[Sca-cooks] Fried onions and such

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jul 5 15:06:36 PDT 2008

Serena replied to me with:

> <<< Then again, I once served a whole deep fried onion with a
> Garlic/Walnut sauce that went over very well. >>>

Stefan> Oh? Any evidence for deep fried onions of any style being
period? I wonder how that sauce would work with fried mushrooms.

Actually the recipe to which I refer is in your very own florithingie:

Oh! Well, I don't think I've ever claimed to remember everything that  
is in there...

Thanks. I may have find the original and move it or maybe just save  
this message into the fried-foods-msg file.

To Make Whole Onions in Casserole on a Lenten Day
Source: _Libro del Arte de Cozina_, 1599
Translation: Brighid ni Chiarain (Robin Carroll-Mann)
Take the white onions, and sweet ones, and the bigger they are, the
better, and make them cook in water and salt, in such a manner that
they are well cooked, and take them out and let them cool and drain,
and puncture them with the knife, so that the water will come out
better, and being drained moisten them with a bit of cold water, and
flour them, and put them in a tart pan with enough hot olive oil that
they will be more than half covered, and give them fire below and
above, turning them several times, and being cooked serve them with
oil and cinnamon on top.  You can also cover with garlic sauce and
green sauce. >>>

Interesting. I'm not sure this would be considered "deep frying", but  
half way up the onion is a fair amount of oil. And I've not looked at  
the recipes for fried onion blossoms or such that have recently  
become popular. Maybe they aren't totally immersed in the oil. This  
recipe does use flour, instead of bread crumbs like a lot of medieval  
recipes. Perhaps this is an example of the change from bread crumbs  
to using flour instead. It was published rather late in our period.

Is this referring to two sauces, a green sauce and a separate garlic  
sauce? Or a garlic and green sauce? Brighid, is this your translation?

As I mentioned, I think I'll have to check into this/these sauces. I  
like fried mushrooms and fried onions, but I've gotten used to them  
with a hot horseradish sauce and even Bennigan's, where I first got  
into fried mushrooms has started serving them with (to me) insipid  
ranch dressing, instead of horseradish sauce.

<<< I also played around with a Fried Onion (allium, same family)  
from The Anon Tuscan Cookbook translated by Vittoria Aureli.>>>

Perhaps I missed it, but I don't remember this cookbook being  
discussed here. More details? Is it a period or modern cookbook?

<<< It didn't
make it into the feast for logistical reasons - but it was darn  
tasty: >>>

What logistical reasons? It doesn't sound any more difficult than the  
above recipe.

<<< [28] Another preparation. Take whole leeks, well washed, and cut  
in four pieces, and boil them a little; then take them out, and put
them on a board to drain; then take flour, and dilute it with a little
hot water, and stir it in a bowl thoroughly with a mixing spoon, and
put salt in it. Then take these leeks piece by piece, and coat them in
this batter; and then fry them in a lot of oil. >>>

Another interesting recipe. And this one does use a batter instead of  
flour or bread crumbs.

Both of these sound like they would make good dishes for a "tavern  
feast", although it maybe a modern idea of tavern food than a period  

<<< Those are the only two I can come up with off the top of my head - I
would be willing to wager digging might yield a couple more! >>>

If anyone does know of other, similar dishes, please post them. These  
also run counter to (my) conjecture that deep frying was not done, or  
was seldom done in period due to the cost and availability of oil.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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