Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Potage, with Spinage

Take only the Heart or soundest part of the Spinage, which must be chopt small and stew'd in a little Pot with Pease-soop, a Carret, an Onion stuck with Cloves, and the other seasoning Ingredients. As the Crusts are soaking, scrape in some Parmesan, and dress your Potage; garnishing it with sticks of Cinnamon, round about, and one in the middle; or else with Onions, or fried Bread.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 216.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sauce à la Czarienne - Russian Sauce

You have a purposely made a reduction of a beautiful color [from whatever meat or fish you have cooked, i.e., brown sauce made by deglazing pan with liquid] in which you make a liaison a little before serving, with two rolls of butter of Vamvre [Vanvres-fresh sweet butter], minced grapes of Corinth [small grapes], long pepper[s] which are in gherkins [entire long pepper fruit included in pickling of cornichons—these have a sweet, hot taste], green gherkins [cornichons—small whole pickled cucumbers] & two Lemon slices, heat through [& strain if desired] & spoon upon your entrée and serve. You can make it the same with white sauce, without binding with reduction, by adding a little butter, long pepper, & gherkins.
* * * * *
Sauce à la Czarienne.

Vous avez une essence faite exprès de belle couleur dans laquelle vous mettez, un peu avant de servir, deux pains de beurre de Vamvre, raisin de Corinthe, poivre long qui se trouve dans les cornichons, & cornichons verds, deux tranches de Citron, faire chauffer & dressez sur votre entrée à ce que vous voulez. Vous pouvez la faire au blanc de même, sans lier avec de la réduction, mais y mettre peu de beurre, poivre long, cornichons bien blanchis.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p. 82.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beurre de Vanvres[Vamvres] - Fresh, Sweet Butter

A favorite of the Bourbon court, was the good fresh butter [sweet, not salted], brought to Paris every Thursday by the women, the children or the domestiques of the plowmen & farmers of those villages surroundings Paris, & the butter of the village of Vanvre[Vamvres--Southwestern outskirts of Paris] was the most excellent; it was usually sold in rolls of three or four ounces for eating on bread, & was much more expensive than other butter, in that it could not be kept for long. Even today, the finest pastries, custards and sauces are made with sweet, not salted, butter.

“The fresh butter most in request for the table in Paris, was that made at Vanvres [Vanves], which in the month of May the people ate every morning mixed with garlic.”

Manners, Customs, and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period, Paul LaCroix. D. Appleton and Co, New York, 1874, p. 135.

And here is Madame de Pompadour's Asparagus with butter sauce.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gâteau à la Jacobine

It is the same mixture as the cake of Savoye [this same batter is used to make lady fingers, savoiardi and other biscuits cuiller]; make paper moulds of the same form as an éclair, six inches long; butter the moulds of paper well [I used a cast iron financier pan], fill the moulds with batter half way; & put them in a soft furnace [350◦F for about 15 to 20 minutes]; remove from the oven when light golden brown, cool slightly and remove from mould or peel paper away and allow to cool thoroughly; cover them with Royale icing, and then drizzle with red currant jelly.

The tartness of the currant jelly is just the right foil for the sweetness of the icing. The cake itself is rather bland, but lends itself as a blank canvas for experimenting with tastes and textures of soaking syrups, icings or fruit compotes.

The original recipe goes on to suggest using these in conjunction with caramel--that was too much sweetness for me.
* * * * *

Gâteau à la Jacobine.
C'est le même appareil que le gâteau de Savoye; vous faites des moules de papier de la mêrne forme d'un rouleau à pâte longs de six pouces; vous les beurrez bien, ensuite vous les dreffez tout de bout sur une tourtiere bien collés; Vous y mettez de cet appareil à moitié; & les mettez au four doux; étant cuits, Vous les ôtez du moule, & les glacez d'une glace Royale, & au bout de la gelée de groiseilles; Vous les dressez toutes de bout dans le plat qu'il les faut server, & les faites tenir avec du caramele, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p. 156.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cheese Ramakins

Pastry Ramakins To Serve With The Cheese Course Using Leftover Very Good Puff Paste Cheshire, Parmesan or Stilton Cheese.

Use the remains or odd pieces of paste left from large tarts, etc.
Gather up the pieces of paste, roll out evenly. Sprinkle with grated cheese of a nice flavour. Fold the paste in three, roll it out again and sprinkle more cheese over. Fold the paste, roll it out and shape with a paste cutter in any way that may be desired.
Bake the ramakins in a brisk oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Dish them on a hot napkin and serve quickly. The appearance of this dish may be very much improved by brushing the ramakins over with egg yolk before they are placed in the oven. Where expense is not objected to, Parmesan is the best kind of cheese to use for making this dish. Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons. Seasonable at any time.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes. (Brisk oven: 400F. Recipe: Mrs. Beetons

Absolutely delicious hot out of the oven with a glass of ale or port.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Aîlerons à la Chipolata - Wings and Sausages

Scald, flame [singe] and bone your wings; trim them [I cut the little tips off to use in making broth]; crisp some bacon [I use turkey] in butter in a skillet; brown your sausages [I made homemade sausage using this recipe and ground turkey] in this butter in the pan; remove and reserve sausages and bacon and brown your wings in the flavored butter; sprinkle a spoonful of flour over the wings, add two ladles full of broth, a bay leaf, and a good pinch of pepper; braise your wings in this ragout; when your ragout is three quarters cooked, add twenty-four small onions peeled and your reserved sausages. When your wings are done, degrease your ragout, and pile your wings in the middle of a serving dish, surround with sausages and onions and a ladle of ragout. Serve hot with more ragout on the side.
* * * * *
Aîlerons à la Chipolata.
Vous avez des aîlerons de Poulardes échaudés bien propres; étant blanchis, vous coupez du petit lard comme pour des atelets, que vous mettez dans une casserolle, le passez à demi, y mettez les aîlerons passés, ensuite mouillez de bon bouillon; vous avez des petits oignons blanchis, & des petites saucisses à qui vous avez fait suer la graisse, que vous mettez dedans selon leur cuisson, & liez le tout d'une essence bien dégraissée & de bon gout; dressez les aîlerons le ragoût dessus, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p. 59.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quince Liqueur - Ratafia de Coigns

Mash some very ripe quinces and take care to remove the pips and cores; macerate pulp for three days in a jar; then squeeze out all the juice; measure it, and mix it with an equal quantity of brandy; add six ounces of sugar to each quart of the mixture, some cinnamon and cloves; leave it to infuse two months; then filter it and bottle it. This liqueur becomes more excellent the longer it's kept.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bits of Sugar

Relaxing with a cup of tea is a time-honored tradition. Settling in a cozy chair before the fire, sipping a strong brew sweetened by little bits of sugar actually required some strong-armed preparation.
Sugar came in hard cones in the 18thC, and pieces small enough to serve with tea meant nipping off small chunks with specially made nippers. Our modern sugar cubes approximate the size of the nips, but because of their odd shapes, special tongs were created to grasp the nips. The extra spring in the handle of the nipper kept the ends from overlapping and insured a smooth [s]nip off the cone.

Jean-Étienne Liotard, Still Life: Tea Set
Swiss, Geneva, about 1781 - 1783

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anise Comfits

In honor of Think Spice, a monthly event hosted by Baking History and whose theme is anise, I submit anise comfits, a Medieval sweet made of anise seed coated in sugar, still made today in France and known as Anise Pastilles.

The Old Foodie has posted a 17thC recipe for anise confits and Historic Food offers instructions and illustrations for its process.

Continuing to add sugar syrup and continuing to roll around will smooth the surface, but it adds more sugar, which today's taste may think is excess. Use as a breath sweetener, an additive to tea, or just to munch--a unique taste in candy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crème à l’Angloise frite - Fried Crème Anglaise

In honor of Sugar High Friday, hosted this month by The Well Seasoned Cook, and whose theme is all that glitters, I offer a fried crème Anglaise sprinkled with sugar. Here is Mario Batali’s modern recipe for Fried Cream or Crema fritta.

