[Sca-cooks] My "Roman Meal" display at A and S

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 23 23:27:24 PST 2009

H Westerlund-Davis wrote:
>Was that cantelope with fish sauce as part of a dressing? What a 
>wild combination. I would think it would have to be a mild form of a 
>fish sauce.?Does it explain why fish? I?immediatly thought of salt 
>and sweet?combination.

There are some common combinations in Roman cooking...and fish sauce 
shows up in almost everything

For a 26-dish Roman feast i made for 80 diners, i prepared peaches 
with ground roasted cumin, lovage (i substituted Chinese parsley 
because i couldn't find fresh lovage herb), and fish sauce. It was a 
huge hit.

Patina de Persicis : Peaches in Cumin Sauce

Original Recipes:

Peach Patina:
Peel some firm peaches, cut in chunks, and cook. Place in a patina 
pan and drizzle with oil. Serve with cumin sauce.
[ ----- Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 34]

Another cumin sauce: pepper, lovage, parsley, dried mint, a large 
amount of cumin, honey, vinegar, fish sauce.
[ ----- Apicius, Book I, Chapter XV, Recipe 2]

My Versions:

Cumin Sauce (make first)

1 Tb. roasted Cumin Seed
1/2 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) Parsley
1/2 cup Chinese Celery Leaves or Lovage Herb
1 Tb. crumbled dried Mint
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 cup Red or White Wine Vinegar
3/4 cup Honey
2 Tb. Tiparos (brand) Thai Fish Sauce

1. Roast cumin seed in a dry pan until fragrant and just darkening.
2. Cool somewhat, then grind cumin.
3. Mix roasted cumin with pepper, lovage, parsley, and mint.
4. Put vinegar and honey in a sauce pan on medium heat.
5. Stir in seasonings.
6. Simmer briefly, stirring, until liquefied and well seasoned.


40 fresh ripe Peaches
1 cup Olive Oil

1. Plunge peaches into boiling water briefly.
2. Drain, then remove skins.
3. Halve, removing pits.
4. Cut in chunks - putting 4 peaches on a separate dish for vegetarians.

Finish Dish

1. Put 4 peaches for the vegetarians in a small baking pan.
2. Put remaining peaches for everyone else in a large baking pan.
3. Toss all peaches with olive oil.
4. Separate a dish of sauce for the vegetarians. Season with a tsp. 
of soy sauce.
5. For remaining sauce, stir in fish sauce.
6. Pour cumin sauce onto peaches in baking dishes, keeping vegetarian 
dish separate.
7. Bake in 350 oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until just barely 
beginning to bubble.
8. Plate, keeping vegetarian peaches separate.

The peaches were ripe enough to peel without plunging in boiling water.
We also didn't cook them. We just cut them up and mixed them with the sauce.

These were incredibly delicious, in part because of the high quality 
of the peaches which were perfectly ripe. I had bought the case of 
peaches about 4 days before the feast, and kept them in a cool dark 
place until the feast. Most of them were eaten and we in the kitchen 
kept slurping them up. They were my favorite dish of the feast.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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