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.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alinore's redaction-Gourdes in Pottage

For this recipe, I decided to use the two acorn squash that I got from a coworker's garden. I decided that I wanted to try out a vegetarian version of this recipe, because I like the idea of having veggie dishes be strictly vegetarian for feasts so that non-meat eaters have a variety of options. I looked at the recipe Giovanna linked to in Gode Cookery and that article talked about using walnuts instead of the pork. I liked the idea of using the nuts instead of meat as a flavoring agent for this dish.

I started out by making a spice mixture to recreate the powder douce. From what I could find using Google, it is a mixture of spices that is somewhat similar to a pumpkin pie mixture. I used 3 tbs. sugar, 2 tbs. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, and 2 tsp. ginger. I was pleased with the way the mixture smelled and tasted.

Next I finely chopped half an onion and put it in a pot with 1 can of vegetable broth. Then I started to attempt to peel the squash, which didn't work out as well as I would have liked it to, so I put them in the microwave until half cooked, then I peeled and cubed them and put them into the boiling stock. I added a little salt and a couple threads of saffron at this point and let them simmer.

When the squash was cooked, I used a potato masher to mash everything together and added 4 oz of ground almonds, two egg yolks and 2 tsp. of the powder douce. I kept the heat on and stirred to let everything come together, then put a lid on it and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

I was mostly happy with the flavor of the dish. Next time I would use a little less saffron, 2 threads instead of 4 and a little bit more powder douce. I would also grind the almonds much finer, almost to a powder, and put them in to simmer with the squash. This dish didn't pass the 3 year old test, she wasn't a fan. I did serve it to a fellow SCA member who said that if they were served this at a feast they would eat it, so I suppose it passes that test. I think this is a nice dish to do if you like squash, if you don't like squash then it's probably not the dish for you.


Merouda said...

I'm sorry to hear that your redaction wasn't as tasty as you hoped. I have it in my mind to do one more redaction of this, what might be called the down and dirty version, but I am convinced that the make-or-break ingrediant in this receipt is going to be the broth.

I like the idea of the almonds and would have put some in myself had not the pottage thickened up as the squash broke down. I might have also tried a smidge of almond extract to flavor it up just a little bit. But then, I like that flavor.

Alinore said...

I actually thought it was fairly tasty and the flavor was good. It was more of a textural issue. The almonds weren't ground finely enough and gave it an odd lumpy texture.

Sometimes our local store sells pre-peeled, pre-cubed squash. If I can find some where that bit of the prep work is done, I may try it again. My biggest problem with the idea of making this for a feast would be the peeling/prep work involved in getting the squash ready to cook. I sliced my finger quite nicely trying to peel it.

Liz said...

I think I'm going to try the dish with a butternut squash, since I have one at home and I have a bit or pork butt in the freezer which should do just fine for a broth.

When I made soup with butternut squash I found it was fairly easy to peel, easier than acorn. (sorry you hurt your hand alinore)

Padruig does not like squash so I will be eating it alone.