Fried Crème Anglaise
Make an ordinary crème Anglaise, with extra egg yolks in a double boiler; cool; cut in diamonds, flour them well, & fry until a beautiful color; sugar, & serve.
* * * * *

Crème à l’Angloise frite.
Vous faites une crême à l'Angloise ordinaire , à la reserve que vous la faites plus forte d'oeufs; étant prise au bain-mari, & froide, vous la coupez par losanges , la farinez bien, & la faites frire de belle couleur, glacée, & serve.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p. 137-138.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November and December for the Confectioner

Forasmuch as the Fruits of the Earth now cease, recourse must be had to the Provisions that have been made during the preceding Months; as well with respect to dry and wet Sweetmeats, as to Jellies and Marmelades, which may be dried, in order to make Pastes that are wanting: A greater quantity of roasted Apples and Pears are likewise prepar'd, from time to time, with some Compotes of Chesnuts, which may also be iced and dried.

Lastly, The assistance of Oranges and Lemmons, which are brought over at this time, is considerable, more especially China-oranges; but the other are not preserv'd till the following Months.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 14 New Instructions for Confectioners.

Notice the wooden boxes--these were usually lined with white paper (see also paper coverings on the jugs) which folded over the sweetmeats inside.

Melendez, Still life with oranges and walnuts, 1772

Saturday, November 01, 2008



Join me on November 8 as Zorra shows us how foodies learn to choose and use their cameras for the best food photography!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The Julian is a very considerable Potage, and may be made in this manner: Having roasted a Leg of Mutton, let the Fat and Skin be taken away, and let it be put into a Kettle or Pot, of a sufficient bigness to hold some Broth for the Potage. Then add a good piece of Beef; another of a Fillet of Veal; a fat Capon; Carrets, Turneps and Parsneps, two of each; Parsly-roots, Celery and an Onion Stuck with Cloves; and let all boil together a long while, to the end that your Broth may be sufficiently enrich'd. In the Mean time, another Pot must be provided, and therein three or four Bundles of Asparagus, as much Sorrel as my be cut with a Knife at two strokes and some Chervil. Let them be well boil'd with some Broth taken out of the great Pot, and when the Crusts are soak'd, let the Asparagus and Sorrel be laid in order upon them, but nothing round about.

Julian-Potages are also made of a Breast of Veal, Capons, fat Pullets, Pigeons and other sorts of Meat: When they are well prepar'd and scalded, let them be put into a Pot with good Broth and a Bunch of fine Herbs; afterwards adding the above-mentioned Roots and Pulse; which may also serve to garnish the Potage, with Heaps of Asparagus chopt into pieces, and nothing else, but what is green, such as green Pease, etc.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 140.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Casseroles, take their Name from the Stew-pan in which they are dress'd, call'd Casserole by the French, and are generally used for Side-dishes and Potages: For the former, take a large Loaf wash'd over with Eggs, which must not be chipt on the upper side; bore a Hole therein underneath, and take away the Crum or Pith. Afterwards prepare a good Hash of roasted Chickens, fat Pullets, or some other sort of Roast-meat, and put this Meat well minc'd into a Stew-pan, with good Gravy, as if it were to make a Hash. When it is dress'd, put some of it with a Spoon into the Loaf, that was roasted at the Fire; on the crummy side: After having thus pour'd in a little of this Hash, add some small Crusts of Bread, and proceed to fill up the Loaf alternately, with the Hash and small Pieces of Crust. Then take a Stew-pan that is no bigger than your Loaf; put a Sheet of Paper into it, or rather, some Bards or thin Slices of Bacon, and afterwards the Loaf on that side where it was farc'd; covering the bottom of it, with the same Loaf. Let it lye a soaking in this manner, with good Gravy; but it must not be too much press'd, nor too long steept, so that it may be kept altogether entire, and well cover'd. A little before 'tis serv'd up to Table, turn it out dextrously into a Dish, take away the Bacon-Bards, drain off the Fat, and cover your Loaf with a good Ragoo of Veal-sweet-breads, Artichoke-bottoms and Truffles; small tops of Asparagus being also spread round about the Dish, according to the Season.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 80-81.

See also: Stuffed Bread

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The Oil is a very considerable Potage, which may be serv'd up as well on Days of Abstinence, as on Flesh-days.

An Oil for Flesh-days

Take all sorts of good Meats, viz. Part of a Buttock of Beek, a Fillet of Veal, a piece of a Leg of Mutton, Ducks, Partridges, Pigeons, Chickens, Quails, a piece of raw Gammon, Sausages and Cervelas, all roasted or fried brown: Let them be put into a Pot, every Thing according to the time that is requisite for boiling it, and let a thickening Liquor be made of the brown Sauce to be mingled together. As soon as the scum is taken off, season your Meats, with Pepper, Salt, Cloves, Nutmeg, Coriander-seed and Ginger, all well pounded, with Thyme and sweet Basil, and wrapt up in a Linnen-cloth. Afterwards add all sorts of Roots and Herbs well scalded, accordingly as you shall think fit, such as Carrets, Turneps, Parsnips, Cabbage, Parsly-roots, Onions, Leeks and other Herbs in Bunches. In the mean while, you are to provide Cuvets, Silver-pots and other Vessels proper for that purpose, and when your Potage is sufficiently boil'd, let some Crusts be broken into pieces, and laid a soaking in the same Broth, after it has been clear'd from the Fat, and well season'd. Before it is serv'd up, pour in a great deal of Borth, still continuing to take away the Fat; dress your Fowls and other Meats, and garnish them with the Roots, if you have only one great Dish: Otherwise they may be serv'd up without Roots; putting the Cuvets on a Silver-dish, with a Silver-ladle in it, with which every one of the Guests may take out some Soop, when the Oil is set on the Table.

An Oil for Fish-days

Take some good Broth, Peas-soop, or half Fish-broth; let all the above-mentioned Roots be put into it, and boil'd as much as is requisite: Then dress your Oil, with a Profitrolle-loaf in the middle, and garnish it with Roots.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 166-167.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Altho' mention has been alread made of several Potages, as well for Flesh-days, as those of Abstinence; particularly , the Bisk, Casserolle, Oil and Julian, as also Potage of Lambs-heads, Pike, Cray-fish, Sea-ducks, Muscles and some others, according to the espective Messes that were treated of: Nevertheless this Subject is very copious, and capable of furnishing matter for a large Article. A general Account has likewise been given of the peculiar Broths, that ought to constitute the Body of all those Potages, and of all others, as also of the Cullises that usually made.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 197.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Potage à la Reyne, with Partridges, Quails, or other sorts of Fowl

Let fresh Partirdges, after they have been scalded and well truss'd, be boil'd in good Broth, with a good Faggot of fine Herbs, some thin slices of Bacon and pieces of Lemmon; whilst a Cullis is making of the Breast of a roasted fat Pullet, or Capon; minc'd and pounded in a Mortar, with the Crum of a Loaf soak'd in Broth, and strain'd thro' the Hair-sieve. Let this Cullis be put into a little Pot, well cover'd; and let your Potage, that ought to be made of Bread-crusts, be laid a soaking with strained Broth. Afterwards set your Fowls in the same Potage, sprinkle all with good Gravy, and before they are served up, squeeze the Juice of a Lemmon into the Cullis: A farced Loaf must also be put in the middle of the Potage, with the Fowls round about; the Cullis must be pour'd upon them; and a Border is to be made about the Dish, with farced Cocks-combs, Sweet-breads of Veal larded and roasted, other Slices of Veal-sweet-breads in Ragoo, and Artichoke-bottoms: Lastly, the Breasts of the Partridges, or other Fowls, must be cover'd with Slices of black Truffles, and all dispos'd of in a good order. As for the farced Loaf, it must be stuff'd with a good Hash of a roasted Fowl, pieces of Truffles and Mushrooms, and small Asapragus-tops, according to the Season.

A lesser quantity of Potage, may be made of a single Partridge, without a farced Loaf, observing all the rest of the Circumstances, as much as Convenience, or the allowed Expences will admit of.

A Potage of farced Partridges, may be also prepar'd; which ought to be garnish'd with larded Fricandoes dress'd in a Ragoo, also Veal-sweet-breads, Mushrooms, Artichoke-bottoms, Cocks-combs, and Truffles; adding the Juice of a Lemmon, when brought to Table.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 201-202.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Potage after the Italian Mode

This potage is a kind of Oil dress'd in a large Dish, after having made a Partition in it, in form of a Cross, with Paste baked in the Oven. In one of the Squares, a Bisk is to be put; in the second a Potage, of young Chickens; in the third, a Potage à la Reyne, with a Profitrolle-loaf; and in the fourth, a Potage of farced Partidges; all in their peculiar Broths, and with different Garnitures, as rich as they possibly can be.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 212.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

October for the Confectioner

In this Month and the following, you have other sorts of Apples and Pears, for all the above-mentioned Uses, and also for Jellies, if you shall think fit to prepare them.

