These redactions are by Eulalia Piebakere. I urge you to visit her original work at the above link. Below are excerpted the recipes I used for our Evening in the Solar, April 21st, 2016.
(prep order in parentheses)
(7) Bread — purchased
(6) Salat — field greens in vinaigrette
(4) Chyches: Legumes such as fava beans, chick peas, lentils, and peas were widely eaten by medieval people. This particular recipe is based on later recipes, but adjusted to reflect the spices reported as common in the above-referenced 12th century recipe collection (which were parsley, sage, pepper, garlic, mustard and coriander). For 8 people:
· 2 (standard sized) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
· 2 T olive oil
· 2 cloves garlic, minced [I used 4 cloves of garlic]
· Coriander and pepper (to taste); salt optional depending on beans
· Optional: 1 ounce fresh parsley, minced [I used ~2 oz. parsley]
Toss together all ingredients and bake in a ceramic dish at 350° for 30-40 minutes.
(3) Makerouns: Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo had nothing to do with pasta in Europe. Pasta recipes appear in some of the earliest medieval cookbooks and are typically based around cheese and often include sweet spices. This particular recipe combines elements of several later period (14th and 15th century) baked pasta dishes. For 8 servings (as a side dish — these are smallish servings):
· 8 oz dry pasta (wide egg noodles), cooked per package directions
· 2 ounces fresh salty cheese, such as Queso Fresco or Queso Blanco
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
· 1 teaspoon powder douce (sweet spices: a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove) [I used mace instead of cloves, 1 tsp. of each]
Mix cooked noodles with butter, cheese, and sugar/spices. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Note: the amounts of cheese and butter are easily adjusted. Consider this a starting point.
(2) Pottage of Rice: Spiced rice dishes with almond milk appear to have come to Western Europe by way of the Islamic Near East as a result of the crusades. While not based on one specific recipe, such dishes can be found across medieval recipe collections originating from many time periods and places. For 8 servings:
· 1 cup (before cooking) short grained brown rice
· 2 cups thick almond milk
· 1 tablespoon sugar (or honey)
· 1 teaspoon powder douce
· Salt to taste
Cook the rice (I use a rice cooker) fully, then combine with remaining ingredients and cook very gently, stirring often, until liquid is mostly absorbed. This second cooking works extremely well in a slow-cooker on low heat.
(5) A dish of lekes: Leeks were a very commonly consumed vegetable in period and would have been one of the few vegetables still available in late winter. To make 8 servings:
· 5 large leeks
· 4 T butter
· Spices: coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt
Slice leeks in half, rinse thoroughly, cut into 1” slices and rinse again (leeks are quite sandy). Place slices in a baking dish with butter and spices. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until leeks are tender. Or: Melt butter in a large pan, cook leeks on gentle heat for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring only often enough to prevent burning.
(1) Small Tarts: These small tarts were intended to make use of ingredients that would have been readily available (in storage) at this time of year.
· 1 ½ cups flour
· 1 stick butter
· Pinch salt
· 2-4 tablespoons water
(This is a modern short-crust pastry; if you’re curious about how pastry was actually made in period, come to Kingdom A&S and talk to me about my research project!) Combine salt with flour and cut in butter with a pastry blending tool or two butter knives, then rub butter between fingers into flour until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add water a tablespoon at a time and stir gently until dough forms a ball.
· 2 cups dried fruit (mix of dates, raisins, prunes, etc.)
· 1 cup red wine
· 2 T candied ginger, finely minced
· Powder douce and salt to taste
Mix spices with dried fruit and let soak several hours or overnight. Mix in candied ginger. Roll out crust and use it to line 8 muffin cups. Scoop filling into cups. Bake at 350° for ~30 min (until edges of crusts just start to brown).
Drinks: lemonade, wine, water.