[Sca-cooks] Anchovies - what to do?

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 30 09:34:18 PST 2010

In  Sweden the anchovies are the  most important part of a dish called
"Janssons frestelse",. They are gutted and fried and they are mixed with
potatoes and cream and everything goes to the oven. It's the same procedure
you use to do lasagne or moussaka.
Don't ask me proportions! But it's a heavenly dish, mostly served at
Christmas, Yule-time.

On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 5:59 PM, Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps <
dephelps at embarqmail.com> wrote:

> les anchoyes au percy, oygnions et vin aigre, et la poudre par dessus
> Du fait de cuisine, f. 56v
> The above simple list/recipe translates loosely into English as:
> anchovies with parsley, onions, vinegar and powdered over with what is
> probably "fine powder".  "Fine powder" per the Menagier de Paris is:
> "prenez gingembre 1.3, canelle triece 3, giroffle et graaine de chascum
> demy quart d'once, et de sucre en pierre 3, et faictes pouldre"
> It should be noted that in various versions of Menagier the proportions of
> these spices vary.  That being said this, translated into the modern, works
> out, per Scully and Scully, as:
> 3 tbs. ground ginger
> 1.5 tbs. cinnamon
> 1 tsp. grain of paradise
> 1 tsp. ground cloves
> 2 tbs. sugar
> The recipe as worked out makes some assumptions.  The onions and anchovies
> need to be cooked for one thing, presumably sauted in olive oil, and the
> mixture combined with vinegar, the parsley and the spice powder.
> Having reviewed Scully and Scully's recipe the following is my redaction:
> Take three parts chopped onion to one part olive oil and saute the onions
> in the oil.  Take 3 parts red wine vinegar add it to the onions.   Lacking
> fresh anchovies add 3 to 4 parts anchovies canned in oil  and a equal amount
> of parsley, both of which you have chopped fine, to the mixture.  Add the
> spice powder to taste.  Serve the result as a spread on toast points.
> References:
> Scully, D.E. & Scully, T., 1995, Early French Cookery, University of
> Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Caridoc, Duke & Diana Alena, Duchesa, 1987, A Collection of Medieval and
> Renaissance Cookbooks,  Privately Printed
> There is also the example of Mike's lunch menus, which featured anchovies,
> that was sent to me some time back.  Here is the passage of interest sent to
> me by Christianna some time back.  Hope it is of use and she doesn't mind.
> I've thought to do a reproduction of the lunch as an A/S entry but not
> gotten around to it.
> "The one real find for me was when I turned a corner tosee a small piece of
> paper in a frame on the wall, with pictures of fooditems on it. When I got a
> closer look, I was amazed! It was an envelopethat Michalangelo received in
> 1518, that he had then outlined menus on forilliterate servants. Here is the
> text from the blurb on the wall next toit:"Always frugal and often dealing
> with illiterate assistants, Michalangelosketched these three menus (for two,
> four, and six people) on the back of aletter he received in 1518. His
> annotations read "Two rolls, a pitcher ofwine, a herring, tortelli; four
> rolls, a pitcher of wine, a small quarter ofa rough wine, a plate of
> spinach, four anchovies, tortelli; six rolls, twofennel soups, a herring, a
> pitcher of wine."Each item has a picture of it drawn next to it. I sketched
> the whole thing,and I wish I could post it, but don't have the technology
> right now to doit. (Yes, I stood there a really long time, came to within 6
> inches of it©but no closer, my lord got close enough for the guard to inhale
> sharply © ;)The rolls are just circles, 2,4, and 6 of them. The pitcher of
> wine has ahandle, the quarter of a rough wine ('en quartucco di bruscio') is
> a smallpitcher approximately a quarter of the size of the big one. There are
> acouple of fish outlined (herring = 'una aringa'), and a couple of bowls
> ofwhat must be salad, also a flatter plate that might be the spinach or
> thetortelli. The soup ('duo minestro di finochio') is shown in a large
> tureen(footed), with something coming out of the bowl and hanging over the
> sides(3 of them), I'm guessing it is fennel stalks used for decoration,
> andpossibly to be served with the soup. The last reference to wine reads
> 'ubochal di tondo', which the book states was probably a reference to
> winefrom the Calle Tondo, a local regional wine. It is supposed that this
> lastone was added by one of Michalangelo's sculptural collaborators,
> PietroUnella (? I'm not sure of his last name), because his writing is all
> overother daily expense account records, and Michalangelo himself was so
> frugalthat the finer wine might not have been his idea.As usual, he is
> presumably talking to cooks, so he gives no preparationinstructions. I am
> guessing that the spinach would be a plate of rawleaves, perhaps dressed
> with olive oil and salt. Maybe cooked lightly? Mylord conjectures that as
> herring is a cold water fish, it might be apreserved item, bought in
> barrels, while the anchovies might be a fresh'catch of the day' from the
> Mediterranean. The bread ('pain dua', 'quatroparni', and 'sie parni'), look
> like simple round rolls.ChristiannaA photo of the 1517 letter is reproduced
> in Gillian Riley's _Painters andFood: Rennaissance Recipes_, p. 36.Ms. Riley
> selected 3 recipes from period sources (eg Platina) for StewedFennel,
> marinated anchovies and aromatic spinach (cooked). Unfortunately,Ms Riley
> does not provide the original recipe texts, nor the periodcookery
> sources."Daniel
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