But this is the chief time, for making the Pastes, Jellies and Marmelade of Quinces, as also Confits with Must or sweet Wine and others, which nevertheless only fall under the management of the Country People.

The Officers [those who preside over the cold kitchen/confectioners] and Butlers are otherwise employ'd in this Season, that is to say, in gathering the Fruits, that ought to be in their Custody, which requires a more than ordinary Skill and Precaution.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 14 New Instructions for Confectioners.

Monday, September 22, 2008

World Day of Bread

3rd World Bread Day hosted by 1x umruehren bitte aka kochtopfJoin me in trying your hand at bread baking, any loaf will do. Can't you just smell that wonderful aroma? I can hear the crackling of the loaf as its crust sets as I pull it out of the oven.

Once when a maintenance worker was working outside my apartment window, I received a knock on the door. When I opened the door, the man was standing there, hat in hand, and he asked me what I was doing--he hadn't smelled anything like what was coming from my window since he was a child. Somewhat incredulously I said I was just making whole wheat bread. He looked so forlorn that I sent him home with a loaf. I guess it's true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

Of the Pastes of Fruits

See Quince Paste

It is only requisite to have recourse to the particular Marmelades, of every sort of Fruit, to know how to make as many Pastes; in regard that it is almost the same thing, and the whole Work is brought to Perfection by drying those Marmelades. To that purpose, when the Business requires dispatch, the Sugar must boil, till it be crack'd, or at least, greatly Feathered; to be incorporated with the dried Fruit. Afterwards, the Marmelade being made according to Art; may be taken up with a Spoon, and dress'd upon Slates, or in Moulds, in order to be dried in the Stove, with a good Fire. In the Evening, or the next Day, they must be turn'd on the other side, and laid again upon the same Slates, or upon Sieves: As soon as these Pastes are become very firm and compact, they are to be lock'd up in Boxes, and may be us'd, as Occasion requires.

At other times, when you would have any Paste-dryed, let as much Marmelade, as you shall think fit, be put into a Copper-pan, and having caus'd some Sugar to be brought to its Feathered Quality, pour it in; tempering it well till it slips off from the bottom of the Pan; after the same manner, as in the making of Marmelade. Then let all simper together, for a while, and let the Paste be immmediately dress'd upon Slates, or in Tin-moulds, made in form of a Heart, Square, Flower-de-luce, etc., which are usually set into the Stove, to be dried as before. These are the general Directions that may be given, for the ordering of such Fruit-pastes as are made of Marmelades; allowing two Pounds of Sugar, for every Pound of Fruit. But for other Pastes, that are made on purpose, an equal quantity of each will be sufficient, and the Sugar must be boil'd till it has attain'd to its Crack'd Quality.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 81-82 New Instructions for Confectioners.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crackling Crust

Paste for Crackling-crust.
Having provided about two Handfuls of Almonds, which are sufficient for one Pan-pye, let them be scalded, blanch'd, and thrown into fresh Water: Then they are to be wip'd, and pounded in a Mortar, moistening them from time to time, with a little White of an Egg and Orange-flower Water, beaten together, to prevent them from turning to Oil. 'Tis very material, that they be well pounded, and they may also be squeez'd through a Sieve, to take away all the Clods, or Lumps, The Almond-paste being thus prepar'd, must be spread on a Bason or Dish, and dried with Powder-sugar, as an ordinary sort of Paste, till it become very pliable. Afterwards, having set it by for some time, you are to roll out a Piece for the under-crust, to be dried in the Oven upon the Pie-pan; whilst other small Pastry-works are making, with what was par'd off, such as Petits Choux, Ciphers, Knots and other Devices, that may serve for the Garnishing of your Pie.

Crackling-crust made after another manner.
After the Almonds have been thoroughly pounded and moisten'd, as before, let as much Sugar as Paste, at least, be put into a Copper-pan, and boil'd till it become Feathered: Then throwing in your Almonds, let all be well temper'd and mingled together with the Spatula, and having set them over the Fire again, keep continually stirring the whole Mass, till your Paste slips of[f] from the bottom and sides of the Pan. Afterwards, it must be laid in a Dish, strew'd with Powder-sugar on the top, and set by, for a while, as the former, in order to make a Pye of it, after the same manner.

In preparing the Paste conformable to either of these Methods, the Pie will certainly become crackling and delicious to the highest Degree: But if you are minded to avoid the trouble, and perhaps the charge of Almonds, very good Pies may also be made according to the following Instructions.

Another Way.
Take one, or two Whites of Eggs, with three or four Spoonfuls of fine Sugar, and as much Flower, if you would only make one Pan-pye: The Sugar being first temper'd with the Whites of the Eggs, and then the Flower, knead all together, till your Paste become pliable, and roll out a very thin Piece; strewing it with fine Sugar: Afterwards, having put it into te Pie-pan, let the Sides be neatly pinch'd, at certain Intervals, and prickt with the point of a Knife, to hinder them from puffing: In the mean while, the remaining part of the Paste is to be roll'd out into Slips of the thickness of a Lace, to compleat the inside of the Pie; which may be made in the form of a Sun, Star, Malta-cross, Flower-de-luce, Coat of Arms, or the like. At last, it must be gently bak'd in the Oven, and when ready to be brought to Table, the void Spaces are to be fill'd up, with several sorts of Marmelades, or Jellies, according to the Colours, that shall be judg'd most expedient: The same thing ough also to be observ'd, with respect to Pies made of the preceding Pastes. To the latter, may be added a little Orange-flower Water, or some other sweet Water, and if it be requisite to prepare a greater quantity of either sort of Paste, another Piece, of an equal thinness, may be roll'd out for the Lid; which must be cut round, and dried in the Oven, upon a Pie-pan, or Plate, in order to cover the Pie, after it has been ic'd over, if you have no mind to leave it in its natural Colour.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 114-116.New Instructions for Confectioners

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Compotes of Peaches

When the Peaches are full ripe, they can only be roasted; because this sort of Fruit is too soft. Therefore they must be neatly par'd and laid in Quarters, upon a Silver-dish, or Plate, with Sugar, and, if you think fit, with candy'd Lemmon-peel chopt small: Then, being bak'd in an Oven, let them be dress'd, if they are to be serv'd p with any Thing else, and let the red-hot Fire-shovel be pass'd over them, to give them a fine Colour, after they have been strew'd with Sugar.

This Compote, and others of the like nature, may be put into a Tourte, or Pan-pie, and to that end, a Border of Paste, and even the whole Furniture that is usually provided for other Pan-pies, must be laid in the Dish, in which the Peaches are to be roasted, and the Fruit must be set in order therein. In the mean while, another Piece of Paste for Crackling Crust, being roll'd out, may be cut into slips, and separately bak'd in an Oven; in order to be ic'd over with the White of an Egg, and Powder-sugar, well temper'd together. This ic'd Crust must aso be dried in the Oven, till it become very white, and laid upon the Pie, a little before it is serv'd up to Table.
* * * * *

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 71 New Instructions for Confectioners.

Friday, September 05, 2008

September for the Confectioner

Plums continue still, for a considerable time, and Apples and Pears much longer: So that new Compotes, Pastes and Marmelades may be made of them, and the best ought to be chosen for that purpose; such a the Bon-chretien [Bartlett], the Bergamot, and the Summer-Certoe [Certeau d'Été, whose flesh turns pink upon cooking], among Pears: This last is also preserv'd dry.

Peaches, which continue for a long while, likewise furnish Matter for Pastes, Compotes and Marmelade, and they may be order'd so as to make dry Sweet-meats.

Moreover, Bell-grapes are then preserv'd liquid, and Pastes, Jellies and Compotes are made of them. Muscadine-grapes are order'd in the same manner, and serve to make a very delicious sort of Ratafiaz.

Barberries, which are generally ripe at the same time, are proper for Conserves.

The court & country cook
, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 13.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sauce à l’Italienne blanche, Claire - Italian Sauce made with White Wine or Clairet (rosé).

