The Cook-A-Long is a virtual kitchen for Medieval and Renaissance Cooking enthusiasts in the SCA. Each month a period recipe will be posted in the original language (when available) and a translation. All cooks are encouraged to try their hand at redacting and preparing the monthly dish and post his/ her results to the blog. If you are interested in becoming a participant in this cook a long, or would like to submit a dish for the month please send an e-mail to valkyr8 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Moorish Eggplant

Hello Everyone!

I'm working on a feast (Calontir's Crown Tourney, Nov 3rd) which I've decided to do along a late period Spanish theme. I'm getting 90% of my recipes from De Nola. Which is why the recipe I suggested for this month just happens to be a De Nola recipe which also just happens to be on my feast menu. :) Funny how that happens! I'll be trying the Almondrote tonight.

Last night I redacted another one of my recipes. Here's the original:

Peel the eggplants and quarter them, and their skins having been peeled, set them to cook; and when they are well-cooked, remove them from the fire, and then squeeze them between two wooden chopping blocks, so they do not retain water. And then chop them with a knife. And let them go to the pot and let them be gently fried, very well, with good bacon or with sweet oil, because the Moors do not eat bacon. And when they are gently fried, set them to cook in a pot and cast in good fatty broth, and the fat of meat, and grated cheese which is fine, and above all, ground coriander; and then stir it with a haravillo like gourds; and when they are nearly cooked, put in egg yolks beaten with verjuice, as if they were gourds.

And here's my redaction:

1 eggplant
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
4 oz grated cheese
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 egg yolks
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Peel and chop the eggplant into rough chunks. Boil in water for 10-15 minutes, drain. Press eggplant between two cutting boards to remove excess water. Then mince fine.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the eggplant. Fry on a medium or medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes and all the oil is absorbed. Put the eggplant in a sauce pan (or leave in the fry pan if it's got decently high sides) and add the coriander, broth, and cheese and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently and encourage the eggplant to fall apart further. Again, the liquid should absorb and/or evaporate. While cooking, whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar. Once it is all cooked throughly, and the eggplant is nice and mushy, add in the eggs and blend well. Serve warm.

This would serve 4 as a side dish, 2 hungry people, or a table of 8 in feast type circumstances.

I changed it to veggie broth instead of meat to ensure I had some vegetarian dishes, and I didn't add the extra fat for modern concerns/tastes. Plus, I'll have enough fat in the other dishes... Oy! De Nola does love his cheese and bacon. It was really good with a surprisingly mild flavor. I like it a lot. I will use a different cheese however. Since cheese is not a really good diet food, and I'm trying to lose weight, I don't have much in the house, and what I had was some Queso Blanco I bought for another recipe, and it really didn't work in this. It stayed like little cheesy semi-melted chunks and never really incorporated into the rest of the dish. I think I'd like to try it with a mix of Parmesan and mozzarella. Something nice and melty and something with a hint of a stronger flavor.

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? Have a different redaction? I'd love to hear them!

-Gwen A'Brooke


Rae said...

We did a spanish feast a few months ago and did an eggplant casserole there; we used cottage cheese, but ours was baked. your eggplant sounds similar to our gourds recipe, in which we used parmesan cheese (and it worked great). Our whole feast book is online as pdf if you're interested!

A. Rebekah Turner said...

When I read the original "...set them to cook; and when they are well-cooked, remove them from the fire..." it makes me think that roasting the eggplant might be the way to go - especially since roasting imparts a good flavor.

Do you know what "haravillo like gourds" are? Would these be a cooking implement or an ingredient?

Rae said...

iohanna: haravillo comes up in other recipes and seems to be a cooking implement used similarly to a potato masher.

Constanza said...

This sounds so good. I love eggplant. I used to just it in a pan with olive oil after soaking it for an hour. I've done things similar to this.