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.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Pie of Parsnips

I was somewhat skeptical about this recipe only because it didn't seem like something that would appeal to my own particular taste preferences but part of this experience is trying new things.

I started by peeling and dicing the parsnips and putting them into water to boil. I decided to season them as they were boiling so that the flavor would be more incorporated so I added some salt, pepper, and about a 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. While that boiled, I zested a lemon and brined the peel in salt water and lemon juice. I had forgotten to salt my own lemons ahead of time and hadn't located any commercially. This may have overall impacted the final product. Once the parsnips were cooked I removed them from the heat and drained them before mixing in onions fried in butter, the brined lemon zest, and the mint. I baked this in a crust made of butter, flour, salt, and water for about 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees F. I didn't have any wine on hand either so there again I missed a step which may have impacted the overall product.

Having tasted the pie I am still not particularly crazy about it. There are definitely a lot of flavors going on...the onions and nutmeg added some sweetness, the parsnips seemed sweet and woodsy at the same time but had an interesting bite to them. The lemon and mint kept hitting me at different points throughout. Part of my opinion may have been changed by the ingredients I didn't have access to while I was making this. I also wonder if this would work better as pasties rather than a whole pie so that all the flavors sort of come together at once in a more concentrated way rather than in a larger pie. I am also thinking that pairing this with a creamier dish or a spicy meat might complement it. Overall it was an interesting experience and I am glad I gave it a try.


ecb said...

The wine has a major impact. I have made one version of this already and plan to make another version to address the things I saw as problematic. In the first version, I noted that my wine sunk to the bottom of the pie and the flavor of the things on the bottom was noticably different--and better--from the flavor of the things on the top. I'm sorry that you don't like my choice; as I recall, you didn't like last month's, either; perhaps G will let you pick the next recipe.

relativelylucid said...

I was kind of thinking that. I work long hours so I have a hard time purchasing wine within the designated window of state law. I was planning on making a special trip and that fell through and I ended up not being as prepared as I wanted to be for my baking. I also think the quality of the parsnips may have had a lot to do with it too.

I hope I didn't come across as offensive. One of the biggest criticisms I receive is that I have a very narrow range of flavors that I like. I am trying new things but it is not always successful. I know that I made a mistake in the recipe which was probably why I didn't like it as much. I wanted to be honest in my review.

As for the other recipes I have tried, I really liked the "fish". It was a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat. And, while I still didn't like the figs and dates in the pie, I admit that almond custard was a lot more enjoyable than I originally expected.

This is still a learning experience for me.