Sauté parsley, Welsh onions [scallions], mushrooms, shallots, some chopped truffles, some cloves of whole garlic, one half bay leaf; add bouillon [broth] & let it reduce as much you desire for your dish; add two lemon slices, & degrease it properly & add a glass of champagne, season for good taste, & serve with all light or dark meats, & also with butcher's [cured] meats, according to what you’ve made. Italian Red sauce is done in the same way, using rosé [clairet, a now uncommon dark rosé which was the most common style of wine exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century], it tastes good with all sorts of things. [This sauce would have been strained prior to serving—use the strainings to add to farces for additional flavor.]

Sauce à l’Italienne blanche, Claire.
Vous avez persil, ciboules, champignons, échalottes, quelques truffes hachées, quelques gousses d’ail entieres, une demi feuille de laurier, vous passez le tout à l’huile, ensuite vous les mouillez de bon bouillon & de la reduction, & la laissez réduire au point que vous voulez vous en server; vous y mettez deux tranches de citron, & la dégraissez proprement & de bon gout , un verre de vin de Champagne dedans, & vous en servez à toutes sortes de viands blanches & noires, & meme sous la viande de boucherie, selon ce que vous en faites. La sauce rousse à l’Italienne se fait de meme, au lieu de bouillon vous la mouillez d’essence Claire & vin, finie de bon gout à toutes sortes de choses.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.123.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sainserelle à l'Espagnole & à l’Italienne - is this Stracciatella or Spätzle?

Take bread crumbs [without crust] & grated Parmesan, half and half; bind the whole with an egg(s), & drop into boiling broth, & cook, stirring constantly, for fear it does not stick to the bottom; once cooked, draw it out with a skimmer & serve in a dish with a little broth; it is used as soup if one wants.
* * * * *

Sainserelle à l'Espagnole & à l’Italienne.
Vous prenez de la mis de pain & du Parmesan rapé, autant de l'un que de l'autre; vous déliez le tout avec des œufs entiers, & après vous y mettez du bouillon, & le faites cuire en remuant toujours, de peur que cela ne s'attache au fond; étant cuit, vous le dressez dans son plat, & servez un peu liquide; cela sert de potage si l’on veut.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.38.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pickled Purslain

Now is the time to gather all those pesky purslain stems and to pickle them for winter salads and garnishes. Blanche for 5 seconds and pack stems and leaves into a jar and cover with four parts vinegar to one part water with 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in it, add 1 teaspoon black peppercorns and 2 large garlic cloves crushed. Cover and set in a cool place for two weeks [this is a fermented pickle--keep submerged and remove any scum that might form; then use in salads, as a garnish or stirred into scrambled egs or sandwich fillings. Purslain is very high in protein and iron and is a very underrated pot herb/vegetable--try stirfrying it with butter.

Purslane \Purs"lane\, noun. [Old French expression porcelaine, pourcelaine (compare to Italian expression porcellana), corrupted from Latin porcilaca for portulaca oleracea.].

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rafiolis - Raviolis

rafiolis - raviolis Roll out your rissoles paste: make a farce [filling] of spinach wilted in butter, & add cream, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, & egg yolks to bind the farce; season with salt and pepper for good taste & let it cool; dollop this farce on your paste as for rissoles, & cut them with a corer or pastry wheel, & arrange them on a dish [dusted with flour to keep from sticking] and let dry for one hour before cooking; bring [a large pot of] water to the boil, add salt, drop your Rafiolis in one after the others; let cook a half hour [this seems excessive—7-10 minutes]; withdraw them with a skimmer & arrange them in layers in a baking dish with melted butter & grated Parmesan; pour more melted butter over the top and broil until hot & bubbly. On fat [days], you serve it with beef marrow in the farce, with Parmesan, & cooked in bouillon [broth, brodo not boiling water], always with grated cheese in the farce.

It's amazing how little farce it takes to fill rafiolis. This dish must have resulted from poverty--all good cooks need a way to stretch a little meat or cheese into a full meal and filled pastas do this.

This pasta rolling pin for rafiolis may not have been used in the 18thC, but it is a modern implement to thrill! Making rafiolis is a snap! Here are three videos that show how to roll out the paste, how to fill it and how to use the rafioli cutting pin. Enjoy.

* * * * *

Vous tirez de cette pâte sur vos mains, & l'etendez sur une table de côté & d'autre: vous avez une farce d'epinards passés au beurre, & vous y met¬tez de la crême, de la mie de pain, fromage de Parmesan rapé, & jaunes d'œufs, pour lier la farce; assaisonnez de bon goût; vous y mettez de la moëlle de bœuf, & laissez refroidir; vous couchez cette farce sur votre pâ¬te comme des rissoles, & les coupez avec une videlle, & les arrangez sur un plat; une heure avant que de servir, vous avez de l'eau bouillante, vous y mettez un peu de sel, vous y mettez vos Rafiolis les une après les autres; laissez cuire une demie heure; étant cuits & prêts à servir, vous les retirez avec une écumoire & les retirez dans leur plat par lits; un lit de Rafiolis, un lit de Parmesan & de beurre frais fondu; étant arrangez, au dernier lit vous y mettez davan¬tage de Parmesan & du beurre par-dessus, & servez chaud, vous en faites en gras de même, avec Parmesan, moëlle de Bœuf, mais cuits au bouillon, tou¬jours du fromage rapé dans la farce.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.31.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pâté de Macaronis à l’Italienne - Macaronis Pie, Italian-style

Make a batch of Macaronis [pasta dough] with eggs, a little water, a little salt, [knead, rest, roll out over and over until the dough is strong]; lay four or five sheets of rolled pasta [between floured towels, & let them dry, then cross [cut] in tailladins [tagliatelles] two fingers-width [these really are the description of pappardelle—wide fettuccine]: liberally salt a kettle of boiling water and cook the Macaronis for seven minutes in this water, & remove and rinse them in a colander; mix together thin slices of ham [I used turkey bacon], truffles, mushrooms, chopped beef marrow, fresh butter, powdered cinnamon, grated Parmesan, gravy &/or coulis [purée of meat juice and vegetables used in cooking ragu] in a bowl: add your Macaronis, & mix the whole together, season with salt and pepper for good taste and set aside; make a pie crust, usually Pâte brisée [short crust], as much as necessary for your timbale mold [I used a charlotte pan], butter it very well, & put arranged bands of pastry [fancy cut shapes] according to your imagination; then insert your crust pastry, & put your macaronis mixture inside & cover it with a disk of pastry, sealing sides and bottom well, & bake for one hour & one half; when it’s done, you reverse it [unmold] onto a serving dish, & make a hole in the top [usually part of the design is cut away and replaced after filling with gravy] and use a funnel to pour in enough gelatinous jus [gravy] to fill the spaces in the timbale. Cool [these pies are usually served cold or at room temperature after chilling], slice and serve.

When laying your fancy shapes of pasta over the buttered pan bottom, be sure and brush the unbuttered side with egg wash so that the crust will adhere to the shapes after the large envelope of pastry is inserted into the pan; otherwise, the decorations will detach when unmolding the pastry.

Today this pastry is called a tortellini pie (The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, p. 175) or Timbale Milanaise (La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange, p.456). Both books give excellent instructions. Quite a lot of effort is required in its making, but the macaronis pie is a beautiful dish for a festival meal.

* * * * *

Pâté de Macaronis à l’Italienne.
Vous faites une pâte avec des œufs, un peu d'eau, un peu de sel; qu'elle soit ferme; vous en faites quatre ou cinq abaisses, & les laissez sécher, après vous les coupez en tailladins grands de deux doigts: vous avez de l'eau bouillante; vous y mettez du sel: faites cuire les tailla¬dins un demi quart d'heure dans cette eau, & les égoûtez dans la passoire; vous avez jambon en tranches bien minces, truffes, champignons, moëlle de Bœuf hachés, beurre frais, canelle en poudre, Parmesan rapé, jus & coulis: vous met¬tez le tout avec vos Macaronis dans une casserolle, & mêlez le tout ensemble de bon goût; vous avez une pâte brisée à l'ordinaire; vous prenez une casse¬rolle comme il faut, vous la beurrez par tout, & vous y met¬tez des bandes de pâte arran¬gées votre fantaisie; vous y mettez une abaisse de pâte dessus comme une timballe ordi¬naire, & vous y mettez votre appareil dedans & recouvrez d'une autre abaisse à l'ordinaire, & la faites cuire au four une heure & demie; étant cuite, vous la renversez dans son plat, & vous y faites un trou pour y jetter un jus lié de bon goût, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.36.

