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, February 17, 2008

It's a fish, really it is...

I tried the "fish" recipe today. I was inspired by Ealasaid's fish from Coronation, and thought I would try to make one that looked like that. I'll admit based on the above picture, it doesn't.

Here's what I used:

6 small apples, various varieties, peeled, cored and chopped (it seemed to make 3-4 cups of apple bits)
1/3 cup almonds, chopped fine
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch saffron

Pie crust (I used commercial pie crust)

Here's what I did:

Cut up apples and chopped almonds. I also don't have a mortar and pestle big enough to put apples in, so I tried several options. I put them in a big bowl and used a potato masher, but it didn't do much. I tried a meat tenderizer hammer, which also didn't do much. I added a little bit of water, and got wet unsmashed apples. I put all of the apples into a plastic bag, and tried with the tenderizer hammer again, which seemed to work, until a corner of the bag broke, and the one bit of apple that smashed flew everywhere. ::Sigh:: So, I decided they were smashed enough. I added the spices a little at a time until they tasted right. I thought I might need more sugar, but realized the apples were sweet, and 1 tablespoon was enough. I also like ginger, so I added more than the cinnamon.

When all the ingredients were mixed, I made half of the pie crust into an oval. I mounded the apple mixture in the middle. I added the other half of the crust on top, and shaped it into a crescent.

I decorated the "fish" by cutting sort of scale-like pattern into the body, washed it with a saffron tinted color, and sprinkled it with sanding sugar in an attempt to make the scales sparkle. I baked it in a 350 oven for about 35 minutes, until it was golden brown.
We tasted it at room temp, and two of us thought it was very good. One of us did not like the almond bits in it, but he doesn't like nuts that much anyway. It did not, however, look like a fish, or come off of the cooking pan easily, so it looked worse after I put it on the plate.
Things I would change:
-Make my own crust. I don't like the flavor of the commercial one any more.
-Spend a little more time on the shape, and make the extremities (in this case the tail) out of crust without filling.
-I would like to try fresh ginger, as opposed to dried, to see how it changes the flavor.
-More finely chop the almonds. The chunky bits gave a good flavor, but were a little disconcerting.
Things I liked:
-While more color would be nice, and you can't really see it in the picture, the textured crust was nice and tasty.
-Ratio of ginger and cinnamon. I liked ginger and apples.
-Chunky apples. I liked the texture.


Gwyneth said...

I can't figure out how to edit my own post - so here are a couple more thoughts:

I spelled Elasaid's name wrong-I'm sorry.

I thought about using almond slices to make scales, but didn't have any. I thought they would look kinda cool.

I wasn't sure what color fish should be but was thinking something dark blue. I wasn't sure what would give me a dark blue color in nature. Would blueberries work?

Liz said...

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