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, April 23, 2010

The way how to make a fysche called soole.

I made myself a surprisingly quick supper tonight, pictured below:

A "bitter orange", Sole in Civey, Spinach Fried

Sole has been on sale a lot in the local area, so naturally, I bought some. In fact, I bought a bit too much, and we'll be having sole again tomorrow. That said, it offered me the opportunity to have a fast and period supper tonight. The components plated above:

Slices of clementines, also in season right now, served with the peel on to hit the bitter note as a substitute for a Seville orange. I like bitter, so this was fine for me.

Sole in Civey

The original:

SOOLES IN CYNEE. C. XIX. Take Sooles and hylde hem, seeþ hem in water, smyte hem on pecys and take away the fynnes. take oynouns iboiled & grynde the fynnes þerwith and brede. drawe it up with the self broth. do þerto powdour fort, safroun & hony clarified with salt, seeþ it alle yfere. broile the sooles & messe it in dysshes & lay the sewe above. & serue forth.[Forme of Cury, 1390]

My Redaction:

6 oz sole fillets
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon powder fort
2 oz white wine, sweet
1 water as needed
2 drops yellow food coloring, if desired
  1. Chop onions. Place onions and 2 oz of the sole into 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and parboil to done.

  2. Add bread crumbs and spice mixture, and 1-2 oz of white wine. Mix it all up and continue to cook; add more water if needed. Cook until you have a stuffing-like consistency. You can serve this very thin, as if it is a sauce, but it works best cooked like a stuffing.

  3. Broil remaining sole

  4. Place sole on a plate, cover with the stuffing, and enjoy!

Obviously there are some differences here: I swapped out the honey for a couple ounces of Riesling and I left out the saffron. I chose wine over honey based on my preferences and supported by the use of wine in other "[Whatever Meat] in Cyvee/Cynee" recipes. I did put in a few drops of yellow food coloring to at least mimic the look saffron may have given. The civey cooked up into a stuffing-like dish at this quantity, and something I might do in the future is try making the civey and sandwiching it between a couple of fillets and giving it a nice bake. Mm. Stuffed sole.

Spinach Fried

Original recipe:

SPYNOCHES YFRYED. XX.IX. Take Spynoches. perboile hem in seþyng water. take hem up and presse ... out of þe water and hem in two. frye hem in oile clene. & do þerro powdour. & serue forth. Forme of Cury, 1390.

My redaction:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups spinach, raw
1/2 t long pepper
1/2 t grains of paradise
  1. If desired, parboil spinach. Drain, pressing out water if needed. Otherwise, just use the fresh leaves and allow the next step to cook them.

  2. Heat up to one tablespoon of olive oil and fry the spinach. When done, mix in spices.

  3. Enjoy!

  4. NOTE: The instruction to parboil reduces bitterness. If you have spinach that is not bitter when stir fried, or if you enjoy a slight touch of bitter, skip the parboiling.

I chose these particular spices on a whim. I had it sitting right there in the spice cabinet, and they were begging to be used in such a simple recipe, where there nice qualities would not disappear amongst lots of different flavors. Given the non-directive nature of "powders," I felt comfortable just using a little something period.

And, as a last thought on the spices, I should note that the powder fort I used is the sort sold by Auntie Arwen. Ah, Pennsic, and a moment in the late afternoon to stand in the shop and smell the spices. There's a medieval moment for you. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if you need spices and can't make it to pennsic...

The west coast source is
They come to sca wars in Caid. They have a shop in RIverside.