Quinoa Frumenty? Quinoa of Flesshe?

Despite being cultivated 3000 to 4000 years ago, it’s pretty clear that quinoa (KEEN-wah) would never have been used in medieval recipes. Even if it was known in late-period Europe, the Conquistadors derided it as “food for Indians” and wouldn’t have bothered to export it for the European market.

However, I LOVE it, and it’s such a healthy, versatile, protein-rich, gluten-free substitute for grains (it’s really a seed) that I’ll use it in pretty much anything that calls for barley or rice or other whole grains. I mean, really, the possibilities are endless. Blankmanger? Dolmas?

For this recipe I ended up riffing pretty heavily on frumenty recipes from Gode Cookery’s Grains and Pasta page.

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I like to pre-cook mine in chicken broth)
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • salt to taste

Put all ingredients except salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and reduce heat. Allow to cook for 40-45 minutes, or until mixture becomes thick. Be careful not to scorch the milk!

I found that since I had used a commercial chicken broth both to cook the quinoa and in the recipe, I didn’t need any additional salt, but YMMV if you use something low-sodium or homemade.I think next time I’ll also cut down on the amount of broth, for a thicker frumenty.

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pork Rinds, are they period?

Pork rinds are an easy food. Whether you call them pork rinds, cracklings, or pork scratching, you are likely to find a small bag at the gas station on your way to and from an event. They have enough protein that you won’t end up killing someone from a protein deficient headache. Surely that never happens to me!

But are they period? Yes, it appears that they are.

Le Viandier de Taillevent includes the following recipe which uses cracklings.

46. Small birds like larks, quails, thrushes and others.

Pluck them dry, without water, boil them a bit, and spit them including the heads and feet (crosswise and not lengthwise). Put some slices or cracklings of pork fat or sections of sausages between each pair. Eat them with fine salt. In a pie, with harvest cheese put in the belly. – Le Viandier de Taillevent

cracklings   Slices of the fibrous residue left after rendering fat.

If you are so inclined, you can make your pork rinds!

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From Le Managier de Paris

Waffles are made in four ways. In the first, beat eggs in a bowl, then salt and wine, and add flour, and moisten the one with the other, and then put in two irons little by little, each time using as much batter as a slice of cheese is wide, and clap between two irons, and cook one side and then the other; and if the iron does not easily release the batter, anoint with a little cloth soaked in oil or fat.

The second way is like the first, but add cheese, that is, spread the batter as though making a tart or pie, then put slices of cheese in the middle, and cover the edges; thus the cheese stays within the batter and thus you put it between two irons.

The third method, is for dropped waffles, called dropped only because the batter is thinner like clear soup, made as above; and throw in with it fine cheese grated; and mix it all together.

The fourth method is with flour mixed with water, salt and wine, without eggs or cheese.

The recipe I used is an blanched almond flour base by Elana, of  Elana’s Pantry

But any recipe you like with work.

I have tried both recipes that incorporate cheese.  Of the two, I enjoyed the first method which used a slice of cheese, instead of shredded cheese.  It was much more like a grilled sandwich.

Helpful hints:

Make sure the iron is oiled properly to prevent sticking of the waffle batter and especially the cheese.

When using the slice of cheese,  use a spoon to cover the cheese with batter.

When using shredded cheese,  make sure to mix up the batter each time so you don’t end up with the last batch having all the cheese.

Do not overfill the iron!

Waffles with Shredded Cheese

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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