Tagged ‘Taste of Two Cultures’

Fish to fry or fricassee

July 13th, 2012 by KM Wall

Jakob Gilling Freshwater Fish

Of simple Fricasese.

Your simple Fricases are Egges and Collups fried, whether the Collops be of Bacon, Ling, Beefe, or young Porke, the frying whereof is to ordinarie, that is needeth not an relation, or the frying of any Flesh or Fish simple of it selfe with Butter or sweere Oyle.

- 1623. Gervase Markham. Covntry Contentment, or The English Huswife. London. p. 63.

To make a Fricace of a good Haddock or Whiting.

First seeth the fish and scum it, and pick  out the bones, take Onions and chop them small then fry them in Butter or Oyle till they be enough, and put in your fish, and frye them till it be drye, that doon : serue it forth with powder of Ginger on it.

- 1591. A.W. A Book of Cookrye. London. p. 27.

Ordinary, a fricassee is a dish of meat that is first boiled and then fried. Gervase Markham upsets this apple cart by identifying two sorts of fricassees: simple and compound. Simple fricassees for him are fried meats or fried eggs (some with meat) or plain fried fish. Tansys , fritters and pancakes and quelquechoses are what he is calling compound fricassees, none of which involve a boiling first step.

Since Plimoth is right on the ocean, ocean fish are common on Plimoth tables for half the year – the summer half. One account states that they send a boat out with 5 or 6 men in the morning, and they’re back in a few hours with enough fish to feed the town.

There will be several fish dishes on the bride-ale table on Saturday, including these two fried  dishes.

The fricassee with the powdered ginger on top is also very healthy, according to the Doctrine of Humours : the hot, dry ginger counters the effects of eating the cool, wet fish.

And the flavor is divine.

Eat Like A Pilgrim: Sauce for a Turkie

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

Sauce for a Turkie
Take faire water and set it over the fire, then slice good store of Onions and put into it, and also Pepper and Salt, and good store of the gravy that comes from the Turkie, and boyle them very well together: then put to it a few fine crummes of grated bread to thicken it; a very little Sugar and some Vinegar, and so serve it up with the Turkey:
Gervase Markham , The English Huswife, 1623

To make this at home:

6 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)

Follow your favorite recipe for roast turkey. Remove the turkey to a platter reserving the pan juices.

Place thinly sliced onions in a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the onions are tender but not mushy. A good deal of the water should have boiled away. Set aside for a moment.

Place the roasting pan over medium heat and stir to loosen any brown bits. Stir in the onion sauce, sugar, vinegar and breadcrumbs if desired. Pepper? Taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, pour over sliced turkey or serve alongside in a separate dish.

 

NOTES:

The gravy is the drippings.
Onions are mentioned in William Bradford’s garden verse :

” All sorts of roots and herbs in gardens grow,
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, or what you’ll sow,
Onions, melons, cucumbers, radishes,
Skirrets, beets, coleworts, and fair cabbages.”
- 1654. Bradford, William. Verses.
- Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 61.

“ Turkeys there are, which diverse times in great flocks have sallied by our doors; and then a gun (being commonly in readiness) salutes them with such courtesy as makes them take a turn in the cook-room, they dance by our door so well.
“Of these there hath been killed that weighed forty-eight pound apiece.
“They are by many degrees sweeter than the tame Turkeys of England, feed them how you can.

- 1637. Thomas Morton. New English Cannan. Jack Dempsey, ed. 1999. p. 64.

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