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.

3 comments:

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.