Friday, August 08, 2008

August for the Confectioner

Much more Pains may be taken in this Month, in ordering these latter Fruits, because they are successively renew’d, by other kinds that are more proper for Preserving. Thus Orange-plums and Amber-plums, those of Isle-verd and others are preserv’d dry to be kept: Pastes and Marmelades are made of them, and they are still iced, and put into Compotes.

The same thing is done with the Pears in their Season, more especially the Rousselet, or Russetin, and some others, that are of an exquisite taste.

There are also certain Plums, proper for drying, in order to make Prunes, as occasion serves.

Figs are preserv’d and dried in the same Month, and they may be iced with Powder-sugar, as well as Grapes: Syrup of Mulberries is likewise prepar’d, and some think fit to preserve them: Apples are put into Compotes, and preserv’d after some other manners.

About the end of the Month, Girkins or small Cucumbers, Samphire, Purslain and other Herbs are pickled with Vinegar and Salt, for the Winter-sallets.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 13.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strouille à l’Italienne - Savory Strudel - Boiled

boiled savory strudel, strucolo, strukel, rotolo, strouille à l'Italienne
This savory strudel is boiled, not baked and is also known by [strucolo, rotolo or strukel]; also similar to napkin dumpling. Again, this is a dish found on the margins of Northern & Eastern Italy, and reflects those cuisines of the surrounding areas.

Savory Italian Strudel
Use the same paste* as with rissoles; make a farce [filling] in this manner: sauté finely diced onions in butter until light golden; add fine bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, cream, some egg[s] to bind, stir & season to taste, & let it cool; roll out your paste and put it on a floured tablecloth on a large work surface, continue stretching and rolling dough until very thin; spread your farce evenly over the dough, & begin to roll this strudel longitudinally by using the tablecloth to help you turn the roll, & tighten the roll [not loosely rolled]; wrap it in a well tied up cloth, & put it to cook in boiling water, with a little salt, for one hour; draw it out, unroll from the cloth & cut it in slices, & arrange it in a dish; cover with more grated Parmesan & melted butter & serve. It is also done sometimes with cabbage, spinach, sorrel, cheese or beef marrow.

*Rissolles Paste or Italian Pasta Dough
Make a paste with flour, egg whites, salt, & tepid water; knead it soft [until smooth for about 10 minutes] & let it rest below [covered by] a pan for 15 to 30 minutes; roll out in the manner the recipe directs.

I used sorrel and found this strudel tangy and delicious; I served it with browned butter.

Shredded cabbage fried and seasoned with cardamom is also a delicious filling.
This strudel comes away from the dumpling cloth very easily. Allow it to cool slightly before slicing.

* * * * *

Strouille à l’Italienne.
C'est la même pâte** qu'aux rissolles; vous faites une farce de cette maniere: vous hachez des oignons bien menus en des, & les passez au beurre; presque cuits, vous y mettez de la mie de pain bien fine, Parmesan rapé, de la crême, quelques œufs pour lier le tout assaisonné de bon goût, & le laissez réfroidir; vous avez votre pâte ci-devant; vous étendez une nape sur une table, vous saupoudrez de la farine; vous étendez votre pâte dessus, comme pour des rissolles; vous jettez votre farce dessus, & vous en couvrez la pâte le plus mince que vous pouvez avec votre couteau; ayant étendu cette farce, vous roulez cette pâte comme un boudin en long, & la retournez en rond; vous l'enveloppez dans un torchon bien ficelé, & la mettez cuire à l'eau bouillante, avec un peu de sel, pendant une heure; étant cuite, vous la tirez & la coupez par tronçons, & l'arrangez dans un plat, du Parmesan rapé dessus, & beurre frais que vous faites fondre, jettez dessus, & servez. Il s'en fait aux choux, aux épinards, à l'oseille, & a la moëlle de Bœuf, & fromage.

**Pâte à Rissolles à l’Italienne
Vous faites une pâte avec farine, blancs d'œufs, sel, & de l'eau tiede; vous la faites molle & la laissez reposer dessous une casserolle, vous en servez de cette maniere.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.39.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nioc à l'Italienne - Gnocchi

Plain bread crumb dough nioc, served with butter and Parmesan sauce.The French had not begun to eat potatoes (1740); it is not plain that Italians were then either.

Nioc Dough:
1/4 cup butter plus enough boiling water to make 1 cup liquid
2 cups dried bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
2 eggs
10 or so tablespoons cold water
Butter and grated Parmesan for the sauce
Handful of chopped, minced and pounded Partridge or other poultry flesh, or
Handful of very finely chopped and squeezed dry, blanched spinach, or
Bits of cooked marrow or other meat/drippings

Melt butter and add enough boiling water to make a cup of liquid. Pour the bread crumbs into a bowl and add the boiling water and butter. Let stand 10 minutes. Mound the flour on your pastry board and make a well in the flour [holding some of the flour back to add as needed. Add the eggs, 10 tablespoons water, grated Parmesan and soaked bread crumbs to the well [now is also the time to add the optional ingredients—keeping in mind that on Fast (maigres) days, no meat or extra grease would be used]. Blend them together with a fork, gradually stirring in the flour by drawing in the flour into the liquids. Continue to stir in flour until the mixture has become a rough dough, knead it by hand 10 minutes, or until elastic. [You may not have used all of the flour or extra tablespoons of water.] Wrap the dough or cover with a bowl and let it stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Take 1/4 of the dough (keep the rest covered) and divide it into 10 pieces, keeping all but the one you are rolling covered. Roll out each piece into a 1/2-inch in diameter dowel shape. Cut each roll into pieces half of your little finger’s length. Gnocchi pieces have traditionally been further rolled on a grooved board or back of the fork to produce grooves that will help the sauce it’s served with to adhere. Leave each piece to dry on a lightly floured surface, such as a basket or tray, which will aid in getting the gnocchi into the cooking water.

Have ready a large pot of boiling water. It is not necessary to add salt to the water as the Parmesan should be enough seasoning. Drop gnocchi into boiling water, stirring up at the beginning to prevent sticking. When they float to the top, they are done; remove with a slotted spoon to a large pan with melted butter and toss with grated Parmesan. Use a bit of the cooking water to stretch the sauce if necessary. For Feast days [not Fast] you can boil in broth.

Nioc à l'Italienne.
Il s'en fait de plusieurs façons en gras comme en maigre; pour les grasses vous maniez du beurre dans une casserolle, avec du fromage rape, de la mie de pain, un peu de farine, & des œufs entiers, de la chair de Perdrix, ou autres vollailles, un peu de sel; vous mêlez bien le tout, & y mettez de la moëlle de Bœuf hachée; pour les maigres elles se font de même, l'on n'y met point de moëlle, ni de chair; vous les faites vertes, si vous voulez, en y mettant des épinards; vous mettez une casserolle sur le fourneau avec de l'eau; quand elle bout, vous les coupez à même l'appareil gros comme la moitié du petit doigt; a mesure que vous les mettez dans l'eau, en mettant la derniere vous couvrez la casserolle & l'ôtez de dessus le feu; étant prêt à servir, vous les dressez a sec avec du fromage, du beurre par-dessus, & servez; pour les grasses vous les faites cuire au bouillon, & les servez avec leur bouillon de bon goût.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.44.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gâteau à l’Italienne frit - Fried [pies] Italian

Take a large sheet of puff paste, that used for the undercrusts of small Pies [cut small squares or circles of dough]; put apricot marmalade, cream-[cheese], &/or other sweet mixtures between two undercrusts and press the two crusts very well together [I used a fork to seal the edges], & fry them in lard [I used butter] until puffed and golden, drain & frost or glaze them, & serve.

Gâteau à l’Italienne frit.
Vous avez un gros feuilletage, vous en faites des abaisses comme pour des petits Pâtés; entre deux abaisses vous mettez marmalade d’abricots, crème, & autre chose; vous fondez bien les deux abaisses, & les faites frire au saindoux, & les glacez, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.141.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Strouilles à l'Italienne - "Sweet" Strudel

Strudel is normally thought of as an Austrian dish; bear in mind that Southern Austria is on the Northern Italian border and the Piedmont or foothills area of Northern Italy is a margin where ideas flowed both North and South.

