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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sauce à l’Italienne blanche, Claire - Italian Sauce made with White Wine or Clairet (rosé).

Sauté parsley, Welsh onions [scallions], mushrooms, shallots, some chopped truffles, some cloves of whole garlic, one half bay leaf; add bouillon [broth] & let it reduce as much you desire for your dish; add two lemon slices, & degrease it properly & add a glass of champagne, season for good taste, & serve with all light or dark meats, & also with butcher's [cured] meats, according to what you’ve made. Italian Red sauce is done in the same way, using rosé [clairet, a now uncommon dark rosé which was the most common style of wine exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century], it tastes good with all sorts of things. [This sauce would have been strained prior to serving—use the strainings to add to farces for additional flavor.]

Sauce à l’Italienne blanche, Claire.
Vous avez persil, ciboules, champignons, échalottes, quelques truffes hachées, quelques gousses d’ail entieres, une demi feuille de laurier, vous passez le tout à l’huile, ensuite vous les mouillez de bon bouillon & de la reduction, & la laissez réduire au point que vous voulez vous en server; vous y mettez deux tranches de citron, & la dégraissez proprement & de bon gout , un verre de vin de Champagne dedans, & vous en servez à toutes sortes de viands blanches & noires, & meme sous la viande de boucherie, selon ce que vous en faites. La sauce rousse à l’Italienne se fait de meme, au lieu de bouillon vous la mouillez d’essence Claire & vin, finie de bon gout à toutes sortes de choses.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.123.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sainserelle à l'Espagnole & à l’Italienne - is this Stracciatella or Spätzle?

Take bread crumbs [without crust] & grated Parmesan, half and half; bind the whole with an egg(s), & drop into boiling broth, & cook, stirring constantly, for fear it does not stick to the bottom; once cooked, draw it out with a skimmer & serve in a dish with a little broth; it is used as soup if one wants.
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Sainserelle à l'Espagnole & à l’Italienne.
Vous prenez de la mis de pain & du Parmesan rapé, autant de l'un que de l'autre; vous déliez le tout avec des œufs entiers, & après vous y mettez du bouillon, & le faites cuire en remuant toujours, de peur que cela ne s'attache au fond; étant cuit, vous le dressez dans son plat, & servez un peu liquide; cela sert de potage si l’on veut.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.38.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pickled Purslain

Now is the time to gather all those pesky purslain stems and to pickle them for winter salads and garnishes. Blanche for 5 seconds and pack stems and leaves into a jar and cover with four parts vinegar to one part water with 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in it, add 1 teaspoon black peppercorns and 2 large garlic cloves crushed. Cover and set in a cool place for two weeks [this is a fermented pickle--keep submerged and remove any scum that might form; then use in salads, as a garnish or stirred into scrambled egs or sandwich fillings. Purslain is very high in protein and iron and is a very underrated pot herb/vegetable--try stirfrying it with butter.

Purslane \Purs"lane\, noun. [Old French expression porcelaine, pourcelaine (compare to Italian expression porcellana), corrupted from Latin porcilaca for portulaca oleracea.].

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rafiolis - Raviolis

rafiolis - raviolis Roll out your rissoles paste: make a farce [filling] of spinach wilted in butter, & add cream, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, & egg yolks to bind the farce; season with salt and pepper for good taste & let it cool; dollop this farce on your paste as for rissoles, & cut them with a corer or pastry wheel, & arrange them on a dish [dusted with flour to keep from sticking] and let dry for one hour before cooking; bring [a large pot of] water to the boil, add salt, drop your Rafiolis in one after the others; let cook a half hour [this seems excessive—7-10 minutes]; withdraw them with a skimmer & arrange them in layers in a baking dish with melted butter & grated Parmesan; pour more melted butter over the top and broil until hot & bubbly. On fat [days], you serve it with beef marrow in the farce, with Parmesan, & cooked in bouillon [broth, brodo not boiling water], always with grated cheese in the farce.

Observations:
It's amazing how little farce it takes to fill rafiolis. This dish must have resulted from poverty--all good cooks need a way to stretch a little meat or cheese into a full meal and filled pastas do this.

This pasta rolling pin for rafiolis may not have been used in the 18thC, but it is a modern implement to thrill! Making rafiolis is a snap! Here are three videos that show how to roll out the paste, how to fill it and how to use the rafioli cutting pin. Enjoy.

