Monday, January 7, 2013

By the course - breaking down the Chalice Feast

Each course of my last Feast was a separate recipe, and each one came with its own set of challenges. Some were easy and simple, while others provided hazards in just cooking them! Here i a breakdown of the last Feast, course by course.

Course #1

. Brot und Äpfel
Baked loaf bread served with a side of butter (both salted and honey) and freshly cut apples drizzled with a hint of honey.

This was a simple and easy choice as far as into courses go. Bread was a common staple diet for the Middle Ages, and fruit selections were also common for a noble environment. Raw apples were not overly eaten in Germany, but a simple plating of them for the first course nibbles would suffice and be appropriate.

. Gewürzgurken
Fresh cucumbers sliced and generously coated in salt, pepper, fennel seed and caraway. A light coating of vinegar helps to seal in the flavor and accent the sweetness of the spices as well as the wet crispness of the cucumber.

The original recipe for the pickled cucumbers is as follows:

Marx Rumpoldt:
Schel die Murcken (sic!) / und schneidt sie breit unnd dünn / mach sie an mit Oel /
Pfeffer und Saltz. Seind sie aber eyngesaltzen / so seind sie auch nit böß / seind besser
als roh / denn man kans eynsaltzen mit Fenchel und mit Kümel / daß man sie uber ein Jar
kan behalten. Unnd am Rheinstrom nennet man es Cucummern.

Peel the cucumbers and slice them broad and thin, and dress them with oil, pepper and salt.
But if they are salted, they are also not bad, they are better than raw, because you can salt
them with fennel and caraway so that you can keep them for a whole year. And on the Rhine
they are called Cucummern.

This made for a very tasty nibble, I substituted vinegar for the oil to give it a bit ore bite which helped balance the sweetness of the apples. This was a very easy dish to prepare, just storage for the slices was the hardest part. They needed  abit more space for the full portions than I was ready for, so next time more storage containers!

Course #2

. Pilze und Zwiebel Suppe
A clean and warm soup of mushrooms and onions, simmered for hours and stewed generously with saffron and fresh sea salt.

 Marx Rumpoldt:
 Nimm duerre Schwammen / wasch sie sauber auß etlichen Wassern / setz sie
zu mit Erbeßbrueh unnd klein geschweißten Zwibeln / mach es ab mit Essig /
Pfeffer / mit Saffran und Saltz / laß miteinander ein stundt oder zwo sieden
/ so wirt es gut und wolgeschmack

Take dried mushrooms, wash then several times until they are clean and place them on the
fire with pease broth and small fried onions. Season it with vinegar, pepper, saffron and salt
and boil it together an hour or two. Thus it will be good and tasty.

From the same 16th century source as the cucumbers, this is another great soup. The onions seemed to have a sweetness all to their own after a while of simmering for the soup, I had to very carefully balance the sea salt with the onions sweetness as to not have the two flavors conflict. The hardest part was just the time, this took up a lot of stove space for a long time as it slowly simmered for hours. 

. Frikadellen
Ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, garlic and a pinch of pork belly meat that are rolled into balls and boiled to a juicy finish. Served in a small pool of beef broth.

Maister Hannsen:
Knödel mach also. Item nym ain kalbflaisch vnd hack speck darunder vnd gewürcz wol
vnd reibs, thue ayer vnd weiss prot darund(er) vnd mach kügelein daraus vnd sewd es mit
haissem wasser vnd schneid sy vnd gib es hin zue essen.

To make meatballs: Take veal and chop bacon into it and season it well, grind it, add eggs and
white bread and make balls of it. Cook them in hot water, cut them and serve them to eat.

This is a late 15th century recipe from Germany, and very tasty. This one was critical, not just as a supporting meat portion for this course but because all the beef broth made by boiling the meatballs would be used in travelers faire as well as lunch! This was the very first thing I cooked on Friday after arriving onto site, cold storing the cooked meatballs then slowly waring them an hour before feast back in the same broth.

. Salat
A fresh lettuce and herb salad, lightly dusted with salt. Goes great when eaten either with the meatballs or the mushroom and onion soup.