Strouilles à l'Italienne - Sweet Strudel
Use the same paste* as that of the savory entrée and in the same way. After melting your butter, spread it on your paste well everywhere; make a preparation [combination of about 3 cups worth] of very thin slices or dices of apple, candied citron melons, green [limes] and yellow lemons, grapes of Corinth, raisins, sweet & bitter almonds, pistachios, pinions, all kinds of [sweet] ingredients of the office [cold kitchen or pantry] and spread all over the well-buttered pastry; roll it like that of the savory strudel, but buttering the top of the pasty as you roll it; place it on a tart plate like a snail, & put it in the oven to cook one hour & one-half [mine cooked 35-40 minutes--just until golden], basting it with butter three or four times while it cooks; once baked, glaze it [with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar] & serve.

*Rissolles Paste or Italian Pasta Dough
Make a paste with flour, egg whites, salt, & tepid water; knead it soft [until smooth for about 10 minutes] & let it rest below [covered by] a pan for 15 to 30 minutes; roll out in the manner the recipe directs.

Be liberal with your melted butter, lots on the bottom before you add filling, and with each roll, brush the top of the dough with more butter. And don't forget to baste with butter several times during cooking.

This dough is amazingly stretchy--do not be afraid to roll it as thin as possible--if it tears stick it back together. I recommend rolling it as a very long rectangle and rolling it from the longest side--this will give you the longest «snail».

Modern tastes may find the addition of sugar and/or spices to the mixture to be a welcome choice.

Strouilles à l’Italienne.
C’est la même pâte** que celle d’entrée étendue de même; vous faites fonder du beurre; étant fondu, vous beurrez bien votre pâte par-tout; vous avez un appareil de filets de pommes, citrons vert & confits, raisins de Corinthe, gros raisins, amandes douce & ameres, des pistaches, pignons, toutes sortes d’ingrediens d’office, que vous mettez dans cette pâte bien beurrée, & l’étendez par-tout; étant faite, vous la roulez comme celle d’entrée, en la beurrant de tems en tems, vous la roulez sur une tourtiere comme un limaçon, & la mettez au four cuire une heure & demie, la frotter trios ou quatre fois de beurre pendant qu’elle cuit; étant cuite, la glacez & servez pour un plat.

**Pâte à Rissolles à l’Italienne
Vous faites une pâte avec farine, blancs d'œufs, sel, & de l'eau tiede; vous la faites molle & la laissez reposer dessous une casserolle, vous en servez de cette maniere.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.172.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Transalpine [Italian] Kitchen

According to tradition, this book, Le Cuisinier Gascon, was written by the grandson of Louis XIV and Madam de Montespan. The Prince, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, also cooked for King Louis XV; he would introduce Gascon cuisine to culinary literature.

Le Cuisinier Gascon has two hundred and seventeen recipes, some with “picturesque names,” such as Drunken Fritters, Eyes of Veal Stuffed with Gratin, the Chicken in Bat, etc.

The author grants a place to the transalpine [Italian] kitchen: lazagne with oil, rafiolis [raviolis], nioc [gnocchi], macaroni with milk, cabbages Roman-style, veal served with rice, truffles, macaroni pie, polpette [_meat_balls], stuffed veal intestinal membranes baked in two crusts [torta]…

The Foreword announces: «One will find a wise choice of the most exquisite recipes here, with the detailed manner to prepare them.»

Coming, some «French» Italian recipes …

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740

Friday, July 11, 2008

July for the Confectioner

The Fruits of the former Month still make up the greater part of this, and the Preserving of them is continu’d, after the above-mentioned Ways. This is the chief time for wet and dry Cherries, as also for the Jellies and Marmelades of Currans and Raspberries.

In the beginning of the Month, white Walnuts are preserv’d, either liquid or dry, to be kept during the whole Year, and a little afterwards ripe Apricocks, of which Compotes and Pastes are first made: Others are par’d in order to be preserv’d with half Sugar, or in Ears, and Marmelade is made of them, which is us’d in many Things, out of the Season, particularly, for drying the Paste: for Apricock-pastils; or the Royal March-pane. At the same time, the Syrup and Ratafiaz of Apricocks are usually prepar’d.

Pears now begin to provide Employment for the Confectioner, and to afford an agreeable Variety: So that Compotes may be made of them, and Muscadine-pears may be iced, to the number of six or seven in Clusters, as they are, whilst the Blanquets are preserv’d, and some few other sorts dried.

There are also Plums and Grapes in the end of the Month, and altho’ the latter are fine enough then to appear in their natural Color; yet they are sometimes ices with powder’d Sugar. The same thing is done with Plums; besides that Pastes are already made of them, and they may be put into Compotes, or into half-Sugar, to be dried.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 12-13.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hachis d’œufs sans malice

Eggs minced without mischievousness [non-deviled?].

Cut hard-boiled eggs in two; keep one good half of each and chop the other whites with the yolks, & moisten mixture with good cream, season with salt and pepper to taste; serve mixture in an egg half on a piece of bread [toast] topped with a sauce made of chopped parsley, scallions, mushrooms [optional], fresh, sweet butter [of Vamvre or Vanvres] and lemon juice.
* * * * *

Hachis d’œufs sans malice.

Vous avez des œufs durs desquels vous ôtez la moitié des blancs, & hachez l’autre moitié avec les jaunes; vous y mettez persil, ciboules, champignons passés & hachés dedans, & le mouillez de bonne crème, assaisonnez de bon gout; sur la fin vous y mettez un pain de beurre de Vamvre, manié, pour lier le tout, jus de citron, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p 45.

"Bourbon, Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Prince de Dombes. Le Cuisinier Gascon.
“Amsterdam”, s.n. 1740. 12mo. [iix], 208p. Woodcut headpieces & woodcut title vignette signed N.Contemporary mottled calf (crown & base neatly restored), spine & red morocco label gilt. *PRINCELY RECIPES. FIRST EDITION: THE FIRST PUBLISHED COLLECTION OF RECIPES WRITTEN BY A ROYAL CHEF. The Prince des Dombes was “an amateur cook who often ‘officiated’ at Louis XV’s ‘Petit Soupers’” (Simon). The Count de Charolais and Marie Leczinska also labored in his kitchen: King Stanislas made his own baba au rhum! The prince imaginatively named his dishes — Yeux de veau farcis au gratin, Poulet à l’allure nouvelle en Chauve souris en culotte, Bignets bacchiques, Hachis d’œuf sans malice…. He wryly dedicated the book to himself." citation

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Reenactor Heart Went Pitty-Pat

My reenactor heart went pitty-pat when a friend sent a link to Michel Nichol's latest reproduction in faïence brun, a moule ä pâté, pictured here. Ask Michel for his price list, and if there is a piece you would like to have him make for you, just ask.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cherries Preserved as Olives

CHERRIES. The recipes call for Kentish, Flemish, Cornelian, Morello, and Black cherries. Some of Bradley’s most interesting comments about cherries are to be found in his General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening. At that time (c.1721) about ten sorts were available in the nurseries about London. Furthermore, red and white cornelian cherries were ‘often gathered green, and put in Salt and Water, to imitate pickled Olives’. (See volume II, 1726, pp. 14, 121.) (Richard Bradley, 1736) citation

Wash cherries, leaving on the stems. Place in pint jars with 1 teaspoon salt on top. Pour over equal parts of cider vinegar and cold water. Seal immediately. Nothing is heated. Let stand several months before opening. These are a delicious and attractive garnish for meat. This recipe calls for red sour cherries, but it was also suggested that bing cherries may be used. (Mrs. Leo McCoy, Welton, Iowa)

Friday, June 13, 2008

June for the Confectioner

This Month affords good store of Raspberries, Cherries and Currans: Compotes, Conserves and Pastes are frequently made of the first of these Fruits; and ‘tis now a proper time to begin to Preserve them dry and liquid.

