[Sca-cooks] A Feast Menu for Commentary

Barbara Benson voxeight at gmail.com
Sat Jul 31 12:16:23 PDT 2010


Pennsic is starting up so the list should be a little, um, dead, so I
thought I might post something for the rest of us to talk about. I
have a bit of reservation about posting this - I am really out of my
depth with this one. I feel like a newbie posting something and
wondering if I am going to get shredded - but might as well put on my
big girl panties and get it over with.

This is for our upcoming Baronial Investiture celebrating the
investing of a lovely couple with 16th century Turkish personas. The
goal is to present a feast that is a mixture of Turkish, Arabic and
Italian foods so that all of their guests have food that they are
comfortable with. To this end they have hired a Venetian cook (me) to
plan and prepare this feast.

This list and many of the individuals on it has been (as always) an
invaluable source for my research. For once I am actually about a
month ahead of schedule - so if major changes need to be made they can
be. Another issue I am working around is that the Baron to be is
allergic to many fruits and - help me now - almonds. The menu reflects
choices made around his allergies.

Menu in Presentation Groupings:
Flat Bread, Baid Mutajjan (1), Cariota (7)
Sanbusaj (2), Cucumber & Onion Salad (6), Tutmash (3)
Mutajjana (8), Mersmuye (3)
Roast Beef (5), Flavored Turnips (1)
Bananas in Honey (4), Helva (3), Coffee

And because that is going to mean pretty much squat to you:

Description of dishes:
Flat Bread: Purchased
Baid Mutajjan: Eggs hard boiled, sliced then fried in Sesame oil,
tossed with Murri and spices.
Cariota: Carrots sliced into batons and roasted then soaked in
vinegar, coriander and spices.

Samosas: Spiced lamb mixed with walnuts and stuffed into a wrapper
then deep fried
Cucumbers: Cucumbers, Onions and basil in vinaigrette
Tutmash: Pasta in a Yougurt, Garlic and Mint sauce.

Mutajjana: Chicken breast fried and served in a Murri, cilantro sauce
Mersmuye: Onions, Chickpeas and Apples cooked with spiced rice

Roast Beef: braised with Fennel, Garlic, Rosemary, Onions and Grape Juice
Turnips in mustard sauce: Soft turnips simmered in a Mustard, Cumin
and cheese sauce

Bananas: sliced bananas drizzled with Honey and Coarse Sugar
Helva: a confection made with butter, honey, pistachios and poppy seeds
Coffee: served with sugar and spices

(1) Kitab Wasf al-At'ima al-Mu'tada (The Description of Familiar Foods)
(2) Kitab al-Tabika (The Book of Dishes commonly referred to as al-Baghdadi)
(3) Shirvânî version of al-Baghdadi (from At the Table of the Grand Turc)
(4) Tacinum Sanitatis
(5) Opera, Scappi
(6) Archidipno overo dell'insalata e dell'vso di essa, Salvatore Massonio
(7) De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, Platina
(8) Kitab al-Tibikh (Annals of the Caliph's Kitchen)

I am really feeling all over the place with this feast. The last
several feasts I have done have been from one, maybe two sources - I
guess this feeling is coming from pulling from so many different
sources (time periods and regions).

I also feel like I am not presenting enough dishes - again, I don't
know why I have this feeling. Does this menu seem varied and gracious
enough? Any thoughts, comments, suggestions are very welcome.
Great thanks for your time,


Serena da Riva

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