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Rafiolis.
Vous tirez de cette pâte sur vos mains, & l'etendez sur une table de côté & d'autre: vous avez une farce d'epinards passés au beurre, & vous y met¬tez de la crême, de la mie de pain, fromage de Parmesan rapé, & jaunes d'œufs, pour lier la farce; assaisonnez de bon goût; vous y mettez de la moëlle de bœuf, & laissez refroidir; vous couchez cette farce sur votre pâ¬te comme des rissoles, & les coupez avec une videlle, & les arrangez sur un plat; une heure avant que de servir, vous avez de l'eau bouillante, vous y mettez un peu de sel, vous y mettez vos Rafiolis les une après les autres; laissez cuire une demie heure; étant cuits & prêts à servir, vous les retirez avec une écumoire & les retirez dans leur plat par lits; un lit de Rafiolis, un lit de Parmesan & de beurre frais fondu; étant arrangez, au dernier lit vous y mettez davan¬tage de Parmesan & du beurre par-dessus, & servez chaud, vous en faites en gras de même, avec Parmesan, moëlle de Bœuf, mais cuits au bouillon, tou¬jours du fromage rapé dans la farce.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.31.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pâté de Macaronis à l’Italienne - Macaronis Pie, Italian-style

Make a batch of Macaronis [pasta dough] with eggs, a little water, a little salt, [knead, rest, roll out over and over until the dough is strong]; lay four or five sheets of rolled pasta [between floured towels, & let them dry, then cross [cut] in tailladins [tagliatelles] two fingers-width [these really are the description of pappardelle—wide fettuccine]: liberally salt a kettle of boiling water and cook the Macaronis for seven minutes in this water, & remove and rinse them in a colander; mix together thin slices of ham [I used turkey bacon], truffles, mushrooms, chopped beef marrow, fresh butter, powdered cinnamon, grated Parmesan, gravy &/or coulis [purée of meat juice and vegetables used in cooking ragu] in a bowl: add your Macaronis, & mix the whole together, season with salt and pepper for good taste and set aside; make a pie crust, usually Pâte brisée [short crust], as much as necessary for your timbale mold [I used a charlotte pan], butter it very well, & put arranged bands of pastry [fancy cut shapes] according to your imagination; then insert your crust pastry, & put your macaronis mixture inside & cover it with a disk of pastry, sealing sides and bottom well, & bake for one hour & one half; when it’s done, you reverse it [unmold] onto a serving dish, & make a hole in the top [usually part of the design is cut away and replaced after filling with gravy] and use a funnel to pour in enough gelatinous jus [gravy] to fill the spaces in the timbale. Cool [these pies are usually served cold or at room temperature after chilling], slice and serve.

Observations:
When laying your fancy shapes of pasta over the buttered pan bottom, be sure and brush the unbuttered side with egg wash so that the crust will adhere to the shapes after the large envelope of pastry is inserted into the pan; otherwise, the decorations will detach when unmolding the pastry.

Today this pastry is called a tortellini pie (The Splendid Table, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, p. 175) or Timbale Milanaise (La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange, p.456). Both books give excellent instructions. Quite a lot of effort is required in its making, but the macaronis pie is a beautiful dish for a festival meal.

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Pâté de Macaronis à l’Italienne.
Vous faites une pâte avec des œufs, un peu d'eau, un peu de sel; qu'elle soit ferme; vous en faites quatre ou cinq abaisses, & les laissez sécher, après vous les coupez en tailladins grands de deux doigts: vous avez de l'eau bouillante; vous y mettez du sel: faites cuire les tailla¬dins un demi quart d'heure dans cette eau, & les égoûtez dans la passoire; vous avez jambon en tranches bien minces, truffes, champignons, moëlle de Bœuf hachés, beurre frais, canelle en poudre, Parmesan rapé, jus & coulis: vous met¬tez le tout avec vos Macaronis dans une casserolle, & mêlez le tout ensemble de bon goût; vous avez une pâte brisée à l'ordinaire; vous prenez une casse¬rolle comme il faut, vous la beurrez par tout, & vous y met¬tez des bandes de pâte arran¬gées votre fantaisie; vous y mettez une abaisse de pâte dessus comme une timballe ordi¬naire, & vous y mettez votre appareil dedans & recouvrez d'une autre abaisse à l'ordinaire, & la faites cuire au four une heure & demie; étant cuite, vous la renversez dans son plat, & vous y faites un trou pour y jetter un jus lié de bon goût, & servez.

Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p.36.

Friday, August 08, 2008

August for the Confectioner

Much more Pains may be taken in this Month, in ordering these latter Fruits, because they are successively renew’d, by other kinds that are more proper for Preserving. Thus Orange-plums and Amber-plums, those of Isle-verd and others are preserv’d dry to be kept: Pastes and Marmelades are made of them, and they are still iced, and put into Compotes.

The same thing is done with the Pears in their Season, more especially the Rousselet, or Russetin, and some others, that are of an exquisite taste.

There are also certain Plums, proper for drying, in order to make Prunes, as occasion serves.

Figs are preserv’d and dried in the same Month, and they may be iced with Powder-sugar, as well as Grapes: Syrup of Mulberries is likewise prepar’d, and some think fit to preserve them: Apples are put into Compotes, and preserv’d after some other manners.

About the end of the Month, Girkins or small Cucumbers, Samphire, Purslain and other Herbs are pickled with Vinegar and Salt, for the Winter-sallets.

The court & country cook, faithfully translated out of French into English by J. K. A. J. Churchill, London, 1702, p. 13.
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