Cherries, as soon as any ripe ones can be procur’d, are likewise put into Compotes, half Sugar and Conserves: They may be iced over with Powder-sugar, and as this Fruit comes to a fuller growth, or when better sorts of them may be gather’d, they are preserv’d in Ears, in Bunches and after other manners: Cakes or Pastes are then prepar’d with Cherries, as also Marmelade, and at last they are preserv’d liquid, in order to be kept for a considerable time: A Jelly may be also made of them, and the Juice extracted from those that are boil’d for Pastes and of others out of which the Stones were taken, to be preserv’d, may be us’d to very good purpose, in that Jelly, and for the Liquor call’d Ratafiaz, as well as the Syrup of those that are dried.

As for Currans; Pastes, Conserves and Compotes, are first made of them, besides those that are iced; others are preserv’d in Bunches and liquid; and afterwards Marmelade is made of them, with Jellies of several sorts. Moreover, Syrups and Liquors are prepar’d with all these forts of Fruit.

This is also a proper time for the Preserving of Orange-flowers dry, and for the making of Conserves, Pastes and Marmelade of them; which may be serviceable during the rest of the Year; because now there is the greatest plenty of these Flowers.

Conserves and Syrup of Roses are likewise made; so that this is one of the Months, in which the most Pains is to be taken, and that affords the greatest Variety of Fruits and Flowers at once.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 11-12.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Herbes mélanges - An Herb Mixture

On or about 24 June pick the unsprayed herbs and pluck the leaves from the stems. Pluck the outer petals of the pot marigolds. A soft pastry brush is useful in dealing with the flower petals.

Dry the herbs in the sun or indoors fairly near a gentle fan. Measure, mix, and store in a tightly closed ontainer in a cool, dark, dry place.

Use for soups, salad dressings, roasts and marinades. Parts of this mixture will be found later in Herbes de Provence, using lavender instead of marigold.

1 cup parsley
1/4 cup sage
1/4 cup winter savory
1/4 cup wild thyme
1 1/4 cups marjoram
1/4 cup hyssop
1/2 cup pot marigold petals Calendula officinalis
2 Tablespoons basil (optional)

Savoring the Past, the French Kitchen Table from 1300 to 1789, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton. Touchstone, New York, NY, 1983, p. 248.
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Herbes mélanges
Prenes persil effueille deulx poignees mariolaine effueillee deux poignees et demye saulge demye poignee ysope autant sariette autant sarpollet. Une poignee soulcye une poignee. Et quant cest pour faire farce aulcuns y mettent soulcye et peu de Baselicque. Elle seruent a tous potaiges et les fault faire seicher enuiron la sainct Jehan baptiste.

Liure fort excellent du cuysine (1555), ff. 28r◦-v◦.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mad for Macarons

Minko's photo, from Couture Cupcakes
May is Mad for Macarons Month

Here is an 18thC recipe for macarons.
Peel & crush a pound of sweet almonds, add four egg whites & a pound of caster sugar [powdered or confectioners’], then mix the whole well together; you can add to it a little orange flower water [flavoring and/or coloring]; deposit your macaron batter on papers in ovals or longitudinally, leaving space between each, so that they are not touched: draw [dry for 15 minutes to develop a skin], powder with fine sugar & cook until they are firm: it is necessary that the heat of the furnace is soft, & that the hearth [sole plate—bottom of the oven] however is a little hot, in order to make it puff out: one can leave there macaroon until the furnace is cooled, then removed it from the paper & store in adry place.

La nouvelle maison rustique, ou, Économie generale de tous les biens de campagne: la manière de les entretenir & de les multiplier : donée ci-devant au public / par le Sieur Louis Liger. Paris : Saugrain, 1755, Tome II, IV. Part. LIV. IV. Chap. I. La Cuisine. B., p. 865.
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Macarons. Pelez & pilez une livre d’amandes douces, comme celles de massepain; étant bien pilées, ajoutez-y quatre blancs d’œufs & une livre de sucre en poudre, puis mêlez bien le tout ensemble; vous pouvez y ajouter un peu d’eau de fleur d’orange & le piler encoure un peu, après quoi vous dresserez vos macarons sur du papier en long ou en ovale, les éloignant un peu les uns de autres, afin qu’ils ne se touchent point: ayant tout dressé, vous les poudrerez de sucre fin & les mettrez cuire au four jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient fermes par-dessus: il faut que la chaleur du four soit douce, & que l’âtre pourtant soit un peu chaud, afin de faire pousser la pâte & la faire bouffer: le macaron doit être au four un peu plus long-tems que le massepain, parce qu’il est plus épais: on peut y laisser le macaron jusqu’à ce que le four soit refroidi, ensuite le lever de dessus le papier & le mettre en lieu sec.

Here is a super video on making macarons

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Amandes vertes--Green Almonds

Green Almonds Preserved. Choose almonds green and tender, slightly peel them, drill them with a big needle and put them in cold water. Blanche the fruit in boiling water, drain and rub between cloths to remove down; let them soak for 2 hours in cold water, which you will renew several times, drain again, put them in terrines, cover with boiling sugar syrup (25 degrees density) and a round of paper; drop in the cellar. Give eight ways with almonds, adding each time a little syrup and increasing by 2 degrees the density of syrup, which must be 6 to 37 degrees at the last way. Make sure sugar broth covers fruit at all times. Let them stand for twelve to fifteen days prior to the eighth way. Finish as for other fruits.

Green Almonds. Take green almonds preserved in brandy; being drained dip them one after another in sugar prepared au cassé (twelfth degree), and roll them in white nonpareils, or of any other color, or several colors mixed together, and dry them in the stove, or in a soft oven. They are also done after this manner—cut them into two or four pieces, put them on a baking-plate rubbed with oil, and pour some hot sugar caramelized over; turn them to do the same over again and keep them in a very dry place.

Green almond tarts. Pull the almonds from the tree before they shell, scrape off the down, and put them into a pan with cold spring water; then put them into a skillet with more spring water; set it on a slow fire, and let it remain till it simmers. Change the water twice, and let them remain in the last till tender, then take them out, and dry them well in a cloth. Make a syrup with double refined sugar, put them into it and let them simmer; do the same the next day, put them into a stone jar, and cover them very close, for if the least air comes to them they will turn black; the yellower they are before they are taken out of the water, the greener they will be after they are done. Put them into the crust, cover them with syrup, lay on the lid, and bake them in a moderate oven.
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Recipes collected from friends and relatives
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For true aficionados of green almonds, the prime moment is when the seed case has just begun to plump, the interior is still liquid, and there is no hint of a shell. The whole almond, including the green hull, is served chilled, sometimes in salted ice water, and eaten with a little salt.

In this recipe the green almonds are chopped and combined in a spiced mixture with dates and raisins to make a conserve. The intense almond taste contrasts well with the dense, rich background of the other ingredients. The conserve can be spread on buttered bread for teatime or spooned alongside grilled eggplant and peppers for a sweet-and-savory combination. It also makes a good filling for cookies.

50 to 60 green almonds at the soft nut stage (about 1 1/2 pounds), or 1/2 cup unsalted mature shelled almonds
1 cup raisins
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
8 to 10 large Medjool dates (about 1/2 pound), pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup water
6 whole cloves, crushed

Using a sharp knife, slice through the green almonds lengthwise, splitting the interior nut in half. Pick out the ivory nut halves with the knife tip and set aside. Do not be concerned if some of the nuts are still in the semi-liquid stage. Set aside 8 halves and coarsely chop the remainder. If you are using mature almonds, chop all of them.

Combine the raisins and the vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan and let stand for 10 minutes. Place over medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sugar, dates, water, and cloves and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the green or mature almonds and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will be rather thick and dense.

Remove from the heat and spoon into a hot, dry, sterilized jar with a lid. Tuck the reserved green almond halves along the walls of the jar, making a decorative band or arrangement. Cover with the lid.

Store in the refrigerator. The conserve will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 pint.

