. Salt to taste. And serve it forth.

Modern Recipe:

6 hardboiled eggs
Butter

1 raw egg
The yolks of the hardboiled eggs
4 leaves mint, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp saffron (bruised in 1/2 Tbsp hot water)

2 eggs
2 to 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp clear honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the hardboiled eggs and cut them in half length-wise. Take the yolks and mash them together well, then add the raw egg, the chopped herbs, and the spices (and water). Prepare your sauce by gently mixing your eggs, vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper.

Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat and fry the eggs, stuffing-side down first, for a few minutes on each side. Move them to a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, and finish in the oven at 300*F for 15min. Serve warm.

Strauben Recipe

As published in Æthelmearc’s unofficial companion to the Æstel, the Æstel Æxtra:

Recipe: Strauben
by Lady Astridr Vigaskegg

Strauben in the German equivalent of funnel cake. It was recorded in 1553 by a lady named Sabina Welserin in her cookbook, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. It is served with snow (whipped cream) and fruit preserves.

86 If you would bake a good fried Strauben

Then bring water to a boil and pour it on the flour, stir it together well, beat eggs into it and salt it, take a small Strauben funnel, which should have a hole as wide as a finger, and let the batter run through and fry the Strauben. The batter should be warm.

Modern Recipe:

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 2/3 c all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 c white sugar
2 c milk

Mix salt, baking powder, and half the flour, then set aside.

Cream eggs, sugar, and milk. Add dry mix and beat until smooth. Add flour until desired consistency is reached. Remember, this has to run through a funnel!

Heat the oil to about 375*F, and pour in batter through funnel. Fry until golden brown, and use tongs (and maybe a spatula) to flip the cake. Drain on paper towels, then serve.

Rabbit and Apple Quiche Recipe

As published in BMDL’s newsletter, The Althing:

Rabbit and Apple Quiche
by Lady Astridr Vigaskegg

When I cooked this for my feast at White Hart XV, I used one whole rabbit that had been boiled in herbs, then deboned, to cover 12 quiches. I can tell you that there wasn’t much rabbit in each quiche, so however much you want to add to one pie is up to your discretion.

Pie crust
Rabbit meat, pre-cooked
1 apple
1 onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
White wine
Sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare your pie crust. (Frozen, homemade.. however you choose!) Pull apart your rabbit meat and set it aside. Peel, core, and dice the apple and the onion. Use the oil to sautee the apple and onion, and add a dusting of sugar and a splash of white wine. Cook until apples and onions are soft, then add the rabbit meat. Add another small splash of wine and let cook for about 5 minutes, or just long enough to let the flavors start to mingle. Remove from heat and pour into the pie tin. Beat the eggs into the milk and cream, along with salt and pepper to taste, then pour into the pie tin. Bake for 30-35 min, until crust is golden brown and center of quiche is set. Let cool before serving.

Venison in a Sauce Recipe

As published in the Barony of Blackstone Mountain’s newsletter, The Banner, and BMDL’s newsletter, The Althing:

Venison in a Sauce
by Lady Astridr Vigaskegg

While doing my research for the feast at Leihen Helvetia, I fell in love with this particular recipe from Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. I was able to bring about ~10 gallons of venison (thanks, Dad!) to the feast, and I prepared this dish with no instructions aside from the original recipe itself. I’ve done my best to transcribe the process into approximate measurements, as “shake a handful or so of ____ over the large pan of ~4.5 gallons of venison until it looks decent” really doesn’t help anyone reading this. My two bits of advice for this are: 1.) To get as much blood out of the venison as possible, brine it once or twice in the water/vinegar solution. 2.) Play around with the spices before you add it to the venison, if you’re uncertain. As long as you keep the spices balanced, there’s no wrong way to make this, so have fun with it!

Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, 1553
7 To make a sauce in which to put a haunch of venison

Lard it well and roast it and make a good sauce for it. Take Reinfal and stir cherry syrup into it, and fry Lebkuchen in fat and chop good sweet apples, almonds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, currants, pepper and raisins and let it all cook together. When you want to serve it, then pour the sauce over it. It is also for marinating a boar’s head. Then cook it in two parts water and one third vinegar. The head of a pig is also made in this manner.

Modern Recipe:
Venison
Apple cider vinegar
Water
1 c white wine
1/3 c cherry (or berry) juice concentrate
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1 c water
2 large apples (or pears), sliced
5 whole cloves
3 small cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c almond slivers
1/2 c currants (or dried cranberries)
1/2 c raisins
2 T butter
Lebkuchen crumbs*

Brine venison in a 1 part-salt water and 1 part-apple cider vinegar mixture for about an hour. Rinse the meat, then set into your roasting pan. Combine the wine, syrup concentrate, and vinegar with your spices and apples and pour over the venison. Cover and bake at 325*F for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Fry the Lebkuchen in butter, add to the sauce and drippings to thicken it.

*Note: Lebkuchen cookies are a type of gingerbread cookie made with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger.

Venison & Pork Meatballs Recipe

Meatballs

This past weekend was the Baronial Investiture in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael here in AEthelmearc, and it was also where Baron Janos Meszaros sat vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Laurel. Sir Ian, who prepared the main spread, was kind enough to ask me if there was anything I’d like to contribute, so I volunteered meatballs — because really, who doesn’t like meatballs? They’re finger food, they’re period, and you can serve them with a variety of sauces or plain! And there happened to be roughly three pounds of venison/pork sausage in my freezer, so I decided to play with the Byzantine Keftedes recipe found over at Gode Cookery.

Aside from the obvious modification of the venison/pork sausage instead of beef or veal, I also swapped out cinnamon for ginger, added a splash of apple cider vinegar, and ditched the deep-frying (with barley) in favor of pan-searing and baking. (I’m also not a fan of writing down how much of what I use, because I tend to favor the medieval method of “until it tastes good,” so this recipe is probably best used as a guide.)

I served these with lingon berries and mustard at the vigil, and they were gone in less than 2 hours. These came out very soft, so I advise being gentle while pan-frying and transporting them.


Venison & Pork Meatballs

Makes: ~95 Meatballs

3lbs ground venison & pork (50/50 blend; pork fat content unknown)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 handful of parsley leaves (ditch the stems!)
6-10 mint leaves
3 Tbsp ginger, minced
Salt
Pepper
2-3 egg yolks
Splash of red wine
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Add chopped onion, garlic, parsley, mint, and ginger to food processor. Process until finely chopped. (I wanted a smooth texture for the meatballs, so I processed these very finely.) Drain excess liquid if necessary. Add mixture to meat, with salt, pepper, egg yolks, wine, and apple cider vinegar. Incorporate by hand. Add breadcrumbs until desired texture is reached. Pan-sear in olive oil and simmer in wine for a few minutes on med-low, then finish in the oven at 325F for about 15 min. (Mine were soft and had a good bit of liquid in them, so I wasn’t too worried about them drying out. Judge your own carefully!)