There was no true recipe for this dish, I've made a number of salat's before for personal meals from a variety of sources and I made a simple enough one that would go well with the overall course. This was fresh lettuce and greens, shredded with fresh thyme and rosemary and parsley added in. This was specifically over spiced, to go with the under spiced meatballs and soup. The populous was encouraged to eat the salat with either or both other dishes for full flavor experience!

Course #3

. Wurst in Apfelmus
Pork sausages coated in a ground pepper and salt mixture, grilled in a sauce of fresh diced apples. These can be covered in either the fresh green herb sauce or hearty saffron sauce provided with this course, as well as be eaten unadorned.

 Wildu ein gemacht wurst machen, so henk di wurst in ein rauch und brat si
dann und mach dann ein ziseindel dar uber mit zwifeln oder mit opfeln etc.

If you wish to make a made sausage, hang it in the smoke and then roast it and add a sauce of
apples or onions etc.

This was a tricky dish to cook, because I couldn't prepare it much ahead of time. The finely diced apples could sit a while in a lemon juice mixture, and I could season and prep all the sausages hours in advance, but cooking couldn't happen till the last possible chance. I added a bit of liquid smoke to mimic the husky flavor, as well as some black lava salt for the charcoal taste, and then roasted the sausages as best I could. This was one of the harder dishes to prepare!

. Carbonadoes gegrillt
Grilled beef steaks, covered in a ginger glaze that are coked over open coals. These can be covered in either the fresh green herb sauce or hearty saffron sauce provided with this course, as well as be eaten unadorned.

Frantz de Rontzier:
Karbanart von Rinder unnd Hamelfleisch/ Schwein/ Hirsch unnd Rehe
Wildbrat Wenn mans thun will / mag man uber die Karbanart / wenn sie gar
sein / Wein oder Bieressig geben. Man sol sie allezeit / ehe sie gebraten
werden / mit einem Messerruecken schlagen daß sie moerbe werden. Man bradet
die Moerbraten oder Magerfleisch auff einer Rost / besprengets mit Saltze gibts
zum tische / etc. Man legts ein Nacht in Essig / darnach besprengvet mans
auff einer Rost mit Salz / und lests haftig abbraten etc
Item man vermischet Salz und Pfeffer / bestrewet sie damit unnd bradet sie
darnach auff einer Rost / wenn sie gar sein gibt mans also warm zum tische.
Item man bestrewet sie mit Saltze und Ingber / und bradet sie auff einer
Rost / und gibts zu tische.
Item / man bestrewet sie mit Muscatenblumen unnd Saltz / unnd bradet sie
auff einer Rost / etc.
Item / man bestrewet sie mit Saltze und Negelein / bradet sie dann ab / etc.
Item/man bestrewet sie mit Gartenkoehm und Saltz / bradet sie damit ab /etc.
Item / man bestrewet sie mit Gartenkoellen / gruen oder duer / und Saltz /
darnach bradet man sie ab / begeust sie mit Butter oder Bratenfeiste / etc
Item / man bestrewet sie mit zerstossen Wacholderbirn unnd Saltz / wenn sie
auff die helfte gebraten sein / etc.

Carbonadoes of Beef and Mutton, Pork, and Venison of Hart and Roe Deer
If you want you can pour vinegar or alegar over the carbonadoes once they are grilled. You
must always beat them with the back of a knife before they are grilled so that they become
You roast tender roast or lean meat on a griddle, sprinkle it with salt and serve it etc.
You place it in vinegar overnight, sprinkle it with salt on the griddle and roast it over very hot
coals, etc.
You sprinkle them with ground dried juniper berries and salt when they are half done etc.
You mix salt and pepper, sprinkle them with it, then roast them on a griddle and serve them
when they are done.
You sprinkle them with salt and ginger, fry them on a griddle, and serve them.
You sprinkle them with salt and ginger, fry them on a griddle, and serve them.
You sprinkle them with salt and mace and fry them on a griddle etc.
You sprinkle them with salt and cloves, fry them, etc.
You sprinkle them with salt and caraway and then roast them etc.
You sprinkle them with caraway, green or dried, and salt and fry them, then pour butter or
dripping over them etc.