[recipe from The Glass Pantry, Georgeanne Brennan]seen on

Buy Green Almonds
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

mere de vinaigre--vinegar mother

I just received some mere de vinaigre--vinegar mother from a generous friend, some for white, rosé and red wine vinegar and I can hardly wait to try Christine's instructions over at holy basil. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Houblon - Hops Shoots

A delicious spring green, similar in taste to asparagus, is houblon or hops, the shoots of which can be eated steamed, braised or fried. The male flowers can also be eaten in salads. The female cones are used later in the season to impart a certain bitter flavor to beer.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Of the Pastes of Fruits

It is only requisite to have recourse to the particular Marmelades, of every sort of Fruit, described in the fore-going Chapter, to know how to make as many Pastes; in regard that it is almost the same thing, and the whole Work is brought to Perfection by drying those Marmelades. To that purpose, when the Business requires dispatch, the Sugar must boil, till it be crack'd, or at least, greatly Feathered; to be incorporated with the dried Fruit. Afterwards, the Marmelade being made according to Art; may be taken up with a Spoon, and dress'd upon Slates, or in Moulds, in order to be dried in the Stove, with a good Fire. In the Evening, or the next Day, they must be turn'd on the other side, and laid again upon the same Slates, or upon Sieves: As soon as these Pastes are become very firm and compact, they are to be lock'd up in Boxes, and may be us'd, as Occasion requires.
    At other times, when you would have any Paste dryed, let as much Marmelade, as you shall think fit, be put into a Copper-pan, and having caus'd some Sugar to be brought to its Feathered Quality, pour it in; tempering it well till it slips off from the bottom of the Pan; after the same manner, as in the making of Marmelade. Then let all simper together, for a while, and let the Paste be immediately dress'd upon Slates, or in Tin-moulds, made in form of a Heart, Square, Flower-de-luce, etc., which are usually set into the Stove, to be dried as before. These are the general Directions that me be given, for the ordering of such Fruit-pastes as are made of Marmelades; allowing two Pounds of Sugar, for every Pound of Fruit. But for other Pastes, that are made on purpose, an equal quantity of each will be sufficient, and the Sugar must be boil'd till it has attain'd to its Crack'd Quality.

New Instructions for Confectioners, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 81-82.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May for the Confectoiner . . .

In this Month green Goose-berries first appear, of which Compotes and Jellies are made: They are also preserv'd liquid for the rest of the Year, either for Tarts, or to be serv'd up again in Compote, upon certain Occasions.

Green Apricocks come about the same time; affording Matter likewise for Compotes, Pastes and Marmelades: But they are chiefly preserv'd dry, and kept for a considerable time.

Green Almonds, which belong to the same Season, may be order'd after as many different manners, viz. for Compotes, Pastes and Marmelades, as well as preserv'd dry or liquid, in order to be us'd upon any emergent Occasion.

Straw-berries begin likewise to appear, which may be serv'd up, not only in their natural Condition, but also in Compotes, to diversifie the former Banquets.

New Instructions for Confectioners, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 11.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Using "leftover" greens

I have been toying with the ends of the romaine heads, chopping them into shreds and then combinging them with cheese, bread crumbs, aromatics . . . then using the mixture to stuff vegetables and pasta before baking. I like the texture and crunch the ends of the lettuces give to stuffings. My husband commented that a touch of citrus zest may allay the excess "greeness" taste when baking in vegetables. Now this is quite a suggestion, since he often thinks I use too much zest . . . I'll give it a try next time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cleaning Copper

It's time to get my copper preserving pan out and to clean the inside in preparation for the fruit pastes, jellies and marmelades I have in mind to make this season. The under or outside of the pan is a bit dark and discolored from sitting over the coals, which cannot be helped, so I'm mainly concerned with the inside. Keeping the inside immaculate and shiny will prevent any copper contamination from ruining my confitures.
To clean copper, make a paste of flour, salt and vinegar; rub all over the surface to be cleaned and leave to set for 15 minutes to half an hour. Rinse well with fresh water and dry thoroughly if not to be used immediately.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pot Herb Pie--A Spring Tonic

Nicholas Bonnefons recommend a wide variety of greens for pies: spinach, which he deemed to be excellent, orache, chicory, white beet or Swiss chard and finally a small amount of sorrel and purslane to heighten the flavor. In 1615, Champlain planted cabbages, white beets and other necessary herbs in Nouvelle France.

Pot Herb Pie
1 pound of mixed greens (dandelions would be good, as well)
2 eggs
1 pint bechamel (white sauce)
salt and pepper
lemon zeste
icing sugar and rose water--a sprinkle of each

Remove stems from greens. Boil in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain, chop and squeeze dry. Make bechamel by stirring milk into a roux of butter and flour--grate in nutmeg and lemon zeste. Simmer until thick. Beat eggs and stir in greens. Add to bechamel. Pour into pie shell of fine pastry. Sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of rose water. Bake in a moderate oven. Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.
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Recipe adapted from A Taste of History, the Origins of Québec's Gastronomy. Marc Lafrance & Yvon Desloges, Les Éditions de la Chenelière inc., Québec, 1989, p. 19

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ginger Candy - Gingembre Confit

Image Source

This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by La Petite Boulangette whose theme is Asian Sweet Invasion. The spice traders brought many delicious, nutritious and medicinal products to Europe, one of which is ginger. When you are feeling a bit low, nothing will perk you up quite like a nugget of ginger candy and a cup of hot China tea.

GINGER CANDIES: Crush some crystallized ginger, your choice of nutmeat, maybe some flower petals in a mortar until well blended. Form into squares or balls and roll in freshly crushed sugar. To preserve, pack between papers in a wood box. They will keep indefinitely.

GINGER: root of a plant which grows in India & in the Antilles; its taste is bitter & aromatic, it is used a great deal in the Antilles, where it holds the place of pepper, it excites the appetite. One eats it in salad in the places where it grows: here it is brought to us dry or candied.
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GINGEMBRE: racine d’une plante qui croît dans l’Inde & aux Antilles; son gout est âcre & aromatique, on en fait un grand usage aux Antilles, où il tient lieu de poivre, il excite l’appétit. On le mange en salade aux lieux où il croît: on nous l’apporte ici sec ou confit.

Dictionnaire Portatif de Cuisine, d'Office, et de Distillation. Chez Vincent, Paris 1767, p. 306.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Animelles frites - or Rocky Mountain Oysters

Larousse Gastronomique includes animelles [testicles, also an item of offal or abats blancs] and oysters among its list of foods considered aphrodisiacs. In 18thC France, de Troy's the Oyster Luncheon, depicts men seated around a luncheon table surfeiting on oysters, presumably prior to their afternoon trysts. Rocky Mountain Oysters, testicles from sheep, as well as other animals, are deep fried and served up in mounds at annual Western male rendesvous, where testosterone abounds in its purest form. This post is in honor of Meat and Greet #1.

ANIMELLES: name for the testicles of the ram [sheep]. Usually served three ways.
    Cut them into four or eight pieces after removing the skin; dredge in crushed salt & flour; fry until crisp.
    Make a paste [batter] of flour & beer or wine, add a little oil and salt and stir [set aside to allow the flour to moisten as in crepe batter]. Fry the animelles slices (or whole depending on size) until half done in hot oil, drain & then dip them in the batter [paste]; & fry until crisp; drain and serve with fried parsley.
    Marinate animelles with onions, parsley, pepper, clove, vinegar & a little stock [this will cause the testicles to firm up or blanch {set the flesh} and remove any excess blood or fluid]; drain, dip in beaten eggs; then into bread crumbs; fry, & serve with fried parsley.


    The animelles are nourishing & strengthening: they become even more so, when they are cooked with paste, eggs & spices; but they are less agreeable to delicate people with feeble stomachs.
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ANIMELLES: on appelle ainsi les testicules du bélier. On les sert de ces trios façons.
    On les coupe par morceaux en quatre ou huit; on en ôte la peau; on met dessus un peu de sel pilé & de farine; on les fait frire jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient croquantes.
    On fait une pâte avec farine détrempée de biere, ou vin, dans laquelle on met un demi-verre d’huile avec du sel. On fait frire les animelles à moitié, & on les met dans cette pâte; & ensuite on les remet à la friture; on les garnit de persil frit, pour servir.
    On les fait mariner avec oignons, persil, poivre, girofle, vinaigre & un peu de bouillon; on les trempe dans des œufs battus; on les pane; on les fait frire, & on les sert garnies de persil frit.


    Les animelles seules sont un mets nourrissant & fortifiant: elles le deviennent bien davantage, étant accommodée comme elles le sont ici avec de la pâte, des œufs & des épices; mais elles conviennent moins aux personnes delicates & aux estomacs foibles.

Dictionnaire Portatif de Cuisine, d'Office, et de Distillation. Chez Vincent, Paris 1767, p. 49.

In addition to fried parsley as a garnish, consider saucing them with butter and cream.
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