[Sca-cooks] Favorite Healthy period dishes, recent study on vitamin absorption
lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 14 19:25:47 PDT 2006
>So what are people's favorite healthy/healthier dishes? I know a lot of
>people like the mixed green sallets and the roasted or baked herbed chickens.
Sallats go over very well here in The West. I just salt *very*
lightly, toss with just enough decent olive oil to coat the leaves,
and add a splash of red or white wine vinegar.
Vegetables go over well here, too. For example, most spinach dishes
are quite popular. And asparagus (when affordable - and it's grown
locally) is quite popular - there are a number of similar recipes -
from Apicius to Martino and Platina - that involve cooking the
asparagus until just tender, then tossing with olive oil and wine
vinegar or lemon juice, and a little something else, depending on
time period. Simple, healthful, and almost modern :-)
There's also the local Boar Hunt standby, which is boned legs of
pork. The skin is removed, but kept wrapped around the meat. Between
the meat and the skin we slather lots of mashed garlic. Then we
re-tie the skin around and roast until done, removing the skin before
slicing and serving. Fat cooks out into the pan and the meat is very
moist and tender. This is not truly period, but more peri-oid. It is
excellent served with a selection of sauces, and delicious eaten
I find that there is not a lot of butter in most Medieval cooking, so
that's not much of an issue. And I have served a limited number of
cheesy recipes - many i've cooked have been based fresh white cheese,
like ricotta - although artery cloggers like Tarte de Brie (filling
is brie, butter, saffron) or Crustade Lombarde, which is an egg
custard tart with dried fruit and spices, are served occasionally.
But they're so rich it only takes a sliver to satisfy, and they are
in courses with other foods not fatty foods, so one rarely wants to
eat a lot of them.
For dayboards, i do like to make tarts that contain eggs, cheese,
herbs, and green vegetables. A slice can be nearly a whole meal,
served with fresh fruit and salad.
I have to say, however, that there is a significant degradation in
taste, texture, mouth feel, flavor, and other qualities of many
dishes when made with low fat milk or yogurt, rather than with whole
milk or whole milk yogurt. And many places in period would not have
used cow's milk, but rather sheep's, which is healthier. But i can't
get sufficient quantities of sheep's milk at prices i can afford to
make it worth using in a feast for health reasons.
I did send small containers of goat's milk yogurt and sheep's milk
yogurt around in a recent class i taught on 15th c. Ottoman cooking,
so the attendees could taste the difference compared to cow's milk
yogurt. Of course, they were made of pasteurized milk, which they
didn't have in "period", and it can taste significantly different
>What's your experience with using whole grains?
Grains aren't eaten in quantity at feasts here, although i serve one
in each course. I have generally had to discard large quantities of
relatively inexpensive dishes of grains and lentils, although people
seem to like rice, which i have cooked more than once.
When i could get barley grits i used them for that Roman polenta-like
dish - made with flax seeds and coriander seeds - which was quite
popular. But i can't get barley grits in shops around here anymore, i
can get them only if i order a case directly from the manufacturer,
and that's enough for many many feasts. The Ancient Greek chickpea
dish i made went over well. Both recipes at:
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita
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