This was a fun dish, with plenty of options! I used Angus eye round steak for the meat cut, and each person was cut a 4oz portion of steak. I tenderized each piece then did a simple glaze of salt, pepper, oil and ginger. Once glazed and cooled to dry and lock in the flavor, I had the steaks grilled over open coals to give them that dusky sweetness that smoke provides. This was another tricky dish, as the timing had to be just right for them to still be warm and juicy. As well I ran out of heat from my coals 3/4 the way through and had to switch to a flattop griddle for the last bit! The green herb sauce was served on the side, I felt the steak had its own flavor but the herbs sauce gave it a unique bite. The recipe for the green herb sauce is as follows:

De salsa viridi: ad salsam viridem accipe petrosillum cum menta, fusticellas,
cardamomum, nucem muscatam, piper, gariofilum, zinziber. Tere omnia in mortario
fortiter et cum eis tere parum de mica panis. Et si vis, potes ponere allea. Distempera
cum bono aceto.

Green sauce. For green sauce take parsley with mint, 'fusticelli' (possibly a variety of pepper,
or pine nuts), cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, cloves and ginger. Grind it all in a mortar, and a
small piece of bread along with it. If you want, add garlic. And mix it with good vinegar.

. Teigwaren
Lightly boiled pasta, coated with a thin layer of sweet butter. These can be covered in either the fresh green herb sauce or hearty saffron sauce provided with this course, as well as be eaten unadorned.

 Marx Rumpoldt:
Nudel gekocht mit Erbeßbrüh unnd Muscatenblüt / mit Butter / und ein wenig gelb gemacht
/ so ist es gut und wolgeschmack.

Noodles cooked with pease broth and mace, with butter, and made yellow a bit, these will be
good and tasty.

Another simple dish, just the portions were tricky! I underestimated how much 10 pounds of pasta would take up in space, and had to cook this in 3 separate containers! The sauce fr the pasta came out so well, I was riginally going to cook it seperate and serve in on the side but I had the pasta done earlier than epected and thus had to blend the saffron sauce in with the noodles to preserve the food dish.

Course #4

. Funnelcake
Fried cakes, cooked in a hot oil, shaped into a circular style funnel. Topped off with powdered sugar and happiness.

  Marx Rumpoldt:
 Mach ein Teig mit guter Milch / schlag drei oder vier Eyer darein / und ruer jn wol glat
an / mach Loecher durch ein Hafen / der nicht groß ist / geuß den Teig darein / und halt
ein Teller unten auff den Boden / daß der Teig nicht heraus rinnet / daß du es kanst
kreutzweiß in heisse Butter eynziehen / zeuchs nicht zu dick eyn / daß es kann außbacken /
bestraew es mit Zucker / unnd gibs kalt oder warm auff ein Tisch / so ist es ein gut
Strauben Gebackens.

Make a batter of good milk, break three or four eggs into it and stir it until it is nice and
smooth. Make holes into a pot that is not too large, pour the batter into it and hold a plate
against the bottom so it does not run out. You can pour it crosswise into hot butter. Do not
pour it on too thick so that it can bake. Sprinkle it with sugar and serve it warm or cold.
These are good fritters.

I won't lie...I totally cheated and used a premade batter. It tasted ust a great and cooked just as well as the stuff I amde at home to test, and was cheaper! The oil frying was simple and clean, thank god, and this dish came out great. It was a bit of a nail biter because I couldn't start it till ust before Feast started, as the fritters tasted better fresh.

. Termine Speckmantel
Pitted dates, wrapped in bacon and baked in a warm oven until done. Its bacon, its dates, its amazing.

There is no period recipe for this dish that I have seen, I think this falls into the category of period-like foods eaten at a Feast. It is very popular in Trimaris and a dish I find very yummy, so I thought it appropriate to use it to finish off my dessert! This was very simple to make, it could be made hours in advance and ust sat aside for later consuming.